As a cardiologist, I recommend that many of my patients follow a Mediterranean diet. This diet, rich in the more healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts, is easy to follow. It is nutritious, and avoids processed food and the kinds of processed carbs that make you gain weight. Perhaps most important, there was a tremendous amount of research to suggest that the diet decreased your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
So imagine my dismay when a groundbreaking trial evaluating the Mediterranean Diet, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, was recently retracted. Retracted is a kind way of saying, “We made a mistake.” In the same journal, five years later, the authors were allowed to publish a new, revised article accounting for their mistakes. This rarely happens. In the sports world, this is called a do-over. Imagine if New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, of Deflate-gate fame, was allowed to have a do-over in the last Super Bowl, against the Eagles, after he fumbled in the final minutes. It would have challenged the integrity of the game.
Here is what happened in this more recent New England scandal, which could be referred to as “Diet-gate.”