Are eggs bad for you again?

There was a great panic in the '90s and thereabouts that eating eggs could give you heart attacks -- Because they were chock-full of that evil cholesterol.  And people took that very seriously.  Once that old ticker stops ticking, that is the end of you.  The life support system for your brain is switched off. So, to their great rage, the chicken farmers lost a lot of business

Over the years however new studies came out that exonerated the old cackleberry.  So bacon and egg breakfasts are still allegedly wrong but not because of the eggs. NOTHING could be as evil as bacon!

I really should stop my bad habit of reading the medical journals but lately the old scare has had a bit of a revival.  A big study has come out with a lot of very small effects that incriminate eggs. See here and here.  I am tired of putting up nonsense reports in detail so I will not this time reproduce abstracts. Those links will get you the findings in all their glorious complexity.

For a start we are talking about effects that are probably too small to be taken seriously at all:  "The absolute differences in mortality and cardiovascular disease risks that we saw for dietary patterns that involve higher cholesterol intake ranged between about 1% and 4% over 17.5 years of follow-up."

And cholesterol does NOT give you heart attacks:  "When you look at the coronary heart disease end point alone instead of all forms of cardiovascular disease, you don’t see a significant association between dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease"  If so, why are eggs bad?

But we in fact don't have to worry about any of the results from the study. It is a load of bull, to put it bluntly.  How so?  It is a meta-analysis of 6 studies so getting uniform demographic controls under those circumstances was "ambitious".  And at least some of the 6 studies has no control for income at all.  So you have no way of knowing whether you are looking at an egg-consumption effect or a poverty effect.

If poor people are less respectful of official dietary dictates and recommendations (they are) it could be that the big egg eaters are the poor.  Eggs are cheap food. When I buy eggs it costs me around 30c per egg.  And a 3-egg omelette is a pretty good breakfast. Middle class people, in contrast, would often be aware of the great cholesterol beast threatening their health and would be having lots of nuts and broccoli to eat instead of bacon & eggs.  Sad souls!

So it's my conclusion that all the study really shows is that poor people have worse health, which is arguably the most replicated finding in the whole epidemiological literature.  It tells us NOTHING about eggs or cholesterol generally

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