I was fumbling around my house last night when I heard the TV tell me that a new study has shown a strong link between drinking diet sodas and heart attacks. Apparently, people in the study who were drinking diet drinks were 61% more likely to have heart attacks and arteries clogged with mayonnaise. Wow, sixty-one percent sure sounds convincing. I can only assume that the results of such a ground-breaking study sent people into their pantries to stab all of their Diet Coke cans in the hearts before they could do the same to us.
But let’s tap the brakes a bit, here. I understand that most people do not understand science. I get that. I’ve seen it time after time. It snowed yesterday, so climate change can’t possibly be real. Humans continually try to look for patterns and assign cause. The sun tracks across the sky, so obviously some Apollo fellow is pulling his flaming chariot across the heavens. What else are you gonna do with a flaming chariot? Keep it parked in the garage under a car cover? Flaming ball of gas? Get outta here with your nonsense!
A proper scientific test requires controlling for every variable but the one you are testing. For such a test as this to be valid, everyone in the study would have to probably have the same build, diet, exercise schedule, lifestyle, etc. Not to mention an equivalent family history and predisposition to developing heart disease . This is really hard to achieve with living, breathing people who have lives to live. It was recently reported that Fox News viewers are the least informed about, well, pretty much everything. So the likely explanation was that Fox News makes people dumb. But it’s just as likely that Fox News just attracts people who are already dumb.
So anyway…does it really seem reasonable that drinking diet sodas would directly cause harm to your heart and clog your arteries? I mean, any more than gobs of cheese fries and buckets of cinnamon lard? Or is it more likely that people whose skin has permanently fused to the leather on their couch reach for diet drinks in a futile attempt to feel in control of their indefensible diet? A guy who already consumes 6000 calories a day and drinks 5 cans of Coke might want to drop down to only 5000, so that Ty Pennington doesn’t have to come and build a new house around him with 5 foot doors and a light rail system from the bedroom to the kitchen.
They surely don’t drink it for the taste.
“(Looking at piles of Diet Coke cans) I see you like that Diet Coke.”
“No, it tastes like ass.”
“Well, you know they make “Diet Coke with Lemon” now…”
“I’ve had it. It tastes like ass with a twist of lemon.”
The media should share some responsibility in reporting this nonsense, too. Except that they don’t understand science, either. And you can’t run a teaser promo for your upcoming newscast with “Is an entire box of Cinnabons too much to eat in one sitting?” Besides, anyone with a valid email address already knows that Diet Coke rots your brain, not your heart.
Other recent studies and their shocking results:
* People who wear size 54 jeans and drive Hoverounds but can’t join AARP have a 245% higher rate of heart disease. Must be the electrical doohickeys in the Hoveround.
* People who take migraine medicine get 4,567% more migraines
* People who take insulin shots are 345,778% more likely to have diabetes