Can pasta make you slimmer? Probably not, but after a whole lot of statistical magic from a new study (partially funded by a pasta company), the answer becomes yes.
Lots of media outlets happily publish this Barilla-funded click-bait, apparently without actually looking at the numbers in the study:
- Quartz: Upending years of misconceptions, researchers have found that eating pasta can keep us lean
- TIME: Eating Pasta Does Not Cause Obesity, Italian Study Finds
- CNBC: Pasta doesn’t make you fat, say Italian scientists
- CNN: Enjoy that pasta salad: Noodles linked to lower BMI
- Newsy: Study Suggests Pasta Won’t Hurt Your Waistline
Just one tiny problem. The study data showed the opposite. Obese people – both men and women – ate more pasta! Thin people ate less pasta.
So how come the conclusion of the study and the media headlines say the exact opposite? Well the researchers made some “adjustments” to the data.
- The Fat Emperor: Eating More Pasta Makes You Slimmer! Who Are These Guys?
- Mashable: Glorious pasta-doesn’t-make-you-fat study was paid for by a pasta brand
Surely it must be a complete coincidence. Probably the researchers were not at all influenced by pasta money when they used statistical magic to turn the study’s finding around to the absolute opposite of what the data originally showed.
Of course, should you not trust this piece of Barilla-funded statistical shenanigans, you can just read the original data: Obese people reported eating more pasta. Thin people reported eating less pasta. End of story.
The latter is the only correct conclusion if you ask me. Lots of major media companies are left with pasta on their faces, after being fooled by this Barilla trick.