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General

Saturday Stories: Kareem Abdul-Jabber Edition

Posted October 9, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his own substack Kareem.Substack.com with two stories about vaccination and the NBA.
The first on why LeBron is wrong to support hesitancy
And the second on Andrew Wiggins’ whining about getting vaccinated.
   &#1…

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Energy

How Exxon Is Using an Unusual Law to Intimidate Critics Over its Climate Denial

Posted January 18, 2022 by guest

By Chris McGreal, The Guardian. This story was originally published by The Guardian, and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate crisis. xxonMobil is attempting to use an unusual Texas law to target and intimidate its critics, claiming that lawsuits against the company over its long […]

The post How Exxon Is Using an Unusual Law to Intimidate Critics Over its Climate Denial appeared first on DeSmog.

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International travel
General

Where Can Vaccinated Canadians Travel?

Posted July 1, 2021 by Ben

Most Canadians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Consequently, Canadians are starting to think about international travel again, and are beginning to research possible vacation destinations. This leads to the question, which countries can a fully vaccinated Canadian visit? As of July 2021, Canadian citizens who have received two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or […]

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Exercise

2021’s Dumbest Scientifically Published Exercise Recommendation For The Treatment Of Obesity

Posted November 11, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

[First written blog post since March 2020. What an awful 20 months. Though the pandemic is certainly not over yet, it feels like it’s time to start writing again. Not sure what the frequency of posts will be, but it’s nice to be back]I wouldn’t have be…

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General

Today’s news: frustration and sadness in our hospitals

Posted September 24, 2021 by Anonymous

COVID here in Saskatchewan is horrible, and I am deeply angry — first, at the thousands of unvaccinated-by-choice who are to blame for this mess, and second, at the politicians who pandered to them. 

I wonder if provincial politicians like Jason Kenney in Alberta and Scott Moe in Sask now understand that people died because they took the cowardly way. 
Here’s a chart showing Sask statistics for the last year:

Surgeries and other hospital treatment across Saskatchewan have now been cancelled and we have even stopped doing organ transplants.

Back to the election — I think the final results in several of the seats that were too close to call on election night have been reported tonight, with the counting of mail-in ballots. But I haven’t been able to find anything yet showing a summary of the final results — the Liberals have picked up a couple of seats just tonight, I think, and the NDP seem to be up 2 in Alberta. I think the Liberals are totalling around 160 seats, but I’m not sure yet.

It was, by the way, a 62% turnout – not the highest since 2000, but not the lowest either. 
The recriminations are continuing as the losing parties try to explain their loss. 

I saw this Frank Graves tweet tonight:

In other news, each year the US Fish and Wildlife Service has an art competition and last year the Trumpers decided that all of the bird artists had to include hunters and guns in their artwork. 

So they did:

Another funny one:

Ahhhh

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General

Saturday Stories: Treating The Unvaccinated, Omicron, And Mildness

Posted December 11, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Steven Novella, in Science Based Medicine, on why we cannot and should not withhold medical care from the unvaccinated. 
Sarah Zhang, in The Atlantic, on why Omicron’s explosive growth is so concerning. 
Andrew Pekosz, in The New York Times,…

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General

Why we need to hear The Story Of January 6

Posted October 10, 2021 by Anonymous

Here in a nutshell is The Story Of January 6 — an impressive summary by Huff Post White House correspondent S.V. Date describing what happened in the Trump Insurrection:This is what Americans need to be told about, every day, every speech, from B…

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Energy

Why Words Matter in the Fight Against Climate Change

Posted January 19, 2022 by guest

By Tara Lohan, The Revelator. This story originally appeared in The Revelator and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. Do we generate energy from windmills or wind turbines? Your answer could say a lot about your views on climate change, explains Genevieve Guenther. Guenther used to be an English […]

The post Why Words Matter in the Fight Against Climate Change appeared first on DeSmog.

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General

When Will USA Border Open to Canadians?

Posted August 25, 2021 by Ben

On August 9th 2021, Canada opened its border to all fully vaccinated Americans allowing tourists from the United States to visit the country once again. The US border remains closed to Canadians, however, and American authorities recently extended the border closure until September 21st citing COVID-19 transmission rates south of the border as well as […]

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General

Saturday Stories: Aaron Rodgers, Vaccine Passports, And Doctors’ Vaccinations

Posted November 13, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in his substack, on the damage Aaron Rodgers has wrought on professional sports as a whole. Arthur Shaffer, interviewed in Healthy Debates, on the ethics and legalities of vaccine passports. Andrew McRae and Andreas Laup…

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General

Today’s news: great news X 2

Posted September 25, 2021 by Anonymous

First, The Michaels are coming home.

We’re finished with Meng Wanzhou too:

Second, the Canadian catholic bishops are stepping up to take responsibility for residential school abuse — unfortunately this story has been overshadowed tonight by the Michaels news, but a really significant story overall:

And now I’m thinking maybe Pope Francis was active behind the scenes:

Its Corn Maze season, too:

There’s nothing that people can’t turn into an art form:

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General

Twas the night before a Covid Christmas!

Posted December 17, 2021 by Anonymous

 As seen on Facebook:A Covid ChristmasTwas the night before Christmas, but Covid was here,So we all had to stay extra cautious this year.Our masks were all hung by the chimney with careIn case Santa forgot his and needed a spare.With Covid, we cou…

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General

Time for some funny stuff!

Posted October 13, 2021 by Anonymous

I loved these:

And this one was so sweet it broke twitter – it got 700K likes:

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Energy

Over 450 Climate Scientists Say Advertising Industry Must End ‘Complicity’ in Climate Crisis

Posted January 21, 2022 by Anonymous

On Wednesday, a group of more than 450 scientists called on advertising agencies to cut off their fossil fuel clients and to end their ties with an ongoing misinformation campaign that has time and again killed progress on addressing the climate crisis.  In a joint letter, the scientists say that they are “consistently faced with […]

The post Over 450 Climate Scientists Say Advertising Industry Must End ‘Complicity’ in Climate Crisis appeared first on DeSmog.

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General

Saturday Stories: The Next Variant, Long-Haulers, And Waning Immunity

Posted September 4, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Olivia Goldhill, in STAT, on the race against the next worse variant.
Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on how COVID long haulers are everyone’s problem.
Katherine J. Wu, in The Atlantic, with why you likely need not worry too much about your waning immunity….

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General

Today’s news: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

Posted November 13, 2021 by Anonymous

John Cleese seems to have morphed into the angry establishment figure of ridicule he played in sketches.— Chris Kehoe (@MrKehoe79) November 13, 2021 John Cleese, Morrissey and JK Rowling walk into a bar.And the bartender says “the home for aging disap…

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General

Saturday Stories: Our Biggest Failing, Anti-Vaxxers’ Ongoing Radicalization, And Breakthrough Infectiousness

Posted September 25, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

James Heathers, with a rare must read recommendation, in Medium, on how our biggest failing of the pandemic has been keeping it invisible. Ben Collins, in NBC News, on the rapid continuing radicalization of the anti-vaxxer movementCraig Spencer, …

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General

Saturday Story: Ed Yong on Omicron

Posted December 18, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Ed Yong, the best science journalist of this pandemic, in the Atlantic, discusses Omicron and how we’re definitely not ready for it. It’s so good it’s the only story I’m posting this week. 
      Related StoriesSatur…

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General

Saturday Stories: Nazi Analogies, They’re Not Just Numbers, And Who Are The Unvaccinated

Posted October 16, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Arthur Caplan, in The Cancer Letter, on how Nazi analogies (and more specifically Vinay Prasad’s) regarding COVID are imbecilic, ignorant, and dangerous.Marie-Danielle Smith, in MacLeans, with the story of a family of 3 who like all of those we’ve los…

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General

Saturday Stories: Treating the Unvaccinated, Will Omicron Hasten Immunity, And Airborne COVID

Posted January 22, 2022 by Yoni Freedhoff

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on why it’s a terrible idea not to treat the unvaccinated.
Katherine J. Wu, also in The Atlantic, on whether Omicron infections will translate into widespread immunity.
The Agenda, with a great segment on how COVID is airborn…

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General

Saturday Stories: Ending Respiratory Illnesses, Collapsing Medical Systems, And Sick Societies

Posted September 11, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Sarah Zhang, in The Atlantic, on putting an end to all respiratory viruses (not just COVID)
Vishal Khetpal, in Slate, on the collapse of the American medical system.
Jay S. Kaufman, in The New York Times, explains how sick societies trump science and …

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General

The World Health Organization, For #WorldDiabetesDay, Chose Fat Shaming And Stigmatization

Posted November 16, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Where to start with this?

First off there are more than 2 types of diabetes (I mean even the tweet lists 3), but really, recognizing World Diabetes Day with an infographic of a person with obesity in bare feet on a Lazy-Boy eating a giant bag of chips? 

That’s certainly the gluttonous sloth narrative that much of society subscribes to, but the WHO? 
And yes, weight, diet, and physical activity correlate with diabetes risk, but for the WHO to dumb things down to people with type 2 diabetes are fat, lazy, gluttons? The mind boggles.
Never mind genetics, social determinants of health (including poverty, education, caregiving requirements, etc), co-morbid medical conditions, and more, the actual World Health Organization on World Diabetes Day, is stating if you have type 2 diabetes, it’s your fault.
This of course also ignores the fact that there is just a staggering amount of privilege required to intentionally and permanently prioritize behaviour change around food and fitness in the name of health, and of course denies the reality of the thousands of genes and hormones known to be involved in the regulation of weight and dietary choices. 
Perhaps this will serve as an opportunity for the WHO to take a closer look at weight and diabetes bias and stigma and focus some resources to help educate the world on the dangers and risks therein. For over 24 hours, they’d simply added a tweet to their offensive, misguided, and erroneous thread stating they’ll take into account the feedback they’ve received in future messaging, then yesterday afternoon, they finally took it down. Here’s hoping we see a thread about implicit and explicit bias from the WHO down the road

[Also, it’s that time of year again, and should any of you want to donate to my Movember fundraising (am just over halfway to goal!), here’s the link]

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General

Today’s news: maybe the Jan 6 insurrection actually messed up the plan?

Posted September 27, 2021 by Anonymous
 Here’s an important new story about what was supposed to happen on Jan 6:

I have been saying for months that the FBI and the Justice Department should have been holding regular briefings to explain to the American people what happened on Jan 6. 

They haven’t been doing it, and now Americans are either forgetting what happened, or thinking it was really no big deal, yada yada yada. 
But today’s news from Sydney Powell really does help explain for the first time what I always found to be the most inexplicable thing about that day: why was Trump trying so hard to delay the certification for a few hours or a day? What on earth was the point?
Remember all the stories about Rudy phoning Senator Tommy Tuberville to plead with him to throw up roadblocks to Senate certification?  Remember the goofy idea of getting the House and Senate reps from six states to demand the House and Senate each have 2-hour debates on each state certification, which would have turned the process into an all day marathon and might well have adjourned it until the next day? 
I could never understand why they were trying to play these games with the certification – what was the sense anyway?. 
In the end, it didn’t work. Yes, the House and Senate members for Arizona and Pennsylvania did force the extra debates for these states. But then, before the assembly could consider Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada, the insurrectionists had invaded the Capitol buildings and everyone ran for their lives.  After that, when Pence and Pelosi reconvened later that evening, the mood had changed – lawmakers were spooked and no longer had any appetite for games and delays. So only the two states were debated and each vote was handled as quickly as they could. Everybody stayed until 3 am and finally Biden was declared president. 
And after it was all over, I did wonder: What on earth was the point of the game-playing? Why were they trying so hard just to delay the inevitable for a day or two? 
Now we find out why – Trump thought if they could delay the Biden certification until Jan 7, then Supreme Court Justice Alito would have time to overturn the problematic state certifications and then Republican state legislatures could throw the election to Trump.
 ….Powell’s interview “suggests that the purpose of the insurrection was to DELAY the electoral college certification to give [Justice Samuel Alito] time to intervene on this legal challenge. But, Powell says they didn’t anticipate Pelosi reconvening Congress that day.” 
 Powell said that while then-President Donald Trump was inciting a riot at the Capitol, her team was filing a “12th Amendment constitutional challenge to the process the Congress was about to use.”
 “Justice Alito was our circuit justice for that,” she recalled. “And we were suing the vice president to follow the 12th Amendment as opposed to the Electoral College Act.” 
 Powell alleged that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned of the lawsuit and rushed to have Congress certify the election despite the ongoing attack on the U.S. Capitol. 
 “Everything broke loose and she really had to speed up reconvening Congress to get the vote going before Justice Alito might have issued an injunction to stop it all, which is what should have happened,” the attorney said
So that makes it much easier to understand why Trump wanted the delay.
 And it makes me realize again, how close the US government came to being overthrown by a failed president. 
And in the end, maybe Trump did it to himself — if Trump’s insurrection hadn’t been so successful, invading the Capitol and terrifying the House and Senate members, then maybe the Senate and House wouldn’t have worked so hard on that critical night to get Biden confirmed then and there!

In other news today, I guess nobody told Post Media that the election is over.

COVID news keeps getting worse every day – more than a thousand new cases in Saskatchewan just this weekend. This is absolutely nuts – the anti-vaxxers are terrified of COVID but they’re now trying to demonize doctors and nurses, and they’re putting together “protocols” to breathe hydrogen peroxide and gargle iodine.

My brother was at the Saskatoon Symphony performance this weekend, and there was one anti-vax cellist playing out front for spare change, because she refused to get vaccinated – so now she is losing her career and all her friends, just because of anti-vax ignorant stubbornness. 

And it makes me absolutely furious that so many innocent people are being hurt by the anti-vax intransigence. I see more and more doctors speaking out:

I agree with this too:

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General

Festivus, and other great Christmas moments

Posted December 24, 2021 by Anonymous

“Stop crying and fight your father”

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General

Today’s News: truth

Posted October 18, 2021 by Anonymous

There is such truth here:

And truth here too:

And Halloween is coming up!

Meanwhile, here in Saskatchewan, our COVID situation is so bad – I cannotimagine the chaos and death in Saskatchewan hospitals right now — and our premier Scott Moe is leading us by naming some guy in North Battleford as the director of Covid response, and immitating a deer in the headlights:

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Energy

Earthquakes. Drought. Geysers. Permian Oilfield Water Woes Pile up in West Texas

Posted January 24, 2022 by Sharon Kelly

At 8:00 a.m. Eastern on January 21, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake shook Culberson County in West Texas midway between Odessa and El Paso, the U.S. Geological Society reported. That’s the kind of earthquake that’s generally strong enough to be felt, but not rattling enough to cause damage. Texas is not known for its seismic activity […]

The post Earthquakes. Drought. Geysers. Permian Oilfield Water Woes Pile up in West Texas appeared first on DeSmog.

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General

Election Follies and Funnies #27: Endorsement-paloosa

Posted September 18, 2021 by Anonymous

First Trudeau gets two high-profile endorsements:

Then Singh gets one as well:

And even O’Toole gets the pardonned felon nod:

Some reactions:

The Beaverton gets it again:

Except for the Manitoba chiefs endorsing Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson (in front of Singh, at that priceless press conference!) I think Canada’s First Nations leadership has been walking a fine line, I think to avoid problems with provincial issues across the country. Former AFN chief Phil Fontaine does endorse Trudeau today:

Work is continuing on lifting the boil water orders as the most intractable problems are getting resolved one by one:

Here are some priorities that Canadian Aboriginal organizations want to discuss with the next government. New AFN chief RoseAnne Archibald tweeted this priorities document on its priorities for the next government:

And the BC chiefs are sending this Open Letter:

Here’s a few more tweets from today:

Canadians are starting to try to evaluate this whole election experience, to figure out what it all means, too:

Late news tonight — from Frank Graves at EKOS –

A call to arms:

Here’s a thread for strategic voting:

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General

Saturday Stories: The Health-Care Workers, The Fight To Call It Aerosol, And Narratives, Counter-Narratives, And Social Drama

Posted November 20, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, covers the devastating impact managing patients with COVID has had on the world’s health-care workers many of who are calling it quits.
Megan Molteni, in Wired, on the teensy tiny error that helped COVID kill by creating a fi…

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General

Today’s news: Soothing the savage b(r)east

Posted September 29, 2021 by Anonymous

What is it with these guys? Today we learned that White House staff were soothing Trump’s rages by playing show tunes he liked: Trump’s handlers designated a White House official known as the “Music Man” to play him his favorite show tunes, includ…

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General

Saturday Story: Again Just One And Again It’s Omicron

Posted December 25, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Katherine J. Wu, Ed Yong, and Sarah Zhang, in The Atlantic, on how our response to Omicron to date represents all of our past mistakes on fast forward.
      Related StoriesSaturday Story: Ed Yong on OmicronSaturday Storie…

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General

Saturday Stories: Wellness Conspiracies, Libel Chill, And The Air We Breath

Posted October 23, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Eva Wiseman, in The Guardian, on the overlap between wellness/spirituality and conspiracy theories.
Stephanie Lee, in Buzzfeed, on how the world’s most prominent hydroxychloroquine researcher/crusader is trying to punish one of the world’s foremost sc…

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Energy

EU Investigating Agribusiness Lobby Group Copa-Cogeca Over Potential Transparency Breach

Posted January 25, 2022 by Anonymous

The European Union is investigating a powerful farming industry group which no longer officially declares its lobbying budget, DeSmog can reveal. Campaigners at transparency advocacy group Corporate Europe Observatory sparked the probe through a formal complaint to the EU last month, arguing that both parts of the European agricultural body Copa-Cogeca failed to provide accurate […]

The post EU Investigating Agribusiness Lobby Group Copa-Cogeca Over Potential Transparency Breach appeared first on DeSmog.

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General

Saturday Stories: What Is VAERS, Alberta’s Disaster, And Kindness Gaslighting

Posted September 18, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Meredith Wadman, in Science, explains what VAERS derived data is, why anti-vaxxers love it, and why it’s wrong to use it as a dataset. 
Jason Markusoff, in MacLean’s, on the disaster that is Alberta and the reason for it – the disaster that is Ja…

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General

Today’s News: peek-a-boo!

Posted November 21, 2021 by Anonymous

The parrot is making fun of him! 🤣🤣pic.twitter.com/98HUbWrkdP— Figen (@TheFigen) November 19, 2021 They used to laugh and call him names.Not anymore. pic.twitter.com/sYEGmlGKqb— Cory Papineau (@Iam_Canadian) November 15, 2021 This one was fascinating…

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General

Today’s news: Truth and Reconciliation

Posted September 30, 2021 by Anonymous

 Excerpt from the poem Forgiving Our Fathers,from one of the best movies ever made, Smoke Signals. Residential School Survivor offers advice on how to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation https://t.co/tdtjpVZxu2— The Globe and Ma…

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General

Christmas fun

Posted December 25, 2021 by Anonymous

Glenn Miller, with the Modernaires, Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers. Nominated for the Oscar:    And more Nicholas Brothers, with Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton and the Modernaires. Another Oscar nominee:  The silent monks:&n…

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General

Horses, fish, elephants, dogs …

Posted October 24, 2021 by Anonymous
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Energy

EU Scientists and Politicians Clash Over Gas and Nuclear as ‘Sustainable’ Investments

Posted January 25, 2022 by Anonymous

The European Union’s scientific and political communities are locked in a battle over whether gas and nuclear can be considered green investments. The latest development in this years-long fight came on Monday, when the European Commission’s scientific expert group, the Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF), pushed back against including gas and nuclear in the EU […]

The post EU Scientists and Politicians Clash Over Gas and Nuclear as ‘Sustainable’ Investments appeared first on DeSmog.

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General

Election Follies and Funnies #28: Covid Critical Care Stage Fuck!

Posted September 19, 2021 by Anonymous

Here’s today’s good news about the election: The LPC lead in Ontario is so large that I am not even going to report it (will confirm tomorrow ). I am not sure there are more than a handful of safe CPC seats in Ontario (abridged)— Frank Graves (@VoiceOf…

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General

Every Diet Works For Someone, No Diet Works For Everyone, Diets Are Difficult – IF 2021 Edition

Posted November 24, 2021 by Yoni Freedhoff

Joining an ever increasing cavalcade of studies of different diets that demonstrate they all work as well or as poorly as one another comes this week’s A randomised controlled trial of the 5:2 diet published in PLoS. In it researchers randomly as…

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