Few people on television today stand up for liberal ideals as stoutly as John Oliver. So you know when he does a segment touting the flaws in “scientific studies” something must really be suspect in the world of research papers.
But to be fair, as you’ll find out watching the video above, the problem isn’t entirely with science (though the science world certainly deserves some of the blame); it mainly has to do with the media. The media (full disclosure, I’m a part of that whole thing) doesn’t just want “good” science; they want “exciting” science – big headlines that will get people talking.
The food world is no exception. Oliver cites a number of examples where food journalists went gaga over studies touting the health benefits of things like red wine, champagne and chocolate. The problem is obvious: If you search your heart, you’ll probably realize that eating chocolate every day won’t turn your life around and that drinking a glass of red wine a day is fine, but probably not a panacea.
But come on, is that what you want to think about or do you want someone to tell you that drinking nine cups of coffee everyday will make you 50 percent more likely to have sex with an underwear model? Has anyone looked into that yet? No? I think I’ve got a PhD to go apply for.