Have a Coke and a Smile


Remember that study from a few weeks back that reportedly said that women who drank soda pop got fat and developed diabetes from their cola jones?

Well, it's all media spin that was abetted by the study's authors, says the invaluable Steven Milloy of Junkscience.com in the Washington Times. In fact, the study

reports women who consistently drank one or more regular soft drinks per day during those four years actually gained slightly less weight than women who consistently drank less than one soda weekly in that period.

More interestingly, Milloy points out that one of the coauthors was involved in a 2003 study that contradicted the new study. Curiously, that 2003 study goes unmentioned in the new one.

Whole thing here.

Update: Tim Lambert of the blog Deltoid writes to tell me that it's Milloy who's full of junk science. In a post on the matter, he takes issue with Milloy's characterization of the study and also writes

Milloy even accuses the authors of "scientific misconduct" for not mentioning another study that Milloy alleges contradicts their results. But that other study was not about soft drink consumption but about overall sugar consumption. The new study suggests that consuming sugar in a drink where it is more rapidly absorbed may increase the risk of diabetes. This is hardly contradicted by results that suggest that sugar intake including that in solid food is not a risk factor.

Whole thing here. Lambert also points to this critique at Crooked Timber of Humanity, which includes an interesting thread including comments from Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings.

Even More Update:
Here's a Tech Central Station piece by Jon Robison that slams the JAMA study. A snippet:

A closer look at the findings shows that even the proposed associations between the variables are questionably weak at best. After correcting for confounding factors, the relative risk of developing diabetes in women drinking the greatest vs. the least amount of sugar-sweetened beverages was 1.32. Epidemiologists generally agree that relative risks less than 2 should be ignored or at least viewed with extreme skepticism, particularly when there is conflicting research available.

Whole thing here.