For John, BLUF: Skepticism helps us sort the true from the bogus. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Washington Examiner is one of the news reports on the idea that a chocolate bar a day will help people on a low-carbohydrate diets lose weight more quickly. The gist of the story is that:
This spring, Dr. Johannes Bohannon and a team of German scientists discovered that people on low-carbohydrate diets could lose weight faster if they used one weird trick: Eat a bar of chocolate every day.Here are the highlights from The InstaPundit Post:
Newsrooms around the world responded eagerly to Bohannon’s findings.A polite and cheerful skepticism should be in everyone's kit bag.
“Excellent News: Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight!” Huffington Post India declared in a report.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail blared in a headline, “Pass the Easter Egg! New study reveals that eating chocolate doesn’t affect your Body Mass Index…and can even help you LOSE weight!”
In the United States, Modern Healthcare wrote, “Dieting? Don’t forget the chocolate.”
The story continued to grow, with news of the sweet discovery spreading from the Internet to print and television. Even Europe’s highest-circulation newspaper, Bild, got in on the action, publishing a report titled “Slim by Chocolate!”
Journalists and readers looked past the too-good-to-be-true nature of the findings and devoured the story wholesale.
But Bohannon’s research was a hoax.
The health study was deliberately faked to test the hypothesis that scientists and reporters rarely detect junk science. No one caught on to this ruse.
Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
― Benjamin Franklin
Regards — Cliff