After a period of reading another couple of books, I have just picked back up on Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories once again over the last couple of days.
You know what? This is an amazing work on general grounds. Taubes is a consummate and meticulous advocate of the scientific method; i.e., you first form a hypothesis and then do your honest, dead level best to refute it. To the extent you fail time after time, the hypothesis gets stronger and stronger because you are systematically eliminating everything that can be speculated to count against it. It's the only valid way to do science. You can't "confirm" a hypothesis in the sense of coming up with conditions under which it holds, for no matter if it holds under a million such conditions, you need but one to obliterate it.
The depth and research into this book is amazing. No wonder it took five years to write. In a nutshell, you have the Ancel Keyes fat-cholesterol-heart hypothesis that just won't die, which is itself based upon his flawed Seven Countries Study. From the Wikipedia article:
These studies found strong associations between the CVD rate of a population and average serum cholesterol and per capita intake of saturated fatty acids. Then, as now, critics have rightfully pointed out that this "strong association" vanishes when data from other countries are added to the mix and there have been allegations that Keys "cherry picked" the data to support his hypothesis.
I might have to eventually go and create a table to keep track of it all, but since then, there is study after study after study, and not for the purpose of attempting to falsify the flawed, cherry-picked study, but rather to "confirm" it. And how do they attempt to do that? By designing other flawed studies with multiple factor variation, i.e., so that a failure to confirm can be attributed to ambiguity. Even then, they have not been able to confirm anything. Those studies that fail to find any correlation between fat, cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, and so on are "disappointing." Those that show higher fat consumption correlated to lower heart disease and cancer (such studies exist) are dismissed. They may show up in a journal, but never get reported in the mainstream. If by chance they do, they are attacked vigorously by the "medical" establishment. Over and over.
Anyway, that's my report after only getting about a third of the way through. But I do agree with one blogger who wrote that Taubes ought to take on anthropogenic global warming next. Principally, it is the exact same thing going on.