'Slimming chocolate' study fools the world's media

Printed in the Daily Mail and Daily Express and other 'respected' newspapers in Germany, India, USA and Australia - so much for journalistic research.

A miracle study received significant worldwide media coverage after finding that people following a low-carbohydrate diet lost weight 10% faster if they ate one chocolate bar every day. The problem? The real aim of the study was to see how easy it would be to get bad science into the news. cont/d in link.


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19 Replies

  • Ethically questionable, I'd suggest. No matter how gullible the media were.

  • Helvella, quite, as there is no likelihood of alerting readers to the falsity of the research. Ably demonstrates the lack of journalistic rigour in researching stuff they're spoon fed though.

  • lol! - preying on all the chocoholics...

    luckily I'm immune!

    they'll be saying fat is good for you next... wait...they have & it is!

  • Oh & significantly doctoring data to be plausible!

  • Jane, it was to prove that journalists aren't fact checking and are willing to report bad science as fact.

  • Chocolate should be free on the NHS for the sanity of women and safety for men....IMHO! :-))! x

  • I don't really like chocolate, but all the men I know well do.

  • Angel, if it's ever rationed I'll be your bestie if I can have your chocolate.

  • LOL! Deal.

  • From your mouth to Jeremy Hunt's ear, Polly :-D

  • Heehee! Oh yes!!

  • Thanks Clutter. Just think how easy it is for the big pharmaceutical companies to get their rigged research into the media.

  • Chlorophyle, that was the point of the deception, to prove journalists aren't doing their homework and research before accepting and publishing dodgy science. Sadly it worked.

  • Yes, I watched a documentary about this the other day. It showed how they set up the trials and how they doctored the data. Three groups of about 7 people, I believe, and how they measured them all and weighed them, etc - they didn't have the foggiest idea what they were doing, but put white coats on to make it look scientific. And all the participants trusted them because they had white coats on. After only three weeks, they carfully doctored the data to make it 'prove' what they wanted it to prove, and then found it rediculously easy to get published.

    It may sound like a cruel joke, but it didn't actually harm anyone - unlike some of the so-called scientifically 'proved' theories out there, like salt being bad for you - and they did it to show how you can't really trust any so-called 'science'. Because the science is only as good as the people interpreting it. And you can prove anything you want with statistics. It should make us all more wary about what we believe. And that includes all 'medical professionals', too!

  • GG, I know why they did it and it demonstrates nicely how rubbish can be disseminated. Totally agree re statistics manipulation.

  • I know you know. lol I was just talking about the documentary which explained all that, and more.

  • Could even be true ;-) - lots of magnesium in chocolate so it might suppress cravings for other foods.

  • I'd better go and get some chocolate anyway just in case it turns out to be true after all.

  • Eeng, yes, you must to look after your health ;)

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