Not so Fats! How a Dieting Study Can Lead You Astray

Earlier this year, ran an article titled, “New Study Could be your Excuse to Eat that Epic Burger this Memorial Day”. According to this article, the “new study” means that you can take days off from your diet to eat high fat diets, so long as you eventually go back to your low fat diet, and not be any worse off. But let’s take a closer look at the facts of this study:

·         Mice on the high fat diet actually DID gain more weight, but the scientists decided to call it a comparable amount. Normal diet mice gained 5g, and alternating gained 8g. Is that truly a “similar” amount?

·         All mice got the SAME total amount of calories. The alternating diet mice just got fewer calories on their “normal days”

·         The mice on the high fat diet ended up gaining body fat and losing lean muscle. This means even if the mice stay the same weight with this diet method, they’ll become pudgier since a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle

·         The subjects were mice! Until something is tested with humans, we can’t know for sure that it extends to us.


Several of these things are mentioned as disclaimers at the bottom of the article, but the author still goes on to tell you to eat a (high-fat) burger.

As we talk about in our book, when you see these types of studies reported in the media, make sure you’re asking the right questions, and waiting to act until you have the answers.

In other words, don’t bite on every “new study” you see.