The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org

The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org
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If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’m often asked what my opinion is about one food or another. I know what they’re saying, but, you know, I’m not interested in opinions. I’m not interested in beliefs. I’m interested in the science. What does the best available balance of evidence published in the peer-reviewed medical literature show, right now?

For trivial decisions in life, it doesn’t matter. Want a new toaster? Get a shiny one, or get the pretty one, or get the one your friend likes, or the one recommended by some stranger on the internet, right? How much does it really matter?

But, what we eat on a day-to-day basis is the number one determinant of our health and longevity. It’s one of the most important decisions of our lives. In fact, the three most important decisions of our lives may be what to eat—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We’re talking about the health of our families. What could be more important? These are literally life-or-death decisions. Yet, when I ask people why they eat what they do, I get, “Oh, I read something online,” or “I heard about this new diet at the gym.” That’s like asking a parent on some family skydiving trip why they’re folding everyone’s parachutes in some weird, new fashion, and getting an answer like, “Well, I heard about some fad, where like, you know, like, if you’re blood type A, you gotta fold it like…”

If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families. If there’s anything to put a little critical thought into, it should be what we eat on a daily basis. So, when I, or anyone else, says anything about something as life-and-death important as diet, your immediate response should be, “Show me the science.” Right? None of us were born with this information; where did we find it? And don’t just tell me the source; show me the source.

That’s why, if you look at my videos, I don’t just talk about the science; I show you the science. I don’t just cite a study; I show you the study—the actual graphs, tables, figures. I don’t just share a quote; I show you the quote. And then, you can click on the Sources Cited button next to every video, and get a list of links to all the sources I used. So, you can download the PDFs; read the studies yourself. Make sure I didn’t, you know, take anything out of context.

When it comes to critical, life-altering decisions, it’s not enough for “some expert” to just cite their sources. They should give you their sources, so you can make up your own mind.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’m often asked what my opinion is about one food or another. I know what they’re saying, but, you know, I’m not interested in opinions. I’m not interested in beliefs. I’m interested in the science. What does the best available balance of evidence published in the peer-reviewed medical literature show, right now?

For trivial decisions in life, it doesn’t matter. Want a new toaster? Get a shiny one, or get the pretty one, or get the one your friend likes, or the one recommended by some stranger on the internet, right? How much does it really matter?

But, what we eat on a day-to-day basis is the number one determinant of our health and longevity. It’s one of the most important decisions of our lives. In fact, the three most important decisions of our lives may be what to eat—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We’re talking about the health of our families. What could be more important? These are literally life-or-death decisions. Yet, when I ask people why they eat what they do, I get, “Oh, I read something online,” or “I heard about this new diet at the gym.” That’s like asking a parent on some family skydiving trip why they’re folding everyone’s parachutes in some weird, new fashion, and getting an answer like, “Well, I heard about some fad, where like, you know, like, if you’re blood type A, you gotta fold it like…”

If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families. If there’s anything to put a little critical thought into, it should be what we eat on a daily basis. So, when I, or anyone else, says anything about something as life-and-death important as diet, your immediate response should be, “Show me the science.” Right? None of us were born with this information; where did we find it? And don’t just tell me the source; show me the source.

That’s why, if you look at my videos, I don’t just talk about the science; I show you the science. I don’t just cite a study; I show you the study—the actual graphs, tables, figures. I don’t just share a quote; I show you the quote. And then, you can click on the Sources Cited button next to every video, and get a list of links to all the sources I used. So, you can download the PDFs; read the studies yourself. Make sure I didn’t, you know, take anything out of context.

When it comes to critical, life-altering decisions, it’s not enough for “some expert” to just cite their sources. They should give you their sources, so you can make up your own mind.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

Doctor's Note

Wait a second, though. Why do so many of the videos on this site seem to be biased against certain foods? For the same reason that the website of the American Lung Association probably seems biased against tobacco. The Philip Morris Corporation has come up with more than a hundred studies showing the health benefits of smoking. For example, the nicotine may help schizophrenics with psychotic symptoms, and smoking may affect immune function sufficient to benefit ulcerative colitis. The tobacco industry used these studies to accuse former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop of “selective reporting” when he argued that smoking caused cancer.

The reason Dr. Koop chose to focus on anti-tobacco studies is presumably because he was trying to accurately reflect what was in the scientific literature. The best available balance of evidence strongly suggests smoking is bad for people’s health overall—and the same could be said for many foods. So, when the tobacco industry dismisses public health professionals as being biased against tobacco–of course they’re biased against tobacco! To be biased against smoking is to be biased against death and disease. That’s kinda their job.

No one has to smoke, but everyone has to eat. So, there’s an additional opportunity cost to eating unhealthy foods, beyond just how bad they themselves may be for our health. Every Twinkie we put in our mouth is a missed opportunity to eat something healthier.

This video is part of an experiment to find ways to appeal to those new to the site. So much of what I do is targeted towards those who already know the basics, but in the user survey about a thousand of you filled out a few weeks ago, many of you asked for me to take a step back, and do some videos targeted more towards those new to evidence-based nutrition.

So, with the volunteer help of videographer Grant Peacock, I came up with ten introductory and overview-type videos for both new users to orient themselves, and for long-time users to introduce people to the site.

The first three are already up:

Stay tuned for:

What we’re going to do is alternate between these broader overview-type videos, and the regularly scheduled content, so as not to bore those who just crave the latest science.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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