I've asked myself this question a few times, especially since getting on the fatosphere. In the past, I read scientific studies in books and in reference libraries. I waded through so many that I actually began to develop a really good understanding of how to read them.
Then pretty much phutt! With regard to obesity anyway. Why? Because it became clear that quite a lot of them were shit, made up of three people and a dog, hopelessly contradictory and frankly in the main, more interesting by reading between the lines, than what they said or their so called conclusions.
The bad design, the ways they framed questions that didn't even to me seem to be the best or most interesting way to go about finding out something other than what had already been decided. Above all, the refusal of many researchers to stop pretending that formulating the questions that form the basis of any study is somehow a scientific process.
Rather than often a question of judgement, intelligence and knowledge of that and perhaps other fields. You need a stimulus.
Many of them couch the things they study in modish language that is wholly inappropriate, such as when obesity is spoken of as a "disease" caused by an imbalance of chemicals. And pursued in that vein.
This is assumption, based on the reaction to fatness in a social context, rather than what has been observed. This kind of mindset has possibly lead to a lot of the Fen Phen type debacles where the 'belief' that it's sluggish metabolism that needs to be artificially speeded up when this is no more than an old quack's tale.
And yet you are asked to build a case against this unreason which is usually dismissed as 'cherry picking' anyway. Whenever anyone professesing to have an 'evidence based' understanding of a subject that you disagree with, asks what your evidence is.
If they are not 'cherry picking' themselves, why would they need to ask me? Why wouldn't they have reviewed "all sides" themselves? Really they should say what they think is wrong with any contrary evidence or conclusions.
I can't get over the idea that all knowledge must be passed through certain classes. As if it's not real or cannot even be considered unless it has appeared in print. The idea that in order to justify a thought, it has to have been thunk, first by someone who's been through the education system repels me to the point of disgust.
What does that leave for the rest of us, are we supposed to just give up thinking?
Certainly that would help with the fantasy certain folks have about the supposedly innate higher intelligence of certain stratas.
If only their thoughts register, they set the terms and the rest of us have to just follow, frustrated and unable to engage with knowledge on our terms. Ones that enrich and increase the sum total of human understand, of that there is no doubt.
Having to make others look intelligent, reveals this cannot be done without the help of others playing stupid. It's similar to the way many wish fat people to play, diseased, whatever they've decided that is.
Apparently one man and his dog, showing that x group have more y = science, even if observation consistently shows the opposite. And that's really the crux of it. When I was into the endorsed lifestyle choice, I took it as unshakable that science has to explain reality.
Not the other way around. That happens in belief systems.
The rubicon was crossed years ago when significant numbers of a certain type began to justify their every point of view, using any old science paper. Before that, there was a range of support, anything from axioms, philosophy, literature and yes even from religious tomes.
My immediate thought at the time was, this is just like those people who quote biblical verse to underline every thought. It introduce that sense of sureness, which made discussion harder. There was a false sense of conversation ending finality about this or that findings. Which seemed to coincide with an increase in mickey mouse studies.
I knew immediately this was a bad route to go down, and felt safe in the knowledge that if I knew it, others would too. They would react the same as I and be more vary of dovetailing all thought in this direction.
Imagine my surprise that this has totally taken over, indeed, it has extended to the point where no-one can seem to think anything without it being validated by a sort of Brahmin class who apparently have no self interest except pure altruism and goodwill to all.
If they seem biased, hateful, lazy, entitled smug and above all, stupid, well, you must be wrong.
Indeed, the quantity of science, however dubious is cited as some kind of gravitas. Reason why you should shut up and behave yourself. Or be accused of being a primitive flat earther type.
I wouldn't say I never read obesity research, but I rarely find it the slightest bit interesting. Increasingly it seems to be a boondoggle of turning round and round in a cycle, not actually going anywhere.
I can't invest science with religiosity because I've no desire for that, if I did, I'd find a real religion, I wouldn't want to hide that from myself. Having a religion does not make you a lesser person. I have not sold myself that vanity.
There are times when I think the endless hyperbole produced by misusing science in this way will implode its credibility.
When people keep finding out that the stream of grim and overblown prognosis's don't turn out to be correct.