Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
I have not read the 100 scientific papers resulting from Schatkin's
work on dietary fibre, but has he not been barking up the wrong tree and
this may have led to misleading results, even if he did so much research.
The patients he picked were presumably normal, meat-eating Americans, who
already had adenomas, or cancer. Changing their diet, so late in life, was
unlikely to undo the damage already done.
What did he make of Burkett's idea that cereal eaters had lower bowel
cancer rates than meat eaters? Why did he not research those two groups?
Simple conclusions reached in medicine, often result in a complicated and
confusing mountains of research, which helps nobody.
As underdeveloped nations develop, they develop the same tastes as us, for
the affluent diet, which has resulted in epidemics of cancer, heart
disease and diabetes. Think of the lung cancer epidemic facing the Chinese
and other Asian countries.
Let's try to keep it simple!