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Never take media reports about nutrition studies at face value

In a rather startling recent study published in JAMA, the researchers concluded that ” higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner” which translated to meaning that the more eggs you eat, the greater your risk of heart disease, strokes, and premature death.

And that’s what the media dutifully reported although I am sure that very few reporters actually took the time to look at the data or to read the finer print in this report because if they had, they would have reported that there was no way the researchers could blame eggs alone for these results since they also reported that a lot of the egg-eaters were also – very unsurprisingly – eating a lot of processed meat (say hell to bacon, sausage, and ham) as well as other meats (say hello to steaks and burgers).

Now I know the researchers claim they adjust for such factors and they can still lay the blame on eggs for these results, but common sense alone will tell you that there is really no good way they can do that.

In other words, it’s obvious to anyone who has ever sat inside a Denny’s that people who eat a lot of eggs, even those who only eat some eggs, have a significantly different nutritional profile (many egg and bacon-eaters have a different profile altogether) than people who avoid eggs and there is no real way in an observational study to tease out those differences and lay the blame for any adverse outcome at the (chicken?) feet of only one food.

As for me, I will continue to order scrambled eggs for every hotel breakfast (no hotel short-order cook can screw up an egg order and even if they do, they will instantly re-make the order), make omelets for me and Phyllis at least once and often twice a week, add eggs to my hamburgers, and add perfectly hard-boiled eggs to some of my salads.

And if I do die a week before I would have otherwise, that’s a price I am gladly willing to pay for the absolute joy that eggs add to my diet.

As you can see, I’m no chicken.

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