by Marion Nestle
Jan 1 2024

Welcome to 2024: Annals of research

I want to start off the new year with a week of cheery postings.  IHow’s this for an irresistable beginning!

The study:  Could sharing chocolate cake increase engagement with research on intermittent fasting?   BMJ2023383 doi: (Published 20 December 2023).

Rationale: “Food and the festive season are heavily intertwined, and for us one sweet treat stands out: the chocolate brownie. Whether it’s the fudgy centre or the crinkled crust, brownies’ irresistibly rich deliciousness evokes comfort and delight. And isn’t chocolate good for you?…We wanted to know whether offering brownies affects how recipients respond to research findings on intermittent or short-term fasting.”

Method: “We completed two multicentre studies—a randomised controlled trial and a cross-sectional study—to seek understanding of the effects of offering brownies on healthcare professionals’ engagement with, and perception of, research findings on fasting.”

Results: “Preliminary results indicate that brownies did not influence their views—but many saw value in short term fasting to improve wellbeing.”

Conclusion: “Sharing brownies may not affect perceptions of presented evidence, but we remain convinced that they are the best treat to offer while discussing calorie restriction.”

Conflicts of interest:  “We have,,,no relevant interests to declare.”

Comment: This study produced a negative result, but who cares?  I’ll bet participants had a great time.  Check out the recipe; it is designed to produce enough brownies for one research meeting.

No, I am not making this up.

Happy new year!