Junkfood Science: A cupcake for each of you

November 14, 2007

A cupcake for each of you

It’s Junkfood Science’s first birthday. While I can only share a cyber-cupcake with each of you in celebration, it comes with thanks and a note to let you know how terrific you all are! Readers have grown in numbers, without hit gimmicks or paid media connections, to nearly 1 million. We’re mere days away to the millionth reader.

Regular readers get what this blog is all about, too. It’s not trying to sell you anything; market some politician or agenda; promote some health and wellness program, diet or pill; or scare you. Of course, that’s the fastest, surest way to make one unpopular among all those who are. Despite what some may believe or claim, there is no money in the truth and speaking out for scientific integrity, either, which is probably why we so rarely hear it. But you deserve better than the nonstop “the sky is falling” drumbeat we get everywhere.

The junk out there has become so prolific that the science sounds positively fringe anymore... until we actually examine those studies for yourself. JFS is simply trying its best to help you question things you hear (regardless of their source or funding), and a few skills to think critically about the science so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from claims that aren’t sound and could hurt you, and so that you can live your life to the fullet. JFS is to help you recognize evidence-based information that you can trust and can use to make the most informed choices about your food, bodies and health.

That’s all this is all about. Thanks to all of you who get it and you really do! You demonstrate thinking and compassion every day as you discuss the articles you find here. Here is some of the feedback that you all have kindly shared:

[JFS] provides the kind of in-depth analysis that is becoming increasingly rare in the media.

Just when you thought you had something you understood...

[JFS] may well be the most accessible and clearly stated examinations of junk science and its impact on mainstream believes about health and medical care available right now.<

[JFS] brings to the table [a] devotion to objective science...We desperately need more voices speaking out for rational science.

>Sandy’s writing is firmly rooted in science and recognizes the misuse of research and pseudoscience in creating a false epidemic of obesity in order to sell products and services which, at best are useless, at worst are harmful and sometimes deadly. Hers is a voice of reason in the wilderness, and I can not recommend her too highly.

JFS is simply the best informative blog I've read in ages. The author can make scientific studies understandable without dumbing them down to the point that accuracy is lost.

A wealth of straight talking in a field where there is so much noise.

Everybody should read JFS each and every day for a sane, educated look at the kind of hysteria being generated by the media as well as well-funded official-sounding groups that are basically shills for companies like Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, bariatric surgery centers, and others who stand to profit mightily from these scare tactics.

God bless a rational voice in a stream of panic, drama and manipulation.

I cannot, cannot, CANNOT emphasize enough this website.... cuts through bullshit like a hot knife through butter. The more you read, the more you realize just how much everyone in this country is being fucking HOSED. Hosed, lied to, encouraged to panic, encouraged to throw as much cash as they possibly can at the massive weight-loss industry by the media and the government....Food is not your enemy. Fat is not your enemy. Your enemies are the people who want to make a buck off how well they can convince you you're bad, you're defective, you're wrong, you're unfit, you're unworthy. Defy them.

Pick of the week goes to Sandy (Can I buy a vowel?) Szwarc of JFS....She does what all responsible med-bloggers should do more often (present company included). Sandy looks at media reporting and public advocacy on health issues. She scrutinizes the original papers on which the media reporting and policy decisions are based. Then Sandy asks the crucial question: Does the evidence presented justify the conclusions reached by the media and public policy advocates? More often than not, when it comes to wars against obesity and environmental toxins, truth is the first casualty.

I love this woman's blog. Love it, love it, love it. You have to be one brave soul to contradict the medical and research establishments.

[JFS] is doing really important work in the fight against junk science as propaganda to sell body hate, and all the profit that goes along with it, to women.<

As someone who believes that fat people are not a scourge on the planet, and that food is a sign of our good fortune and should be respected and enjoyed in equal measures, it can be difficult to continue against the extremely body-negative, food-negative backdrop of nutrition....please keep writing for as long as you can. There is never going to be any headway made against size prejudice and health/food neuroticism unless there are people... who understand science and critical thinking... Grassroots activism is important, but I feel that in this situation, it's not enough, because we've got the monoliths of Official Science backing up all the small-time social bigots in their hatred and paranoia.

[JFS] has documented numerous cases in which scientific research has been misinterpreted or overblown to support the thesis that we are in the midst of a health crisis requiring drastic government intervention.

[JFS] is an important addition to the modest forces opposed to mass indoctrination with politically correct nonsense....The establishment media habitually take such evidence and, at a minimum, obfuscate so as not to contradict the prevailing belief system.

Sandy is a skeptic, a humanist in the best sense of the word, someone who writes with passion and compassion. I know that sounds like sentimental dreck but that's because it is sentimental dreck. I can pour the stuff on like frikken' Aunt Jemima syrup. Hey, this lady's the real deal. Her reportage concentrates on health policy, crappy sci-med reporting and body image/obesity concerns.

I am never more relieved or enraged in a week as when I read JFS... the passion ... gives me courage.

JFS, An Important Blog...focuses on the ways in which the media twists, misinterprets, or downright fabricates scientific research in order to promote its own agenda, particularly with issues surrounding weight. She tackles the growing trends of fat prejudice both here in the States and overseas and tries to help lead her readers toward a more balanced view of health and medicine. Basically, she rocks my world, and I want to bring her blog to the attention of as many people as possible.

[JFS] takes a hard look at the fucking bullshit being flung at America regarding food and obesity.

An invaluable resource for all of us trying to spread the word about how ridiculously overblown the fears about obesity and food are in this culture. She does yeoman work debunking quackery, questionable science, and fearmongering by the media.

Great research and posts are well thought out, well presented, and feel that they truly come from the heart. Thank you for sharing all of your hard work and efforts to enlighten and educate.

Sandy Szwarc does what I cannot do in the field of medicine, and that is shine a light of pure, blinding logic to the world of medicine and health, specifically in tearing apart what the research does and does not say. Sandy, if you're reading, please know you have a huge fan here who reads you every day.

As a little balance, have a look at some figures from someone who does not immediately press the panic button.

Not only does it contain the latest research on nutrition, but it is also is an object lesson about how the media and activist organizations distort or ignore research to serve pre-determined ends.

Trying to do my part ot advocate for Junkfood Science as an essential read in the battle against ignorance and hype that engulfs us everyday.

Sandy is the first real voice for scientific truth about food, health, our bodies, and “obesity” since the ground-breaking work done by the Fat Underground in the early 1970’s, and the exposes she writes are extremely threatening to the powers that be.

Above everyone else, she can see the implications of what's going on and also what is needed to combat it. She hits the nail on the head every time. [JFS] is truly the only voice of sanity and clarity in the darkness. For those of us who are trying to survive in an increasingly hostile environment, she is our only lifeline... We now have the sword of factual science as a weapon.

Read the whole thing and read regularly. It's good for your health!

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