Modern diet-health epidemiology: A self-fulfilling prophecy?

(Part 4 of 12 in series, Stephan Guyenet's "Whole Health Source")

Do whole grains prevent smoking too? An alternative explanation is that the women who were eating whole grains were all-around more conscientious and concerned about their health than those eating refined grains. And why not? They “knew” from mainstream diet advice that whole grains are healthier than refined grains. When is the last time you saw someone smoking a cigarette while eating whole grain muesli with skim milk and half a grapefruit for breakfast? Is it easier to imagine someone smoking while eating a donut and sweetened coffee?

~ Stephan Guyenet from,

I recommend reading everything on the Whole Health Source blog; Very science-intensive, but you’re life will be imrpoved. And, the above piece is a great explanation of things like “correletion”, “confounding factors”, and more. But, there’s also a HUGELY useful take-away that he doesn’t explicitly state:

By being health-conscious — reading, learning, making small changes — you’re going to have a huge affect on your health. In the long run, you don’t need to learn every little scientific nuance (because who has time for that, right?) Instead, you learn a little each day and continuously work to make small improvements.


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