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Stupid Science Tricks

"I had a dream de odder night,
When ebery ting was still;
I thought I saw Susanna,
A coming down de hill.
The buckwheat cake war in her mouth,
The tear was in her eye,
Says I, I'm coming from de South,
Susanna, don't you cry."
- Stephen Foster, 1848

Scientist Susanna Larsson is an idiot.
I am being kind.

There is a word I wished to insert in front of the word "idiot" but did not as this is a family column. Instead, I use the G-rated version and call her a "flaming" idiot instead.

Last week, American newspaper editors were infected with Dairy Industry press releases reporting that the consumption of skim milk results in a decreased risk of strokes.

This past weekend, that cancerous lie metastacized within the media and will be passed on to naive newspaper and television watchers & readers who will then infect their children with disinformation from which they might never recover.

The actual study was published in the journal Stroke.
***Stroke. 2012 Apr 19***

"Dairy Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Swedish Women and Men" by Dr. Susanna Larsson

In the spirit of "Lies, Damned lies, and statistics"
(Disraeli), doctor (and I use the term lightly) Larsson reviewed data from 74,961 Swedish men and women who had completed a 96-item food questionnaire and followed these subjects for 10.2 years.

Dr. Larsson then concluded:

"These results suggest that low-fat dairy consumption is inversely associated with the risk of stroke."

The result of her study conclusion which has been reprinted by hundreds of American newspapers and is now being heralded by the dairy industry:

"Low Fat Milk Prevents Strokes"

Why do I call this woman an idiot?

Four reasons!

First Reason:

In May of 2009 Epidemiology: Volume 20, pp 355-360)

Oh, Susanna Larsson concluded the opposite of what she'd conclude just three yars later in today's study:

"These findings suggest that intake of certain dairy  foods may be associated with risk of stroke."
Second Reason:

Oh, Susanna Larsson is stroke crazy. She has found a cash cow in comparing strokes to everything and coming up with absurd statistical conclusions.

Like secret service agents working (undercover) in Columbia, she is more than ready, willing, and able to assist the local economy.

In 2011 (Stroke; 2011; 42: 908-912), she used her talents to assist the coffee industry. Although coffee/caffeine have long been implicated in strokes, Oh, Susanna used the same data pool as she did in the above experiment and instead of using data from 74,961 subjects, used data from only 34,670 human lab-rats (for 10.4 years instead of the 10.2 years  of the above experiment) and (don't laugh) concluded:

"These findings suggest that low or no coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of stroke in women."

In Israel, they sing, "Oy Vey, Susanna, now don't you cowpoop me, cause I come from Tel Aviv, with a banjo on my knee."
Third Reason:

In October of 2011, Oh, Susanna published a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claiming that women who eat two or more chocolate candy bars each week have fewer incidences of strokes than women who do not consume the theobromine contained in chocolate.
Got Methyl Xanides?
The fourth reason?

I have sent Dr. Oh, Susanna Larsson four separate requests by email for her data comparing those who used NO dairy to strokes. On four separate occasions she has ignored my requests. The actual study is not yet available in online journal-form so I must wait.

Perhaps she will answer you if you come bearing dollars as the dairy, coffee, and chocolate industry are capable of doing. Please do not share this woman's email with members of Obama's secret service detail. They do not have the dollars necessary to pay the traditional fee and will only insult Susanna by negotiating a below-market price for her services.
Dr. Larsson's email:

What's next? I suppose that she'll soon compare cerebral strokes to golf strokes and conclude that there are different strokes for different folks and that if you shoot par, you will not be assigned a penalty stroke.

Robert Cohen

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