Health related topics are continually infused with new data, studies and ideas that are then lauded, occasionally very loudly, by believers and/or purchasers of said information. New information tends to conflict with previous information or, at the very least, put a (profitable) twist on the original data. This information does not have to be correct or even logical – it only has to make it to the right maven to go viral and, all of a sudden, it becomes gospel.
Conflicting data really has some power, much as the “I told you so” people of the world let it be known they were, in fact, correct. We also tend to remember information we hear that relates to something previously understood. Conflicting studies seem to be appearing more and more in the health and disease world, almost in a manner of purposeful design. It is as if the Null and Alternating hypotheses of each study are, at different times, purposely reported as correct, and the one that finally ‘wins’ is the one that generates, or has the potential to generate, the most money.
Everything is being tracked and recorded for marketing purposes. For instance – pharmaceutical companies and their representatives know, down to the final pen stroke, my prescribing habits and, based on articles or studies released, how that may have influenced me. If enough of us start writing prescriptions based on the ‘most recent data’, those are the facts that will become legitimate. When the exchange of money is involved, either to increase or decrease the size of our wallets, it persuades the world around us.
Conflicting data drives marketing, and marketing tends to dictate what is correct.