Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Newmark Rebuts Economics Haters

The complaint is often made against economics . . .

. . . that there's little science in economics because economists often disagree and because our predictions are sometimes inaccurate.
My question: what about at least some medical research?
"New theory of Alzheimer's explains drug failures".
Plaques may be good, not bad, researchers say.
You are not going to want to read this: chocolate cannot be relied upon as a source of antioxidants to boost cardiovascular health. But it gets worse: drinking coffee and red wine in the hope it will prevent heart disease doesn't work either.
New research shows that far from protecting us, antioxidant supplements, such as vitamins C and E, may actually increase the chance of developing cancer.
And the Mother of all medical/health misconceptions, causing huge harm for three decades-- "Carbs against Cardio: More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart".
Speaking of the red wine studies, the problem is selection bias. A metastudy (sorry, don't have it on me) found that in most of the studies that find an effect, the control group are reformed alcoholics who no longer drink. Thus, people who have just a glass or two occasionally are in better health than former addicts. Big surprise. The studies that compare a glass or two to teetotalers find no such effect.

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