Fake news is everywhere. We have our president accusing nearly everyone of it, even when it comes from legitimate sources.
Then, there are the actual culprits – “news” sites generated by posers or just people who know how to set up a website that publish whatever it is they want and try to source it as being real. The only thing that has to take place is a few shares to get things started on social media, and then it spirals into the universe of becoming a viral post and everyone thinks that the conjectures, sensationalized statements that turn our reactions upside down and inside out.
Well, in my humble opinion, the idea of fake news is not a new one. “Facts” have been generated by “authorities” for a long time, and I’ll call one out specifically today from the powers-that-be at the USDA Guidelines. For years and years….and years, we were told that eating fat was bad. Fat was the DEVIL! We should all practice low-fat, fat-free eating and limit any kind of red meat eating. We should get the yolks out of our eggs and the butter off our tables. Instead, we should pick low-fat Cheerios, fat-free Yoplait, and sodium-free, low-fat Lunchables.
This, my friends, is fake news.
If you’re not aware of the things that your body needs to steer clear of – take some time to learn. There’s a book that shows real research, in-depth studies, and other learning that has taken place and took place more than 50 years ago that shows us that those Guidelines were wrong. It’s called The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz, and I highly recommend you give it a read. ADA and USDA pulled wool over the collective eyes of Americans, pushing them away from that research and toward the research of a man named Ancel Keys. You can read more about him here in this Wall Street Journal article by Nina Teicholz, and how his skewed research (which some, in this day and age, would define as fake news), led to marking saturated fats with a big, fat red X.
Do you know what’s fake? Research that doesn’t share the full truth. That takes one poorly quantified study and makes it the standard for years for an entire nation, just because they wanted a quick answer to a problem they could not solve.
Research should be repeated, as well, in different varieties and of different forms – to make sure the first way provides a consistent solution to studies trying to find the same answer, but by other routes, paths, and studies that can be done to assess the same information. In this article in the Independent, Nina Teicholz discusses how the science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. It’s a disappointment to think that we have been on alert to spot fake news by spammers and hackers, among other cyber security jerks, but come to find out – we were duped with fake news long ago by the authorities that bring us health.
Folks thing fake news is a new thing? Unfortunately, it led us astray as a country concerning our health when it mattered most. And unfortunately, it’s resulted in an increase in illness, heart disease, obesity, and many other health problems.
Is it important to be on the lookout for fake news? Certainly. Who wants to spread false information unknowingly? It’s also important to check your sources, dig deeper, learn more, test it out (safely) with your own assessments or experiments, and come to an educated decision.