Healthy Whole Grains? – 180 Degree Health
The Biggest Flaw of All
It’s bad enough when researchers cherry-pick the epidemiological evidence that appears to support their thesis, but the biggest problem of all with Burkitt’s fibre theory is that it was embraced and accepted as fact by health authorities before randomized clinical trials were conducted to test its veracity. These trials should have been conducted and analysed before health authorities began subjecting us to an endless stream of whole-grain propaganda, and before clueless book authors, journalists and other assorted health ‘experts’ began bombarding us with politically correct but scientifically untenable admonitions to eat more whole-grains.
But they didn’t. When Burkitt’s co-author Neil Painter published a paper in 1982 with the audacious title “Diverticular disease of the colon. The first of the Western diseases shown to be due to a deficiency of dietary fibre”, he should have been met with a flurry of criticism highlighting the fact that neither diverticulitis nor any other disease had ever been “shown” to be due to a “deficiency” of dietary fibre. But he wasn’t. Instead, the pseudoscientific theory he crafted with Burkitt was accepted in dolt-like fashion, with virtually no objective and critical analysis, by the same unthinking mainstream that brought us the cholesterol theory of heart disease, the glorification of trans fat-laden margarines and linoleate-rich refined oils, and the pseudoscientific superstition against red meat. Some researchers did point out the flaws in Burkitt and Painter’s hypothesis, but were largely ignored. Never one to learn from their mistakes, ‘prestigious’ health authorities, as well as the researchers, medical personnel, journalists and popular book authors who blindly accepted their edicts, embraced yet another useless dietary theory with no foundation in sound science.
Which is yet another massive problem with modern-day dietary and health ‘experts’: They have a hopeless obsession with data from epidemiological studies. They accept the statistical associations in these studies at face value, as if they were causal. Along with the pervasive and untoward influence of financially vested interests, the modern obsession with epidemiology is a major reason why modern dietary recommendations and primary prevention of chronic disease are of such appalling inefficacy.