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This review is from: Panic Nation: Unpicking the Myths We're Told About Food and Health (Paperback)
From the cover, and the blurb on the back, this reads like a worthwhile read; a counterblast against the sort of pseudoscientific nonsense which is used to back up claims about food and health. As the book wore on, however, I quickly came to realise that it falls into the same trap as the complementary therapists and other quacks it criticises: the chapters rarely cite any evidence in support of the claims the authors make; they bizarrely seem to have a limited understanding of basic epidemiology (mis-describing the purpose and nature of meta-analysis and systematic reviews for example); they rely heavily on the authors' own claims without citing supporting evidence; and most seriously, they selectively use or ignore evidence as it suits their purposes.
And their own views are as bizarre as the crystal gazers and dowsers they criticise. Salt, radioactivity, fat, junk food - all good for you apparently. Forget about hearing a balanced argument, or an alternative point of view, or even a scientific, well-informed argument presenting and weighing the evidence. Instead, you get a series of oddly right-wing and generally patronising rants, with little understanding or discussion of why the public make the choices they do. By the end my sympathies started to slide towards the pseudoscientists - and I'm an epidemiologist.
One of later sections in the book is labelled "Bad Science". A well-worn phrase about motes and beams spring to mind at this point. Overall, this is non-evidence-based pseudoscience masquerading as trenchant observation; and worse, a thinly-disguised right-wing rant.
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Initial post: 17 Dec 2015 10:36:27 GMT
Personal opinion says:
Why "right-wing"? Why not just a rant? What has politics got to do with it or do you believe that anyone who challenges anything must be right-wing?
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