Filtering studies in the media

So you may have heard about the latest study on eggs and heart disease. The one where CNN and NYdailynews write:

Is eating egg yolks as bad as smoking?

CNN

Like Hollandaise sauce? Too bad — for your heart and blood vessels. Yolks are packed with cholesterol, causing blood-vessel-clogging plaque buildup, just like smoking does.

NYdailynews

Ironically, TheFatNurse saw these articles in the morning when TheFatNurse was chowing down on some eggs. What a way to wake up! Sadly, the article is not  free for view and TheFatNurse’s university account doesn’t have a subscription to it! TheFatNurse isn’t going to plop down 31 dollars for this study – after all 31 dollars can get you 240 eggs at Costco! Even more Ironic…240 eggs per year is about how many eggs the people in the highest egg group ate in the study…CONSPIRACY!?

Anyways, the study looked at carotid plaque buildup and divided the subjects into five groups based on how many eggs they ate via food surveys. They then found an association between egg consumption and plaque buildup. Scary? Not eggactly (hehe), because there are problems galore with the study itself and the way the media is interpreting it. Of course anytime the media represents a study this runs through TheFatNurse’s head:

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In anycase  Zoe Harcombe has already done a pretty good critique of the study (she has the full study) which you can check out. Like any critique, once you look at how a study is setup, designed, calculated, and interpreted it is quite simple to spot things that are fishy.

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