Sunday, February 24, 2008

Supporting Sandy at Junkfood Science

I know that she and her blog are controversial but I just made a small donation to the Junkfood Science blog. This is the first time I've given money to someone over the internet just because I respect the work she's doing. As I mentioned in my last post, her latest series is both enligtening and inspiring and I am sooooo thankful that there is someone out there doing the work that she is doing even if some of it may be motivated by ulterior motives than just Fat Acceptanc. Her committment to truth and the disemination of accurate interpretations of scientific news is very strong. Of course she doesn't cover everything, but I like the way she covers what she does and I respect her habit of linking to the original sources so that I can go read the science behind it myself.

Here's a bit of her intro that says it better than I ever could. I think she believes this and that she actually is living it.

"The more I’ve learned, the more horrified I’ve become. Science is being misused for marketing and political purposes. Evidence is being distorted and bias has inundated media, research, government policies and clinical guidelines. Unsound information proliferates in professional and advocacy organizations, academic institutions and journals; and even professionals aren’t reaching beyond beliefs to critically examine studies and recognize credible information. So much valuable and critically important information, and the very best science — well documented in careful, objective, evidence-based research — is never reported and almost never published. Fear sells and unfounded scares, exaggerations and “what-ifs?” are being used to terrify people about their foods, bodies and health.

And all of this is costing, frightening and hurting people.

For years, I have traced virtually every science, food and health story in mainstream media to their original press releases, which are reported verbatim. Literally everything we hear and read today is marketing and created by those trying to sell us something: a belief, cause, product, service, or themselves. That’s why we hear “science” finds something one day, and something entirely different the next. “Pop” science, what is popularly believed and marketed as “science,” is oftentimes really the junk science.

I’ve also gone to the original source, the study behind each of those stories, and been even more alarmed to realize that the evidence is nothing like what we hear, or even what appears in the conclusions of many study abstracts. In fact, it’s often the exact opposite! Simultaneously, I’ve watched the very best science that counters popular beliefs and could put fears to rest, go unreported. And after a decade of unsuccessfully trying to get any mainstream or alternative publication to publish articles with the fact-based information, I realized it wasn't possible.

That’s not right. I believe people deserve to know the truth and not be taken advantage of, needlessly terrified or put at risk.

People also deserve the soundest facts to make informed decisions for themselves and their loved ones, and so we can all ensure public policies and clinical guidelines are based on sound evidence and risk analysis.

My personal commitment is to give people information that is as true as I know it to be."

Thank you Sandy! Thank you to all of you out here in the blogosphere who are fighting the good fight.

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