How much weight should we put on "surveys"?

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Social media is a wonderful tool, but it gives the crazies an awfully convenient way to spread their wacky notions and zany ideas. And, of course, the crazier the idea, the more likely it is to go viral.

I’ve read several “studies” lately that have gotten me in quite a lather, but one that really stands out is one that came out a couple weeks ago that made the claim:
“Egg yolks are almost as dangerous as smoking for atherosclerosis.”
To someone with an actual education in nutrition, this was just shocking to me. To make the claim that eggs cause heart disease? How ridiculous!
In case you hadn’t heard about this before now, roughly 1200 people were surveyed and it was revealed that eating egg yolks on a regular basis is “two-thirds as bad as smoking.”
Talk about fear mongering! If this sort of information wasn’t put in any sort of perspective (which it wasn’t), you may decide to never eat another egg so long as you live.
But when you look a little closer at the “survey” you’ll discover that the people surveyed were all former heart attack and stroke survivors and at-risk patients. Many of those patients were smokers who ate eggs. We don’t know if they exercised, if they also ate lots of sugar and starches, if they were eating other foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats, etc. We don’t know how much stress they have in their lives or how many calories they ate in a day. Were the eggs boiled or fried in butter?
I’m not writing this so that you’ll never trust another study again. I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to dig below the surface when it comes to surveys like these.
If we stopped eating eggs, we’d be missing out on an excellent source of inexpensive, high-quality protein. An egg has only 68 calories and a whole 6.3 grams of protein! As I wrote last week, I rely on eggs quite a bit to save dinner. They’re convenient and delicious.
Now, who else feels like an egg?

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