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Is Intermittent Fasting Bad for Your Health?

 

 

In the realm of health studies, one topic that has sparked considerable debate is the association between time-restricted eating (TRE) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recently, a study based on NHANES data analysis attempted to shed light on this issue. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that the study's conclusions may not be as conclusive as they initially appear.

The study in question, rather than being based on clinical trials, relies on retrospective analysis of NHANES data collected between 2008 and 2013. This dataset includes self-reported food intake information, which, as many would agree, is prone to inaccuracies and inconsistencies. The very nature of food questionnaires, which ask individuals to recall their dietary habits over extended periods, introduces a significant degree of uncertainty into the findings.

Moreover, the methodology employed in this study raises serious questions about its validity. Researchers extrapolated the practice of TRE from data points that were not originally intended for such analysis. This approach not only lacks scientific rigor but also fails to account for confounding variables that may influence the observed outcomes. The reliance on hazard ratios (HR) as a measure of association further complicates matters, particularly when the calculated HR falls below the threshold considered statistically significant.

In essence, while the study purports to link TRE with an increased risk of CVD, its methodology and conclusions warrant skepticism. The Bradford Hill Criteria, a widely accepted framework for establishing causality, emphasizes the need for robust evidence before drawing definitive conclusions. In the case of this study, the HR values fail to meet the criteria for meaningful association, let alone causation.

 

REFERENCES:

Brooks, Megan. “Intermittent Fasting Linked to Higher CVD Death Risk.” Medscape, Medscape, 19 Mar. 2024, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/intermittent-fasting-linked-higher-cvd-death-risk-2024a1000559?form=fpf

Stanton, Angela A. “Intermittent Fasting and CVD???” Clueless Doctors & Scientists, 21 Mar. 2024, cluelessdoctors.com/2024/03/20/intermittent-fasting-and-cvd/.

 

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