When studies collide, yes, no, maybe!

Again I don’t know if a  low-carb diet is good or a low-fat one when it comes to weight loss.

Published: 16th June 2020 07:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2020 07:15 AM   |  A+A-

Illustration , Tapas Ranjan

Express News Service

BENGALURU: I was sipping my morning cuppa of hot tea when my eyes stopped at the news – Tea is not good for your heart. Just the other day a study told me it was good for the heart. And I am a tea-totaller – drink only tea. Now I am confused – is tea good or bad?

Again I don’t know if a  low-carb diet is good or a low-fat one when it comes to weight loss. For you have contradicting studies. Or maybe I should stop eating? Or weight and watch and not rely on any ‘scientific’ study? Even experts say that we can take some studies with a healthy dose of scepticism.

I find that health and diet studies don’t agree on anything. For that matter even health experts don’t seem to see eye to eye. Everyone is contradicting everyone else. More so when it comes to the novel coronavirus. The pandemic doesn’t have to be this confusing. First and foremost, did the virus pop out of a lab or a bat? The answer is yes and no to both. It depends on whose opinion you agree with!Confounding the confusion, US President Donald Trump added his own bit on March 27. He said: “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.”

In a pandemic which is novel to all, experts at least agree that it is a virus called SARS-CoV-2 that is related to the original SARS virus. Both are members of the coronavirus family. This piece of information doesn’t really reassure me in anyway, not when I am told my life is at risk.No one is telling me why only some people contract it while others don’t. Exactly how transmissible and deadly is the virus? What are the symptoms? Dare I cough, sneeze? Now sore throat and muscle pain are included. Every time I read about the symptoms, I feel I have all of them. There are studies and studies telling one thing or the other and there are studies and studies contradicting them. Perhaps the virus knows how it should behave.

Do we have to wear a mask or not? If we do, then for how long? Again health studies give contradicting opinions. While one study says a mask will not really protect one from the virus, the latest study says widespread use of the mask will help control the spread of the virus. I hope the mask knows what it is supposed to do.

Whenever I look for information, I see a new study contradicting the previous one. Scientists keep telling us that findings are always subject to change when new evidence emerges. I understand all that. Meanwhile, I am sure I am confused!Let me be very clear. I am not saying research studies are a waste of time and money. But a few years ago I saw most newspapers splashing this news: ‘Women are more intelligent than men!’, according to an international research study. Does it really make sense to spend billions of dollars or pounds and state the obvious?  Contradicting study? What is that?


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