A journalist seeking to lay bare how the research behind fad diets can be “meaningless” and based on “terrible science”, has revealed how he tricked international media into believing that chocolate can aid weight loss.
Posing as Johannes Bohannon, Ph.D, the research director of the fabricated Institute of Diet and Health, biologist and science journalist John Bohannon ran what he called a “fairly typical study” used in the field of diet research.
German broadcast journalists Peter Onneken and Diana Löbl asked Bohannon to conduct a clinical trial into the effects of dark chocolate, as part of a documentary exposing how simple it is for bad science to make headlines.
“It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded,” Bohannon wrote of his in an article for io9.com.