junk science

The maker of Keto Breads, allegedly "the world's healthiest bread," claims that all the other bread out there causes autoimmune disease and leaky gut syndrome. The former claim is risible and the latter is "not a recognized medical diagnosis."
Jeffrey Smith, a yogic flying instructor who leads the Institute for Responsible Technology, an anti-GMO organization, is now encouraging cancer patients to forgo modern medicine in favor of natural remedies from Asia. If patients follow his advice, they will die.
Honey doesn't treat erectile dysfunction. If it does, it might be spiked with Viagra.
Why on Earth does the media print sensationalist nonsense over and over again? We know of at least three reasons: (1) It cares more about internet traffic (and $$$) than anything else; (2) science journalists often have no formal education in the field; and (3) university press offices purposefully exaggerate their research.
Question: How do you know when a "study" isn't really a study? Answer: When those who performed it also write up a brochure, hyping its results before actually bothering to publish a scientific paper.
In the mid-19th century, traveling medicine shows became all the rage. They were basically like small circuses that also peddled phony medicine. Today, we may laugh at how gullible we once were. But charlatans like Dr. Oz are the modern-day equivalent of that traveling con job.
Bloomberg's recent hit piece on milk touches upon almost every sensitive issue that worries parents: food, school and their children. Toss in a conspiracy theory about "Big Dairy," and that's how Bloomberg came up with a fear-mongering headline, complete with a disgusting photo that is supposed to make readers feel queasy.
With so much disinformation on the Internet, debunking junk science and bogus health claims could be a full-time job. Indeed, "debunkery" is one of the main reasons why ACSH exists. Narrowing down a full year's worth of nonsense into the 10 worst bogus health stories is quite a challenge. But we never shy down from a challenge. Here are the stinkiest stories from the past 12 months.
The plaintiffs claim that Ocean Spray lied about not using artificial flavors, and the only restitution is for the company to hand over a big bag of money. How big? Very big. They want a jury to award them "statutory, compensatory, treble, and punitive damages." That's all due to a technicality that hasn't affected their lives one iota.
Researchers, believe it or not, ingested Lego toys to see how quickly they could be, um, excreted. Yes, this actually took place. This "work" was published in a journal.
Dr. Oz is what would happen if Alex Jones and Mother Jones had a baby. And perhaps short of murdering somebody on live TV, there is literally nothing Dr. Oz won't say or do for money.
Race, age and other demographic factors are commonly controlled in epidemiology studies. It makes no sense to compare one group to another group if researchers do not bother to control for confounders – that is, factors like race or age that can cause researchers to draw the wrong conclusion.