Candice Choi has written an interesting article for the Associated Press entitled “Candy Coated Science.” In her article she explains how food companies shape nutrition research. She describes a scientific paper, funded by trade associations representing the makers of Butterfingers, Hershey, and Skittles. Their findings were startling. Children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don’t.
Needless to say, the study was biased and flawed, but this article shows just how widespread the problem has become. As I have said before, it is hard to know what to believe. The amount of information in the media is tremendous. Research is almost always biased. A study supporting your cause can always be generated. This is a major problem for the consumer. It is also a problem for physicians as patients have read that this supplement, food or product will work miracles. Placebos and belief systems play a role in health, but the situation explained by Choi is rampant and a real problem in the healthcare world.
Where can a person get information they can trust? We hope Heartwise Ministries is a place you can go for a balanced approach. When I look at a claim, I try to look at all the information available and then let the individual decide what is the best course of action in their individual situation. I also use the scriptures to help guide my recommendations. As more information becomes available, recommendations may need to change. The body is complex. Isolated findings are difficult to interpret but easy to market to the consumer.
So many people want a quick fix or a miracle cure. We now, more than ever, need to question everything. We need to look for withheld results. We need to know who paid for the study not necessarily who performed the study. We need to look for reliable information and find trusted sources. I admit this is getting harder and harder to do, but I applaud Candice Choi for writing the article. It is up to us to ask questions and find reliable sources that have withstood the test of time. Consider using the scriptures to help you when making healthcare decisions.