European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 327–331 | Cite as

Unreformed nutritional epidemiology: a lamp post in the dark forest

  • John P. A. IoannidisEmail author

Giovannucci disagrees [1] that reform is needed [2, 3, 4] in nutritional epidemiology. He argues that nutritional effects are large, and that traditional means of measuring exposure and handling confounding secure reliable answers. Complexity is manageable through readily definable diet patterns, important questions are obvious, we pretty much know the answers. Analyses demonstrate the wisdom of our hypotheses. Giovannucci eloquently admits searching under the lamp post, confident that whatever is worth finding is right there.

Nutritional epidemiologists valiantly work in an important, challenging frontier of science and health. However, methods used to-date (even by the best scientists with best intentions) have yielded little reliable, useful information. The growing obesity pandemic suggests that we have little reliable knowledge to communicate about optimal diet, people are not convinced and/or cannot adhere to act on it. Probably we fail on all those fronts. Superimposed financial...



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), and Departments of Medicine, Health Research and Policy, Biomedical Data Science, and StatisticsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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