I think this is precisely how the paleo sphere needs this type of study done. The paleo lifestyle can only be used to generation of hypothesis but it cant be used to make statements of cause and effect because the paleo diet great effects are all based upon observational data culled from anthropologic data and epidemiologic data. I think Robb's podcast number 68 should be required listening for anyone who is really paleo in their thinking and habits. They need to understand the limits of what our current literature supports. The quality of paleo literature is quite poor. It needs to be culled into responsible science. This is why most writings on the paleo diet really are logical fallacies while N-1 studies are not. Many people on here down n-1 data but they readily believe and advocate complete observational data that cant be generalized either because of how poorly they were done scientifically. They are case studies that cant be generalized but if you have enough n-1 studies done and can collect them then you suddenly have power to make bigger statements than what was made in this recent article on the Mediterrean diet. What say you hackers?
asked byThe_Quilt (25472)
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on April 20, 2011
at 09:59 PM
If we did something like that with self-purported "paleo/primal" dieters that would certainly give the mainstream something to think long and hard about, although it does have its limitations.
When you take a population of people eating a particular type of diet and look at health outcomes you can never really say anything definitive about the impact of that lifestyle on health in all cases because it always seems to equivocate between many different interpretations of that type of diet and includes other factors. Melissa over there says that she doesn't really eat a lot of muscle meat whereas some people live off of the stuff. Some eat brains and liver and some eat canned tuna, etc. It is quite possible to run into a few nutrient-deficiencies on a paleo diet if one isn't paying attention and on the other hand some people do things that impact their health completely unrelated to the diet itself - the so-called "health-consciousness factor". Take a low fat study, a Mediterranean diet study and a Paleo study and compare them, and instantly you will get advocate of all 3 complaining that the average study participant did those diets wrong. What a headache.
But would I be down for that? Absolutely. If we can show that paleos tend to be head and shoulders over the average person then more people will enter the community and hopefully add to it and benefit from it. What we could say is that for a great many people paleo is positive.