Sunday, May 17, 2009

Probiotics and post-pregnancy obesity

This is another in Sandy's occasional "bird cage" series.
These cover "studies" that are so badly conducted and which have such rubbishy findings that all they are good for is to line the bottom of a bird cage.
Not that it stopped the press release issued by the authors getting covered by almost 250,000 news stories around the world.
And once in the hands of the media there was the usual claim inflation - probiotics went from "may help ward off" post partem obesity to "can reduce," then do "cut belly fat" before finally getting to "could spell end to need for obesity treatment."
But it's all bullshit.
You can read Sandy's detailed deconstruction of the study and its claims at Junkfood Science: Science says isn’t always what science found, but in a nutshell, the group of women given probiotics weighed less than the other women to begin with and there was no difference in weight gained or lost between any of the groups one year after delivery.
She does note that the authors and the university concerned had already taken out a patent for their bogus treatment that claims to cure all manner of things, so their press release was all about marketing a product, not science.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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