Spin Doctors - How the Media Reports on Medicine

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Why a Resource Like NutritionFacts.org is So Necessary

In a study of the dietary advice given by newspapers in the United Kingdom, “no credible scientific basis” was found for most claims. Indeed, “[m]isreporting of dietary advice…is widespread and may contribute to public misconceptions about food and health”—and potentially not only the public.

Scientists like to think they are not influenced by popular media. One study decided to put it to the test. The New York Times reports on scientific research each week, and researchers found that the studies covered by the Times end up being cited in the New England Journal of Medicine more than those that don’t. Seems like the popular press does indeed have an impact on science? Not so fast. That’s just one potential explanation. Perhaps outstanding studies are more likely to be picked up by the media and, independently, more likely to be cited. It’s possible the Times was just earmarking important science and its publicizing of that research didn’t have any effect on how often it was cited in future studies.

How can we disentangle the two? In 1978, there was a three-month strike during which the Times continued to print copies but couldn’t sell them to the public. So, a natural experiment was set up. Researchers compared the number of citations of Journal articles published during the strike with the number published when the paper wasn’t on strike to “discover whether publicity in the popular press truly amplifies the transmission of scientific findings to the medical community.” If the paper were just earmarking important articles, then the strike would have no effect on the studies’ future impact, but that’s not what happened. As you can see from a graph shown in my video Spin Doctors: How the Media Reports on Medicine, the studies covered by the Times during the strike when no one could read them appeared to have no impact on the medical community.

The next question, of course, is whether the press is simply amplifying the medical information to the scientific community or distorting it as well? “[S]ystematic studies suggest that many stories about new medicines tend to overstate benefits, understate risks and costs, and fail to disclose relevant financial ties.” What’s more, “[o]verly rosy coverage of drugs may also result from the direct and indirect relations between journalists and drug companies”—that is, the financial ties between the reporters and Big Pharma with all its perks.

Scientists and physicians often blame the press for the public being “poorly served” by the media’s coverage of medical science. In fact, the famous physician William Osler was quoted as saying, “Believe nothing that you see in the newspapers…if you see anything in them that you know is true, begin to doubt it at once.” Both parties, however, share the blame. Reporters may only have an hour or two to put together a story, so they may rely on press releases. It’s not hard to imagine how drug company press releases might be biased. But, surely, press releases from the scientists themselves and their institutions would “present the facts fairly, unambiguously, and without spin,” right?

Researchers decided to put it to the test. Critics may blame the media, but where do you think the media gets its information? “One might assume” that press releases from prestigious academic medical centers would be “measured and unexaggerated,” but researchers found they suffered from the same problems: downplaying side effects, having conflicts of interest and study limitations, and “promot[ing] research that has uncertain relevance to human health…”

For example, most “animal or laboratory studies…explicitly claimed relevance to human health, yet 90% lacked caveats about extrapolating results to people.” Indeed, “a release about a study of ultrasonography [ultrasound] reducing tumors in mice, titled ‘Researchers study the use of ultrasound for treatment of cancer,’” failed to add “for your pet mouse.”

“For animal research, it is estimated that less than 10% of non-human investigations ever succeed in being translated to human clinical use. Over-selling the results of non-human [lab animal] studies as a promised cure potentially confuses readers and might contribute to disillusionment with science.”

Although it is common to blame the media for exaggerations, most times, they don’t just make it up—it is what the research institutions are sending out themselves. Researchers found that “most of the inflation detected in our study…was already present in the text of the in their own press releases produced by academics and their establishments.” Medical journals, too. Indeed, sometimes medical journal press releases do more harm than good. An analysis of press releases from some of the most prestigious medical journals found the same litany of problems. I don’t think most people realize that journals sell reprints, which are official-looking copies of the articles they print, to drug companies and others. Reprints can bring in big bucks. Drug companies may buy a million copies of a favorable article. Indeed, they “usually buy reprints of studies that they have funded themselves. Unsurprisingly, they buy them only when the results are positive for their drugs, and they use these reprints as a form of marketing.” What’s more, sometimes a company will submit an article and promise to buy a certain number of reprints if it’s accepted, which “is effectively a bribe…” A long-time editor-in-chief at the prestigious British Medical Journal recalled that a woman from a public relations company called him, offered to take him to a restaurant of his choice, “and stopped just short of saying she would go to bed with me if we took the paper.”

“Another conflict of interest for editors relates to advertising—a major source of income for many journals. Most of the advertising comes from pharmaceutical companies.” If they don’t like a study, they can threaten to withdraw their advertising if it’s published. This potentially leaves editors “faced with the stark choice of agreeing not to publish a particular piece or seeing their journal die.”

Even if journalists, as they’re writing an article, have the time to skip the press releases and go directly to the source to read the studies themselves, they may find them “incomprehensible; utter gobbledygook.” Yet even if they do understand the studies, scientific articles are not simply reports of facts. Authors have many opportunities to add spin to their scientific reports, with “spin” defined as distorting the interpretation of results and misleading readers, either unconsciously or with a willful intent to deceive.  Researchers looked at randomized controlled trials with statistically nonsignificant results, meaning, for example, a drug was compared to a sugar pill and the difference between the two was essentially nonexistent. Would the researchers just lay out the truth and report that they spent time and money, but, in terms of their primary outcome, got nothing? Or would they try to spin it? In 68 percent of cases, they spun it. There was spin in the abstract, the article summary, which is particularly alarming because the abstract is often “the only part of an article [people] actually read.”

Given all of this, it’s no wonder the media often gets it wrong. Spin in the abstracts can turn into spin in the press releases and result in spin in the news. “Therefore, even if journalists [do their due diligence and] are using the original abstract conclusion in good faith, they still run the risk of deceiving their readers.” Researchers presenting new findings can always be careful to stress how preliminary the findings may be. “But let’s be serious. Powerful and reinforcing self-interests” may prevail.

I think the biggest problem with the way the media reports on medicine, though, is the choice of which stories are covered. In 2003, for instance, SARS and bioterrorism killed less than a dozen people, yet generated over a hundred thousand media reports, which is far more than those covering the actual greatest threats to our lives and health. In fact, ironically, “the more commonplace the cause of death, the less likely it is to be covered by the mass media.” Our leading killer is heart disease, yet it can be prevented, treated, and even reversed with diet and lifestyle changes—now that’s what should be front page news.


If we can’t trust the medical literature on its face, where can we turn? We’re talking life-or-death information here. What we need is someone who will dig deep into the data and translate the gobbledygook into actionable tips on keeping us and our families healthy. If only there was a website we could trust to tell us the unbiased truth…

If you appreciate the work we do, please consider supporting us. NutritionFacts.org relies solely on individual donations from users like you!

If you think just a little spin is bad, there is a much deeper rot in the medical literature. For more on this critical topic, see:

Interested in some specific examples of the spin and conflicts of interest we’ve been discussing? See:

It’s no wonder Physicians May Be Missing Their Most Important Tool.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


65 responses to “Why a Resource Like NutritionFacts.org is So Necessary

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  1. The fact that the press spins everything and so does Hollywood and the fact that people grew up on spin as a junk food source, like Lucky Charms is what comes to mind.

    The thing is, I recognized that and started researching on my own because I was sick of it, but researching takes so much time and energy that people won’t do it until they have to.

    They don’t have the science and their doctors’ are generally agreeing with the spin.

    The journals only being willing to take entertaining enough studies already makes the process so much like a SAD that it is no wonder that it looks more like propaganda than science or health. It often is propaganda.

    1. Highly intelligent and noble men from the past (even a hundred + years ago), have talked about the importance of news being disseminated to the general public. In some communities they would only allow people of wisdom and noble character to write for the public. Now days, the media in many Westernized nations probably most closely resembles a cancer.

      Based on the content of movies and TV, most of what is produced in Hollywood likely comes from those who are either sexually or morally perverted or mentally unbalanced. We would do well as a nation to more closely monitor what is being disseminated to the public. Not only nutrition, but sex and violence should be closely analyzed. The sort of effect this is having on future generations would likely be frightful.

      1. One part of me wants to concur with you. The other, older, wiser part of me wants to scream from the mountain top “NO! Not while I am alive!”

        Just WHO is going to be doing all of the “monitoring”? The era to which you refer was most singularly characterized by the paternalism of the landed rich and royalty. 90% of the people were dictated to by the 10% who by nothing more than accident of birth held all of the money, land, power and privilege. They, too, like today’s scientists, reporters, and politicians were absolutely controlled by self-interest, never giving a thought to the impact of their decisions on the 90%.

        But, the world evolved, moved on, and the power, if no the money, became distributed in a more egalitarian manner. Information became a comodity. The cost of that is that every person must fend for themselves and make their own decisions about what they take in; including misinformation. We now suffer from “information dump syndrome.” There are not enough hours in the day to sort through all of the information available to me on any given subject when I need it.

        That having been said, I, for one, am unwilling to create a class of people who arbitrarily dictate what information is available to me in all areas of life. I do not trust anyone that much. I am willing to support certain organizations in certain areas of interest to me which attempt to synthesize information for me and appear to effectively balance the strengths and weaknesses of the information being analyzed.

        1. It was a different time and he was talking about a different type of leadership; smaller countries and communities form the East where values were more important than money, power and (so called) progress. The sad fact is that we seem to be following in the steps of the Roman empire. And the general population is completely incapable of freely electing a noble, wise leader with the foresight needed to take this country out of the ditch. So the whole point is likely irrelevant. Generally what happens with a dysfunctional empire is that it goes through the difficult phase of being tore down, then maybe it is rebuilt anew at some future date. We are a nation of the obese, self-indulgent, and each new generation has a larger percentage of disease and disorders. The question is not “if”, but “when” do we reach the tipping point.

  2. There is something about doing everything in a “manipulation of emotions” way.

    Hollywood is sweeter than sugar and people are addicted to it and I am talking at a brain level.

    People don’t know how to do an authentic process anymore and I mean even in relationships or how to spend their time and money.

    It is all Fruit Loops.

  3. I’m glad to see Dr Greger exposing the fake news media! When I discovered NutritionFacts.org several years ago, it was so refreshing to see science-based nutrition information for a change. This is the website that cleared up all the confusion I had about nutrition. And the website that convinced me to go WFPB. I must say that I have never before felt so healthy and each year my doctor is amazed at all my health indicators being normal with no medications!

    Many thanks to Dr Greger and his team of volunteers for all the work put into this site and the courage to speak out with truthful facts in a world full of lies!

    1. That is so fabulous, Darwin!

      Having watched Game Changers and then watching the fails from My 600-pound life where people who are 800 and 900 pounds are told to eat 1200 calorie keto and some of them get down to 250 pounds and then die.

      I feel like so many people have been destroyed by the way things are and yet it is still so hard to get the information to them.

      My coworker listens to sports radio in the morning and they are all astounded by Tom Brady’s longevity and it is too bad that he isn’t more committed to WFPB. He is vegan 80 to 90% of the time, but not quite enough for the announcers to speculate about it.

      The message is trickling out, when we need it spraying like a million fire hoses.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g

      1. If you listen to some of his past interviews (Oprah comes to mind) he is very cautious about talking about diet… likely meat in particular. If you have ever talked to people about the harmful effects of meat, you know how emotionally charged the topic can be. He has definitely encountered this in his life. But given the general positive trend with plant based eating, this will improve. A new documentary will be available very soon. “The Game Changers”, it should have a big impact on the sports community.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSpglxHTJVM

  4. My take on this is that the mainstream media is this culpable in everything it reports. Anyone watching the news about the Democratic primary knows this to be true. I have been WFPB since Bernie first ran for president, and the neglect, dishonesty, and abuse he has suffered since he first announced is palpable to those of us who actually know the man. One of my fellow vounteers, also WFPB, and I have spoken often about the parallels between medical and political reporting.

    The constitutional protections given the press were made in an earlier time, when money alone did not determine what the press did. Now that the major TV channels are all owned by five corporations, and Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, how can we honestly expect unbiased facts from these sources? Everything is spin, and the most well-funded advertisers get the best coverage.

    Our society is perilously close to disaster, simply because of the dis- and misinformation our populace is fed on a daily basis.

    Nutrition Facts is a miracle in today’s marketplace. I will support it, starting with my next social security check, even if it’s only $5 a month. It is nice to have at least one source available on a daily basis where I don’t have to wear my detective spectacles (a prize from a cereal box?) to grasp truth.

    1. Barbie, I agree that the mainstream media does try to pick the candidate of both political partys. But can’t agree that communism/socialism is a good form of government! It has been tried too many times, and each time it has been a miserable failure!

      And I do support the Constitution and the 1st Amendment of free speech. The way I see it is that the answer lies in educating people by getting the truth out via the Internet and not some “truth” presented by any formal institution who is biased by receiving funds from hidden donors.

      What I fear most is the day if/when the Internet becomes “fully” censored and sites like NF disappear into the night.

      1. Darwin, I think the information of the type that Dr. Greger talks should be part and parcel of education. It was not part of mine and it should have been. Schools are part of the government. They should be involved. This is science and like any other science, it should be available in the schools.

        1. WFPBLiisa, Yes, I agree that the best place for valid nutrition to be taught is in the public school system. I didn’t get any when I was in school either. But that was before the Internet. Now that people have easy access to websites like this one, word is spreading rapidly and once they become aware of the benefits of WFPB, people can demand that the schools teach it. Word of mouth between friends is one of the most effective ways of spreading the word.

          1. Unfortunately, the Internet is also propagating the spread of keto diets, and that’s why education is needed in the schools. We can’t depend on the Internet for the education of the public, although it can help.

      2. Darwin,

        I have to say that I do know that no matter what system you have, it is still a power grab and the people who are just plain manipulative, greedy SOB’s win more often than anybody whether in communism or in this type of system.

        Power is such sticky business.

        1. Deb, Yes, you’re so right. Whether any of us wants to admit it, greed is in all our genes to a certain extent … some more that others, of course. After all, evolution shows us that it was the greedy animals that survived, and passed their genes down to the next generation. (see Richard Dawkins book, “The Selfish Gene”.)

  5. Reminds me of all the hype on statins. Yes, those with active heart disease should consider them. But what about the Ornish or Esseltyne diet, something few doctors prescribe. Easier, less time consuming to whip out the prescription pad. I have had very few heart disease patients whose doctors even mentioned diet or exercise.
    How many have seen this unfavorable study on statins? Almost no one.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25655639

    1. Marilyn,

      The doctors buying into all of it is the most frustrating part for me.

      My loved ones are still going to those doctors and they are being pushed away from dietary solutions and toward the meds.

      The higher the specialist, the more likely the surgery and med-focus, I think.

    2. The safety and efficacy of statins has been studied over and over again for decades.

      Studies, including those by the inependent Cochrane Review, generally agree that statins are effective and that there is no evidence of significant adverse events from statin use. I thought that SBM;s discussion of this issue was well-balanced.
      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/statins-the-cochrane-review/

      I think that we can all agree that serious diet and other lifestyle changes are preferable to statin use. However, for people eating the SAD, statin use may be a less bad alternative to no statin use.

  6. Nutrition Facts.org has been accused of cherry picking only studies that reflect its viewpoint (plant-based diet).

    Respectfully, while I subscribe to a plant-based diet, how do we account for balanced reporting when it comes to nutritionfacts.org?

    1. Kurt, you have to make judgments just like you do when you are reading anything. I “buy” 99.9% of what Dr. Greger says, but I am so far reserving judgment on nuts and also DHA as part of my diet–the reason being that Campbell implied that people seemed to do better on a fairly low-fat diet as described in “The China Study.”

      1. I agree with DHA and low fat WFPBLiisa. Dr Greger does admit we don’t have the science on higher fat diets with plants. I tend to follow Jeff Novick RD over at McDougall’s forum.He seems more intune with what the studies say.

        1. Liisa and David,

          I am inclined to stick with Dr. Greger with those 2 subjects because of the Adventist vegans living longer when they eat nuts versus when they didn’t and because the DHA lowers Homocysteine and there were enough studies where the DHA mattered that I do know that it might not matter, but my brain has improved so much and DHA is one of the things which may really matter.

          I know that Dr. Fuhrman has been attacked about it, but his vegan and near-vegan mentors ending up with Parkinson’s and not having longevity is in the back of my mind, along with the vegans in the UK having double the rate of Alzheimer’s.

          Maybe it is because I already have had Alzheimer’s symptoms for enough years that the issue is a bigger one for me and I know that it is going to be the Adventists and Dr. Ornish who might shift me down the road, or someone will do a Whole Food Plant Based vegan nut eaters versus Whole Food Plant-Based vegan non-nut eaters, but in the Adventist community, it is the vegan nut eaters who are the ones with the real longevity and some of the doctors throw that community out, but we are talking longevity and you can’t throw that community out of a longevity discussion.

          1. The Global Burden of Disease Risk (or whatever that study was called) pointed to not eating nuts as being in the top 5 risk factors in disease.

            Does that include WFPB vegans?

            That is the question.

            With the Adventists, the nut eating vegans bested those who didn’t eat nuts.

            1. Quoting Dr. Fuhrman about the Adventists

              “The Adventist Health Study refutes that, showing cumulative effects from the combination of several health behaviors. In vegetarian participants who exercised regularly, expected age at death was 7.8 years older in the group who ate nuts regularly vs. those who did not.”

              Almost 8 years longer life. That is big enough difference that I don’t understand the logic of avoiding them altogether.

              More from Dr. Fuhrman

              The Iowa Women’s Health Study, The Nurses’ Health Study, and the Physicians’ Health Study) reported a 37 percent reduction in heart disease risk in participants eating nuts more than four times per week compared to those who never or rarely ate nuts. In this analysis, each weekly serving of nuts was associated with an 8.3 percent reduction in risk

              There are no studies that vegans do better without them, so there would be no way for Dr. Greger to do his process and end up on that side of the issue.

              1. Liisa,

                What was Colin’s logic?

                Maybe that should have been my first sentence.

                Dr. Greger’s logic is the scientific studies above, plus the Mediterranean diet getting better when the olive oil was switched with nuts, plus he pointed out that VegSource was uneducated on how the machine worked, where he was trying to say that someone tested worse endothelial function after eating nuts because the machine he was using he would have tested worse eating anything at all.

                I do know that if people are trying to get over T2D that Dr. Barnard and Mastering Diabetes do recommend limiting nuts (but neither of them say not to eat them, they say to not snack on them and to watch the intake of nut cheeses and nut milk and nut yogurt and nut butter.

                Nobody recommends snacking on them.

              2. Deb, I’m with you on the nut issue for most people. Healthy fats are important for the brain. Personally, having a Grandfather with Alzheimer’s, it is that disease I want to avoid.

                1. Marilyn,

                  Yes, I would want every human being to avoid Alzheimer’s.

                  I came from abuse and was a suicidal, poison drinking, cutter by Junior High, but came out the other side with close relationships and deeper empathy and as a Christian, I believe that God works everything together for good, and that has all worked together for good. By the time the person who abused me as a child was dying, he and I were friends and I helped take care of him and it was such a sweet time.

                  But losing my mind was so much more terrifying. It turns out that our minds are what we use to cope with everything else in life. It was so scary.

                  The whole time though, I thought about things like my friend’s son who has been schizophrenic since he was young and who has been locked up for well over a decade and may never have freedom or be treated with compassion ever again because those places have so many authoritative processes.

                  After healing my brain as much as I have, I wonder if he is high in Homocysteine and maybe low in Magnesium and Vitamin D and that breaks my heart more than anything I have ever gone through in my entire life.

                  His diet was so bad that he may never be able to just go for a walk on his own ever again.

                  I couldn’t even process that people may have lived their whole lives with that and I really can’t process that I have been able to reverse so much of it with this diet and they don’t have professionals helping them with that.

                  They have almost killed him with medicine. Literally. And when he said that he felt like they were going to kill him with it, they upped the meds and when, after the hospitalization weaned him off, they punished him and threatened him and mocked him when he didn’t want to go up as high on the meds. I would never have survived in that type of setting.

                  1. Laughing.

                    I know that I share too much.

                    I genuinely run laps around everybody else for commenting.

                    I am hoping that the cooking emphasis will help to level the playing field so that everybody else can get a word in edgewise.

              3. The Okinawans on their traditional diet were apparently very low in fats and yet were also noted for being hale and very much compos mentis in old age.

                This 2019 meta analysis and systematic review found no consistent benefit from unsaturated fat intakes on dementia/Alzheimer’s risk etc but a detrimental association between saturated fat consumption and cognitive impairement (perhaps that explains all those unintelligent comments from keto advocates?):

                ‘Nine studies covering a total of 23,402 participants were included. Compared with the lowest category of consumption, the highest category of saturated fat intake was associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.02-1.91) and AD (RR: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.09-3.20). The total and unsaturated fat intake was not statistically associated with cognitive outcomes with significant between-study heterogeneity.

                CONCLUSION:
                This study reported a detrimental association between saturated fat intake and cognitive impairment and mixed results between unsaturated fat intake and selected cognitive outcomes. Given the substantial heterogeneity in the sample size and methodology used across studies, the evidence presented here should be interpreted with caution.”
                https://link.springer.com/article/10.14283%2Fjpad.2019.9

          2. I have seen all these claims about ‘vegan nut eaters’ but where is the actual data? I have not seen anyone post it. It may just be a case of Chinese whispers for all I know,

      2. WFPBLiisa, I did have an opportunity to quiz a neurologist recently about omega 3’s (re: brain) and he said that yes, omega 3’s can perhaps be helpful but quality and dosage matter. He said if you don’t take enough you are wasting your time. The small German study Dr Greger referred to used over 2 grams of omega 3’s daily…. that’s a hefty dose and similar to what Dr Ornish recommends. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796946
        So far, I am still reading up.

        1. Barb, have you checked to see how much omega-3’s you’re getting in your diet? Cronometer.com will let you know. I was amazed at how much of everything I was getting on a WFPB diet when I checked with Cronometer.
          With my morning oatmeal and berry breakfast and a tbsp of flax seed alone, I have 1.9 grams of omega-3’s already.

          1. Awesome Liisa! I have not tried Cronometer yet, but I have always suspected that we do just great on the omega 3’s with eating all the greens too. Would be interesting to plug in the Daily Dozen to see what number comes up though I suspect it has already been checked. :) I think we’re good!

    2. I thought this too, but there are a number of sources that provide health connected to nutrition information, but whether the sources are vegan, or plant-based, or not, the prescription is almost always 99% of the time to eat whole plant foods.

    3. Yes, I have seen those accusations of cherry picking too.

      However, the people making such accusations never give any examples – ie where are the studies that show that people eating meat live longer than people eating plants? Ene the US Dietary Guidelines and the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say that a well-planned ‘vegan’ diet is healthful. Are they cherry picking too?
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-5/
      https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatrightpro-files/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diet.pdf

      It is easy to make accusations of cherry picking, It is much harder to back them up with concrete excamples.

  7. I now support Nutrition Facts with a yearly donation, and I buy the books, some to share with friends.

    But I wish I could buy copies of the smaller eating guide, because I think most people won’t initially wade through such a big book as “How Not to Die,” though I found it fascinating (though even I have not read through all the chapters about how to not to die from various diseases; I read the second section first). I’m also thinking of printing up little cards with this website and a blurb about what it does, and why I recommend it; I meet a lot of people who are interested, but don’t know where to look for further information. I’m not sure they remember the name.

    Thank you all for the wonderful work you do here.

    1. Dr. J.,

      Your passion is palpable. That is such a good thing.

      For me, I forward the videos.

      I have also posted them on sites where people have diseases or pain.

      1. I also have bought the books and cookbooks and have handed them out.

        I currently don’t have either.

        There are times that I want to borrow the cookbook from one of them.

        1. Hi JABROU,

          NutritionFacts content is covered under Creative Commons licensing, so people are able to share the videos and blog posts as long as it’s clearly attributed to NF (for instance, someone can’t take the video and edit it to put their own logo on and pretend it’s their own content, but they can share our content as-is). Hope that helps!

  8. I suppose everybody has an agenda. Dr, Greger, being a vegan enthusiast, will not spend time reading scientific studies exalting meat and dairy.

    I am not vegetarian but I read all the blogs and watch all the videos Dr, Greger releases because I think too much attention has already been given to animal-based food over the years. It is refreshing to learn about a different POV. I have changed my diet quite a lot. I now emphasize WPBF over cheese and meat.

    I believe and hope Dr. Greger is neither inflating the benefits of WBPF nor omitting studies that point out negative aspects of certain vegetables.

    Are there other sites one can read unbiased information on diets?

    1. Carolina,

      I have been a vegetarian for close to 50 years, and within the last few years a Plant Based Whole Foods eater.

      But I was a vegetarian initially for sustainability and environmental reasons, and now I’ve added more reasons, such as climate catastrophe, animal and worker cruelty, and antibiotic resistance. So I’m thrilled to learn that eating PBWF is one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, way to eat.

      It works for me, it works for my husband (we were both at a healthy weight as vegetarians, but when we dropped the dairy products and eggs, our weights dropped to just about our HS weights without even trying — and we are 68 and 76, and we don’t take any drugs), it works for my brother (who lost 70 lbs (with exercise) and went off all his several meds, including for type 2 diabetes), it works for my nephew (a weight lifter).

      So, I don’t need any further information about other diets. I wouldn’t eat animal products again, for so many reasons. And my food is delicious! (Though I do cook at home a lot; but it’s considered light to moderate exercise, so that’s a plus — I need all I can get.)

      Welcome to the Wonderful World of Plant Based Eating!

    2. Carolina,

      You bringing this subject up, causes me to want to place Dr. Greger’s comments, which Plant-Based Science London posted.

      Can we trust Dr. Greger to give the science if the studies suddenly went pro-meat is what the topic was about and Dr. Greger discusses that he would promote meat if that happened, but it would have to be a lot of studies to go against the breadth of information about the health hazards of meat.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDU1Q5BIw-M

      I do believe that he means it. He is more “study” and “health-oriented” than “vegan” and I would contrast that to Dr. Barnard, who would never have an answer like that because he is working tirelessly on behalf of cruelty to animals causes.

      I am already past health-oriented and fall more in the not wanting animals to live or die in cruel ways.

      I just value life too much to think about it from a purely health-oriented direction again.

      I watched the video on the oceans on Plant Based News and they said that it takes over 120 wild caught fish to raise a single farm-raised salmon and that 1/4 of the fish caught in the wild are just used as fish food for the diseased farm-raised fishes.

      I don’t even understand the logic at all.

      1. Back to Dr. Greger.

        His commitment is to science. Not veganism.

        That is good to know.

        I don’t think many of the doctors could say that anymore.

        I couldn’t say it anymore.

      2. Carolina, I don’t know of any scientific studies “exalting meat and dairy”.
        There are lots of studies showing that meat is harmful because it raises TMAO, mTor etc. There are also lots of studies on the harmful effects of the hormones in milk products, for example. Never mind how harmful these products are to the animals involved in their production.
        If you have some credible studies about benefits, you can post them.

    3. The World Cancer Research Fund has carefully studied nutrition and diet. Organisations like the British Nutrition Foundation look at these issues too
      https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/new-reports/new-report-from-the-world-cancer-research-fund-diet-nutrition-physical-activity-and-cancer-a-global-perspective.html

      Then there is the World health Organization
      https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
      https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/en/

      And the scientific report of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisoey Committee
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/

  9. Dr. Greger. I watched your FB presentation today (as well as other live presentations) where you are on your treadmill. So when let me ask: when you present at your many speaking engagements do you do so on a treadmill? (No, you don’t. And it’s not because you can’t get your speaker sponsors to provide one.) So I’ll just say it. It’s annoying, the treadmill thing. It kind of falls (for me) in the same category as when you do a cooking segment and wear your stethoscope. We all know about the dangers of sitting for long periods and that you’re an MD. Ditch the props.

    1. The “props” serve as reminders. Scholars long ago used to keep human skulls on their desks as reminders to seize the day. I like Dr. Greger’s reminders to seize your health.

      1. I would not be adverse to Dr Greger putting a skull on his desk, or hanging up a stethescope on the wall behind him beside his degrees, but I have to agree with Robert Llamas on this one. The treadmill is not serving as a reminder. It is a major distraction to not only Dr Greger himself but to his audience as well. I paid for a webinar which Dr Greger delivered from the treadmill. Incredibly disrespectful to his (paying) audience imo. Never again.

        The talks given around the country (his expenses are paid) have Dr Greger show up in a timely manner, dressed appropriately, and focussed on his material and the folks who come in earnest to hear him. Online delivery should command the same respect.

        1. Why begrudge the man an opportunity to multitask?

          it’s very difficult to find enought time in the day for work, family and exercise. This way he can kill two birds with one stone – if I can use a highly inappropriate metaphor.

  10. I just wonder if animal studies should be stopped as unethical and ineffective. Dr Barnard is if this opinion. As an MD, I never understood why prevention standards, e.g. BP and LDL, were less stringent than guidelines post an event such as an MI?

  11. Liisa,

    I found a really good explanation of knives. I know that the resources we have been looking at talk about them, but when this man started explaining things like how single bevel knives tend to make the cuts wander, I paused and know immediately that I already don’t have depth perception. I can’t have a knife which will make the wandering worse.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO35cdWL1MQ

    1. I was worried about doing knife skills with brain problems, but I found stainless steel fingertips for the holding hand.

      I also have a cutting glove.

      Many knives also have a safety feature option, but most people don’t like it because it makes sharpening the knives harder.

      I am going to look like a James Bond character.

  12. I ended up talking to a young man who stocks shelves at Whole Foods about Game Changers and Forks Over Knives and Whole Food Plant Based and about Dr Greger’s Keto series about muscles.

    It was sweet. He was interested in the stories and at the end he asked me if I was going to be flipping cars over next.

    I said, no, but I am trying to eat Whole Food Plant-Based.

    The thing that surprises me is that I am overweight but this young man paused and got sweet and said, “I am proud of you.” Instead of calling me a fat vegan.

    He said that he would think about trying it and I showed him the Forks Over Knives recipe book in the store.

    Who knows.

    He told me that he can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods and I can’t either.

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