24 October 2021
Word Count: 1057
Pseudoscience can be defined as something that is considered false or having no scientific basis. This could mean theories or assumptions made that have no scientific backing can be considered pseudoscience. The individuals who make these claims often have no previous scientific education on the topic. Some make articles based on false information to help sell a product. This is common with businesses to try to sell as much of their product as possible. Media is a commonly used channel to advertise these pseudoscience proposals. An example of pseudoscience in the media would be an article from the editors of Eat This, Not That! This writing goes into detail about the effects of drinking green tea to rapidly lose body weight. While green tea may be good for you, it doesn’t work by itself to rapidly reduce weight and the article can be considered a work of pseudoscience.
First, we need to know what green tea actually does. Next to water, tea is the most popularly consumed beverage worldwide. It has many proteins and catechins which help to prevent neurological problems, oxidative stress, and act as an immune modulator (Chackoc, 2010). It also has many antioxidants that help prevent cellular damage (Chackoc, 2010). Green teas have also been shown to prevent many types of cancers, such as colon, kidney, and lung cancer (Chackoc, 2010). The consumption of green tea has also had an increase of bone mineral density, which helps prevent bone fractures (Chackoc, 2010).
The article by Eat This, Not That! Editors describe 22 different teas that you should drink for rapid weight loss. The section for green tea goes into detail about the “antioxidative compounds that are supposed to blast away flab (Eat This, Not That! Editors, 2020)”. The article states that, “If you combine drinking tea with an exercise workout, you will see flat-belly benefits soon (Eat This, Not That! Editors, 2020)”. While they are correct about exercising to help lose weight, the green tea portion is not so credible. The article doesn’t provide any research that green tea, by itself, helps with weight loss. They do have one link to a research article, and it was about how exercising while drinking green tea will help reduce body weight. That article is true, because any type of physical exercise, paired with the benefits of green tea, will help you lose weight. The article is very suggestive that the only thing you need to do to lose weight is drink tea.
When looking at this article, you can start to realize where the science starts to not make sense. It uses flashy words throughout the writing to try to gain the attention of the reader. The limited information fails to inform the reader of other benefits it may have besides the false statement of helping with rapid weight loss. It would have been better if the article showcased more detailed information about the other benefits of green tea. The article also uses ostentatious visuals to distract from the reading. We usually see this in advertisements made to get the attention of the consumer. A good amount of advertisements are not all that credible, and can be considered false to try to sell more products.
From the research of Nagi Kumar and others, an article about how green tea doesn’t modify body weight in men was conducted and proved to be true (Kumar, 2017). This article is credible due to the amount of times it had to be peer-reviewed by others. That is one way to determine if an article contains pseudoscience or not. The study was to try and determine the effects of long-term consumption of decaffeinated green tea on obese men (Kumar, 2017). It was conducted over a period between six to twelve months. Through a randomized experiment where one group of people used green tea extract while another group had a placebo, the results were clear (Kumar, 2017). While the tea increased other aspects of their health, the tea itself did not produce any effect on the body weight of the subjects (Kumar, 2017).
The experimenters looked at total weight, body mass index, and waist circumference (Kumar, 2017). The group with the placebo had no significant changes in any of their weight measurements (Kumar, 2017). The same goes for the treatment group, that they also didn’t have any significant changes in their weight (Kumar, 2017). Other experiments were conducted with caffeinated green tea than decaffeinated green tea. Those who had caffeinated green tea had weight reduction that was possibly due to the caffeine (Kumar, 2017). The conclusion of Kumar’s article was that if men wanted to reduce their body weight, they should seek alternate methods to do so (Kumar, 2017).
In conclusion, the green tea article is a good example of pseudoscience. It shows information that is false to try to help sell a product. We know this information is false by completing further research on the topic to determine what is actually true. The article itself had many confusing sentences that didn’t make sense which further proved it’s pseudoscience. Without the proper research in the article, readers can make an educated guess that this article may not be credible. With the research of Kumar, we were able to see how decaffeinated green tea effects the body’s of obese men (Kumar, 2017). And with the research of Sabu Chackok, we were able to know what the other benefits of green tea were for our health (Chackoc, 2010). And while green tea may have other health benefits, it does not work by itself to rapidly lose body weight, thus providing the information that the Eat This, Not That! article was a perfect example of pseudoscience.
Chackoc, S. M. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chinese Medicine, 5(13). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855614/
Eat This, Not That! Editors. (2020, September 9). 22 Best Teas You Should Drink for Weight Loss. Eat This, Not That! https://www.eatthis.com/21-best-teas-for-weight-loss/
Kumar, N. B. (2017, November 17). Long-term supplementation of decaffeinated green tea extract does not modify body weight or abdominal obesity in a randomized trial of men at high risk of prostate cancer. Oncotarget, 8(58), 99093-99103. Consortium Library. 10.18632/oncotarget.18858