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Clinical Research—What Should the Public Believe?

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.1994.tb01465.x 320-322 First published online: 1 September 1994


The American public has recently been inundated with an (often contradictory) barrage of clinical research information. These discrepancies give the impression that nutrition communication is lurching back and forth, and that nutrition science is nonlinear and unreliable. In fact, as science by definition is “experimental investigation and theoretical explanation,” the results of any one clinical research study should not be viewed as a full and final answer, but rather as one possible explanation for the question at hand. We believe the following editorial reprinted from the N Engl J Med is a worthwhile statement as to the responsibilities of both the media and the public in the realistic interpretation of scientific communication.

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