The Women’s Health Initiative. What is on trial: nutrition and chronic disease? Or misinterpreted science, media havoc and the sound of silence from peers?
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The first results of the Women's Health Initiative dietary intervention trial were published in the USA in February. This is a colossal intervention designed to see if diets lower in fat and higher in fruits, vegetables and grains than is usual in high-income countries reduce the incidence of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases, in women aged 50-79 years. As interpreted by US government media releases, the results were unimpressive. As interpreted by a global media blitz, the results indicate that food and nutrition has little or nothing to do with health and disease. But the trial was in key respects not reaching its aims, was methodologically controversial, and in any case has not produced the reported null results. What should the public health nutrition profession do about such messes?
Public Health Nutrition