Research & Studies By Jumana Al Awadhi

We always hear the sentence, “A study says” attached to an opinion on any particular subject. We are always looking for studies that confirm our opinion and demonstrate the veracity of our information; condone the circumstances of the study or its kind, conducted by whom or which institution responsible for it and what are their motives. Even our ears don’t hear and our eyes do not see any study that contradicts our personal opinion.

We were in discussion with a group of people in a workshop about the sensitivity of gluten, when one of the attendees disagreed. Her proof was a study she heard about on social media. Regardless of the disagreement, what interested me was that she did not know any information about the study; only its result, which denies its existence or its importance. The talk is not scientific and we cannot debate with someone who uses it as a reference, especially if the person is filled with all this enthusiasm that makes them emotional instead of rational. The variation of scientific opinions enriches all of us. We should not cling to a particular study, because science is in constant change and evolution.

A common friend saved the situation; she said that while studying medicine there was a complete course that taught students to critique. There is a great corruption in the world of scientific research and the policies of the scientific institutions that might deliberately skip a particular detail just to prove the theory in favor of their official sponsor.

There are a lot of topics that studies disagree about. What is the basis of our choice to believe and trust it – only our personal prejudice? Just as there are studies that prove the benefits of cocoa or coffee for example, there are similar researches that prove its disadvantages. Will we choose what suits us, which is our right and do we stand for it with all this enthusiasm and ferocity?

I remember a group of my friends and colleagues in the United States. We belonged to different nutritional schools, but there was harmony between us and it was not hard for any of us to praise the other just for disagreeing, because they were not dying to prove that they are right and others are wrong. Nothing is fixed in science and nutrition is not an exception. Nutrition philosophies vary in the world and everyone is trying to prove their theories through research and studies.

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