Monday, June 2, 2008

Stone age attitude to nutrition research?

There was a lot of interest last week in the story suggesting that a 'Stone age' diet is good for your heart. The study, by the Karolinska Institute, was criticised on the NHS Choices site for being relatively small with a high drop-out rate. Indeed, says the site, 'complete data' was available for only six people. None of which was in the media, of course, who were mainly interested in printing pix of Raquel Welch.

Now I like this section of the NHS site and I'm all in favour of the public knowing exactly what research is behind the headline. We bang on about this a lot of malehealth too. But in this case, while the research may not have been great the science behind it is worth considering. An exclusively caveman style diet would deprive you of key nutrients like calcium so while we wouldn't advocate that but keeping your diet simple with plenty of fresh food is good for you - and you could come away from the NHS Choices thinking this is no more than a fad diet. The problem with such a diet is that it is cheap, easy and does nothing for the profits of the greedy fast-food and processed foods industry. The government has frequently been accused of pandering to big business. Don't tell me they'd doing this in their nutrition advice too.

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