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Observational research takes a snapshot of a population, and looks to see whether two things occur together with a high frequency - like smiling and happiness. While less difficult and less expensive - and therefore much more popular - this type of research can only generate hypotheses about cause and effect. In this example, does smiling cause happiness? Most of our dietary guidance is based upon this kind of research. Illustration.

What should we eat to stay healthy? Why experts actually have no idea.

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Aug 11 (Reuters) - Have you ever wondered why nutrition experts so often change their minds about what constitutes a healthy diet? In the last six months, a variety of experts and nutrition organizations have issued at least as many major dietary guidelines proclaiming the next set of instructions on what to eat to prevent cancer, whether processed foods are really food, whether the type of fat you eat has any effect on developing heart disease, and how to control diabetes with diet.

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