I've been wondering who forms the Institute of Medicine. You know, those same guys who want Pay for Performance for doctors and want to rid the world of all those 5 gazillion annual medical errors out there, lurking around every corner: the same guys cited by credible sources in the Halls of Congress, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Associated Press.
I think I found it. I was just trying to learn about chocolate chip cookies for your high cholesterol. "Bravo!" I thought, "I can't wait until my obese, diabetic patients bring me a bag of these."
But before you go out and buy them, look a bit closer. The study referenced was in a whopping 33 patients and was reported in the Journal of Nutrition. (I could not find mention of conflicts of interest of the authors either, but I digress). Now, if one looks at the nutritional value of just 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, one can see that those little chocolate chips represent 80 calories, 40 of which are from the 4.5 grams of fat, over half of which (2.5 grams) are saturated fats. Blood cholesterol levels, my friends, are closely related to the amount of saturated fat in one's diet.
So to find that the "study" cookies had 6 grams of fat per cookie (1.9g saturated) and the "placebo" cookie had 7.6 grams of fat (2.2g saturated) was quite a surprise. Now I don't know about you, but shouldn't the placebo cookie have had the same amount of fat? What a clever way to skew the results!
Now, if these guys were really about lowering cholesterol, they'd leave out the chocolate chips, but that might make the cookies taste like cardboard. But given the study was sponsored by RD Foods, the study cookie's manufacturer, one shouldn't be surprised. It seems, too, that one of the authors, John H. Contois, was from Liposcience, Inc. of Raleigh, NC. Interesting that Liposcience's chairman of the board, Charles A Sanders, MD is also a member of the infamous Institute of Medicine that makes all the proclamations about "errors" in medicine.
I wonder if the Institute of Medicine ever considered the errors they help promote in healthcare when their members' companies support these "studies" with pure profit motives.