Flawed Study Interpretation

Flawed Study Interpretation
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It all depends on how you define “very high” fruit and vegetable intake.

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Here I am asking everyone to eat lots of fruits and veggies to prevent cancer. But how does that jibe with this study, published last summer? Women diagnosed with breast cancer were asked to eat a diet very high in fruits and veggies to see if they’d live longer, and they did not live any longer, leading to headlines like this: “Diet high in fruits and veggies of no particular benefit…” and “Extra servings of fruits and veggies fail…” And you can always count on the British tabloids: “Cancer fruit flop” and veggies “blow.”

Before you empty out your crisper, though, just what exactly did they mean by “very high” consumption? At baseline, before the study began, these women were eating 3.5 servings of fruit a day. Then, after three years of nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and newsletters meant to boost fruit and veggie consumption, they started out at 3.5, and ended up at the “very high” intake of… 3.4. Fruit consumption went down. No wonder they didn’t live any longer!

Now they did eat a few more vegetables, but combined, after three years, their fruit and vegetable consumption went up only 1.8 servings. That, pathetically, is conventional medicine’s idea of a diet “very high” in fruits and veggies. 

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Here I am asking everyone to eat lots of fruits and veggies to prevent cancer. But how does that jibe with this study, published last summer? Women diagnosed with breast cancer were asked to eat a diet very high in fruits and veggies to see if they’d live longer, and they did not live any longer, leading to headlines like this: “Diet high in fruits and veggies of no particular benefit…” and “Extra servings of fruits and veggies fail…” And you can always count on the British tabloids: “Cancer fruit flop” and veggies “blow.”

Before you empty out your crisper, though, just what exactly did they mean by “very high” consumption? At baseline, before the study began, these women were eating 3.5 servings of fruit a day. Then, after three years of nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and newsletters meant to boost fruit and veggie consumption, they started out at 3.5, and ended up at the “very high” intake of… 3.4. Fruit consumption went down. No wonder they didn’t live any longer!

Now they did eat a few more vegetables, but combined, after three years, their fruit and vegetable consumption went up only 1.8 servings. That, pathetically, is conventional medicine’s idea of a diet “very high” in fruits and veggies. 

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr.

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