Talk:Alkaline diet

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Former good article Alkaline diet was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 5, 2014 Good article nominee Listed
April 10, 2017 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Potential bias[edit]

This article seems a bit biased. Someone well informed fix this please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J.Higgins (talkcontribs) 10:52, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

@J.Higgens: New sections go at the bottom. Biased in which direction? What changes do you suggest, based on what sources? Just saying "this article seems biased" is not helpful at all. Wikipedia does not operate based on what users know, but on what professionally published mainstream academic or journalistic sources they can cite. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:14, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm well informed, but I don't see anything to fix. The main current proponent is Robert O. Young, who is currently serving time for promoting this nonsense. It's just as well you can't change your body's pH by food selection, or large numbers of people would be dead from alkalosis. Guy (Help!) 00:33, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
This article was promoted to "Good article" after careful editing, particularly by Yobol (talk · contribs) but with some help by MastCell (talk · contribs) and myself. I think it's quite fair. For better or worse, there are scientific articles which say that this is a real thing. I've been hesitant to make them more prominent as I've wanted to wait for the dust to settle more. However, given the recent push to use Quackwatch in the lead by Alexbrn (talk · contribs), who I know has a lot of passion about this topic, I went ahead and raised one of the sources discussing this topic directly (Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? (2010)). I'm a bit wary of this source, but I looked at the sources citing it in Google Scholar and could not find any that rebutted it. If Alexbrn feels that Pizzorno et al have gotten it truly wrong, he could perhaps encourage Gabe Mirkin to publish an article rebutting it in a peer-reviewed journal. Incidentally, there's a general consensus - as far as I understand it - to use peer-reviewed sources in published medical journals, which Quackwatch is not. We can use it as WP:PARITY if such sources are lacking, but they are clearly not lacking here. Quackwatch does some great things, but its passion lends it a solid lack of credibility versus the scholarly dispassion we strive for in science. II | (t - c) 17:51, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
You'd to better to WP:FOC: your false accusations are disruptive. Alexbrn (talk) 17:55, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
It seems like it would be better to post an explanation before going through with an edit like this... what's the reasoning on a narrative review in the British Journal of Nutrition being non-MEDRS? And how is Quackwatch MEDRS? II | (t - c) 18:27, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
It's not a narrative review (according to PUBMED). MEDRS applies to biomedical information: the classification of a diet scam as nonsense is not subject to MEDRS. Alexbrn (talk) 18:33, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
You realize that an alkaline diet was promulgated by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (see here)? Obviously there's a mix of things happening. Anyhow, I'll wait to hear from recently involved folks such as Anachronist (talk · contribs), Ian.thomson (talk · contribs), J.Higgins (talk · contribs), or JzG (talk · contribs). II | (t - c) 18:42, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
No, despite your accusations (which appear to be projection), I have no interest in this diet other than reflecting what decent sources say about it. We don't want to be digging up 8 year old hypothetical essays from fringey nutrition journals. I'm sure better sources can be found, though e.g. [1] or [2] Alexbrn (talk) 18:49, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
No, your reference does not show that an alkaline diet was promulgated by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. What makes you think it does? -Roxy the dog. bark 18:51, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Roxy, the source says "A diet rich in potassium from fruits and vegetables favorably affects acid-base metabolism because these foods are rich in precursors of bicarbonate, which neutralizes diet-induced acid in vivo (Sebastian et al., 1994, 2002)" ... anyhow, it's not exactly my words - Fenton et al, one of the main sources used in this article, cites the National Academies as one of the promoters of the diet. Anyhow, there's no way we will be citing websites instead of peer-reviewed journal articles when such the peer-reviewed research is available. It just ain't gonna happen. I'll take it as far as I need to. II | (t - c) 18:57, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
  • (Trying to stay off because I'm going a bit stir crazy in a college town turned ghost town, but since I was pinged...) Question to stir the pot and/or get things moving: with what intentions and to what ends has the alkaline diet been "promulgated by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine"? Alternative medicine does have a habit of taking something that does have very specific use and pretending it cures cancer and autism. If the FNBIM recommended it for a specific use that has little to no overlap with the alternative medicine claims, then we are not dealing with a zero-sum issue here. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:18, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

From the BBC recently[edit]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38650739 may have content worth thinking about for this or the Young article. -Roxy the dog. bark 18:38, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Errors of fact[edit]

How can this be a good article when the following obviously false statement is included in the lede?

Levels above 7.45 are referred to as acidosis and levels below 7.35 as alkalosis

I suggest a complete review. I am highly skeptical that this rises to the level of "good". jps (talk) 19:26, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

That error was added today by on Feb 14 by JzG (talk · contribs). I fixed it in my recent edit using peer-reviewed sources, which was reverted by Alexbrn. II | (t - c) 19:38, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I really don't care why or how the error was added. I just care that it indicates that the article is not up to good standards. jps (talk) 19:42, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Two things going on: one, a transposition error on my part, switching acidosis and alkalosis around (oops!). I fixed that. Second, a matter of interpretation. Some evidence of the potential to slightly affect blood pH through diet is actually entirely equivalent to the sourced statement that claims to materially affect blood pH through diet are nonsense. Both statements are true and mutually consistent. It is also unarguably true that the alkaline diet as promoted by Young and his acolytes, is pseudoscience. Guy (Help!) 21:16, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Nonsense[edit]

I reverted the reversion that removed (I almost typed that reverted, but I started to confuse myself....) the description 'nonsense'. It seems a fine word to me. That said, obviously another editor disagrees. I suggested we take it to the talk page, so, well, here we are. Oh, yeah [3]. Dbrodbeck (talk) 22:28, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Did you read the body of the article? If not, could you please? Because if you did, it would be clear that it is not nonsense. Also see the discussion above in Potential bias. II | (t - c) 22:38, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
To elaborate a little: there are actually MANY peer-reviewed scientific publications which contradict Quackwatch. For example, you could glance at Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? or The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? but there are many, many more, many of which are cited in the body of the article. To add Quackwatch to the lead and contradict all the scientific sources in the body does not work. II | (t - c) 22:43, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Nonsense is the correct term. Actually it's rather mild: Robert O. Young deluded Kim Tinkham and hastened her death, so I would prefer fraudulent, but I am happy to defer to the source, which says, exactly in as many words, nonsense. Quacks love to portray minor and clinically irrelevant effects as validating their wacky theories. You can't materially change the pH of your body through diet, and if you could, you'd probably be dead every time you ate broccoli. I don't know why, it's not as if all the food you eat passes through a pool of strong acid or anything... Guy (Help!) 00:12, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the pH aspect of the alkaline diet is nonsense. But "nonsense" is a non-neutral descriptor that merely parrots the opinion of the Quackwatch author, who synthesized his own sources to reach that conclusion. See the lead of WP:NPOV: This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus. We don't parrot what sources say, particularly when reliable sources are not in agreement as described above, and especially if Quackwatch cherry picks sources. We don't dictate opinions to a reader. Bottom line, the usage of the word "nonsense" comes across as opinionated. We can cite the source using more neutral language. Or we can include the word with proper attribution in a quotation. But to use the word in Wikipedia's narrative voice is not acceptable. ~Anachronist (talk) 00:31, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Using a single word is not "parroting". I could live with "nonsensical", "poppycock" or "bollocks". But nonsense is fine. Following NPOV does not mean we avoid the (maybe strong) views of our good sources, on the contrary it means we must reflect them. Alexbrn (talk) 04:50, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Reflecting "strong views" in Wikipedia's voice is the exact opposite of NPOV. Following NPOV means exactly that we avoid opinionated terms that sources use. ~Anachronist (talk) 05:27, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
You ought to read the policy; the first sentence is enough to give a clue. QW is a relevant source here and we are obliged to present its view without any editorial watering-down of meaning. Alexbrn (talk) 05:34, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
"Nonsense" seems to summarize the viewpoint of the source, the source is especially reliable for assessment of fringe medical claims, and the source is generally given weight when better sources with similar perspectives are not available. --Ronz (talk) 16:55, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
You aren't getting it. Nothing trumps WP:NPOV. Not WP:MEDRS or WP:FRINGE (both guidelines not policy), not an agreement among some editors here that an opinionated term is "neutral". You ought to read the policy. What part of the policy I quoted in boldface text above is not being understood?
Quackwatch is not a WP:MEDRS source. Quackwatch is an advocacy site. Their articles aren't peer reviewed. The site exists to advocate a particular point of view about subjects that the Quackwatch editors consider "fringe" medicine, even if peer-reviewed literature may disagree, as described above. Quackwatch is a reliable source for information, but it also expresses opinions. Educated and logical opinions yes, but opinions nonetheless. And we must not express opinions from sources in Wikipedia's voice. It's fine to use the term "nonsense" in a quotation attributed to Quackwatch. But that isn't being done here. The viewpoint of the source isn't being summarized, it's being presented as the viewpoint of Wikipedia. And that violates NPOV. If attribution to Quackwatch were made in the prose, there wouldn't be a problem. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:13, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
You're inventing policy. There is no problem calling obvious nonsense, nonsense. In fact to make it look like a mere opinion would be NNPOV. Alexbrn (talk) 18:17, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I summarized policy and general consensus. I'm not claiming anything trumps NPOV, rather that removal of the source or misrepresentation of the source would be an NPOV problem. This isn't a MEDRS situation, so it doesn't apply. FRINGE is a special case of NPOV, and it most definitely does apply.
If you're moving on to concerns on whether or not "nonsense" should be presented in Wikipedia's voice, I think it's a good point. Can we move on from the other concerns then? --Ronz (talk) 18:26, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Using "nonsense" in Wikipedia's voice has been my chief concern since the beginning of this thread. There are a number of ways one can represent a source without parroting the opinionated language in that source. This article isn't doing that. Think of it this way. If QW had used the term "bullshit" instead of "nonsense", would editors here insist on using that word in Wikipedia's voice? Either way, it's opinionated, and writing it so that it appears Wikipedia is taking the same position as an advocacy site violates NPOV.
I'll also point out that the introduction of the word "nonsense" appears to be a recent non-consensus change added by JGZ on 14 February. The article was doing just fine without it until then. ~Anachronist (talk) 20:45, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
For some values of fine. The article did not adequately emphasise in the lede that this is a fraudulent diet promoted by scammers. Young is not the first person to be convicted of offences due to promoting this bullshit, but he is unusual in that we can actually put names to some of the people he killed. Guy (Help!) 20:27, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Non-sequitur. We are discussing the usage of an advocacy site's opinion in Wikipedia's voice, in violation of NPOV, a policy that cannot be superseded. ~Anachronist (talk) 08:17, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Quackwatch is generally considered a reliable source for discussion of quackery. That ship sailed long ago. Guy (Help!) 08:33, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Non-sequitur. The reliability of Quackwatch isn't the topic of this discussion. We're talking about NPOV. As an advocacy site, Quackwatch does not use neutral language, and there is no Wikipedia policy that dictates we must use the same terminology that Quackwatch does. ~Anachronist (talk) 20:10, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
It is completely neutral to describe the fad alkaline diet as nonsense, just as it is completely neutral to describe its primary proponent, Robert O. Young, as a convicted fraudster and quack. As a matter of objective fact, the alkaline diet, as promoted by Young and his accolytes, is bogus, and the claims made for it (especially in respect of preventing and treating cancer) are fraudulent. People have been convicted. The court records are there. Guy (Help!) 12:00, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Guy is right, and NPOV doesn't mean 'fair and balanced', we don't do that here. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:18, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, that is incorrect. So, hypothetically, if QW used the word "bullshit" instead of "nonsense", then we should be using the same terminology? The two are basically equivalent expressions of opinion. On what basis are you arguing that this is neutral? On what basis are you arguing that using such expressions in Wikipedia's voice, basically having Wikipedia state an opinion, is neutral? On what basis are you objecting to using a quotation or properly attributing the opinion in prose? And I still have seen no argument for disregarding the non-negotiability of WP:NPOV, only bare assertions that making a bare assertion in the article is indeed neutral. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:16, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Hypothetically if reliable sources describe something as bullshit, yes we could describe it as such. We are only required to quote when we have to state something as an opinion rather than as an accepted fact. 'Should' we do it? Probably not as it is not a very encyclopedic word. But there would not be a policy reason not to. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:16, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Um, we have the opinion of one advocacy site that we consider a reliable source. As for policies and guidelines, we have WP:NPOV which cannot be overrulled, and this is clearly a non-neutral term, and we have WP:LABEL which says we shouldn't use such words. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:03, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
What is this stuck record "advocacy site"? Calling QW that seems a bit odd - unless it advocating for consumer awareness and science ... which is aligned with Wikipedia's content goals too. As to NPOV, yes we follow it, not your imaginary version of it: see above. Alexbrn (talk) 18:08, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I was about to ask the same question. Dbrodbeck (talk) 18:37, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think the policy is pretty clear: "Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, or clichéd". Nonsense is obviously meant as a disparaging term here (as are "poppycock" and "bollocks"); this isn't a discussion of Edward Lear's poetry. Such language should only be used with in-text attribution.

As for using the same wording as the sources (vs. "watering down"), policy is clear there too: "Best practice is to research the most reliable sources on the topic and summarize what they say in your own words", and "Wikipedia respects others' copyright. You should read the source, understand it, and then express what it says in your own words".

When the same idea can be expressed with more factual terms such as unfounded, unsubstantiated, disproven, refuted, etc., there's no reason to call something "nonsense". Better still would be to demonstrate with facts why the theory is unfounded; show, don't tell. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 13:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Seeing as how we are not using the word nonsense in the article, I'm inclined to remove the pov tagging recently added. What do other page watchers think? -Roxy the dog. bark 14:26, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Yup, though I suspect the goalposts may move. Alexbrn (talk) 14:44, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
The article currently uses the term "nonsensical" instead of "nonsense", which is merely a superficial change that doesn't alter the meaning of the statement. I certainly wouldn't consider the problem "solved" by the change. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 03:37, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
User:Masem commented on this specific dispute at Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of viewsee diff. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 03:58, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Nonsensical has a different more nuanced meaning: I like it better. Alexbrn (talk) 04:04, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Arguments such as "I like it" usually carry no weight whatsoever in discussions of article content. The actual meaning of nonsensical is "silly or stupid", according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. Once again, "A neutral point of view neither sympathizes with nor disparages its subject" and "Wikipedia describes disputes. Wikipedia does not engage in disputes. A neutral characterization of disputes requires presenting viewpoints with a consistently impartial tone". Describing a topic as flatly nonsensical most certainly does not convey an impartial tone.
We can all trawl around for this or that odd dictionary definition to suit an argument. But going to the usual standard, the OED, we get "Having no meaning; making no sense" for nonsensical - which is perfect. Yes, we don't engage in disputes: we must tell it like it is. And that means nonsensical things will be described as such, for NPOV's sake Alexbrn (talk) 05:13, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
I believe there is a confusion here between "having no meaning" and disproven by evidence. The fact that the theory is wrong doesn't make it meaningless – it just means that its meaning is incorrect. But I suspect there's more to the OED definition than what was quoted – nonsense and nonsensical are universally perjorative labels. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 05:30, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
(Actually it's not the OED but one of the other dictionaries out of OUP online.[4]) The point I think is that the notion (it is not a "theory") is not disproven by evidence (which is probably not possible) - but that it is not even wrong. Something of that force needs to be conveyed. Alexbrn (talk) 05:42, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Then what about a reference to the AICR's statement,[1] which describes the idea as a "myth" (and an "unsubstantiated theory")? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 05:53, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
On another note, giving such prominence in the article to Quackwatch's analysis is surely a case of undue weight when peer-reviewed analyses are available,[2][3] along with a statement from the American Institute for Cancer Research about the topic.[1]Sangdeboeuf (talk) 05:06, 25 February 2017 (UTC) (updated 05:16, 25 February 2017 (UTC))
(edit conflict)
Saying "The idea ... is nonsensical" is still a value-laden label in violation of WP:LABEL. We can call it pseudoscience, which it is. Or we can call it nonsense with proper attribution in the prose. Or we can provide a quotation of the source. What we cannot do is dictate value labels to readers in Wikipedia's voice. ~Anachronist (talk) 05:10, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Pinged here. This sentence "The idea that diet can materially affect blood pH, or that pH is related to a range of diseases, is nonsensical." regardless of "nonsense" or "nonsensical" is terrible encyclopedic writing in WP's voice. What is wrong with "Most dietitians have found no connection between diet and blood pH, nor connection between pH and a range of diseases." or "The hypothesis of the alkaline diet that diet can affect blood pH and subsequently the impact on a range of diseases has been disproven by medical research."? (Or anything similar and far less "familiar"-type language) It's completely fine to call out this diet as pseudoscience but let's still to dispassionate, neutral terms and wording. --MASEM (t) 05:10, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Whatever the merits of the topic, using such value-laden prose in articles damages Wikipedia's reputation as a serious, impartial source of knowledge, in my opinion. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 07:50, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b "Cancer and Acid-Base Balance: Busting the Myth". preventcancer.aicr.org. American Institute for Cancer Research. May 2008. 
  2. ^ Schwalfenberg, GK (2012). "The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health?". Journal of environmental and public health. 2012: 727630. doi:10.1155/2012/727630. PMC 3195546Freely accessible. PMID 22013455. 
  3. ^ Pizzorno, Joseph; Frassetto, Lynda A.; Katzinger, Joseph (15 December 2009). "Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant?". British Journal of Nutrition: 1. doi:10.1017/S0007114509993047. PMID 20003625. 

Conflated topics[edit]

I think we have a problem here (common to other fringey topics such as Leaky gut) whereby two topics are in play, and the fringe one is a kind of parasite on the legitimate one. On the one hand we have the serious study of acidity in the body (in which diet may play some role), and on the other we have the fad diet called the "Alkaline diet". I think we could do a better job making a clean break by making it clear in a hat note that this article is exclusively about a fad diet, and by hiving off any legitimate content elsewhere (either a new article on body acidity - or else it may live naturally at say Acid–base imbalance). The problem at the moment is that the the whole thing confuses BS and science - this is playing the SCAM-promoted game for them. Alexbrn (talk) 08:28, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

That makes sense to me. The article on acid–base homeostasis is not so big that it could not accommodate a short section on medical use of diet to aid regulation. Guy (Help!) 08:32, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Okay: hearing no objection ... Alexbrn (talk) 04:05, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
At first I thought you might be on to something here. The only problem is that we also have reliable sources conflating the two and reviewing them simultaneously. (i.e. Schwalfenberg 2012 and a number of other academic sources). It becomes a little difficult to discuss the topic in reliable sources if the highest quality sources that we have for the diet are also referring to acid-base homeostasis and diet's effects on osteoporosis in their discussions of the fad diet. In short, the two are too intertwined to be separated. InsertCleverPhraseHere 04:12, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Ask Doctor K.[edit]

Can someone explain why this article by Anthony L. Komaroff of Harvard Medical School is an "unreliable EL"? The source looks perfectly reliable to me. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:10, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

It's not WP:MEDRS. While what it says may be perfectly sensible we shouldn't be linking to anything other than impeccable sources for biomedical information, esp. wrt cancer and diet for which we have better sources. 08:22, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
And yet Aetna, not to mention Quackwatch, are WP:MEDRS? This must be a joke. Please explain what makes Komaroff's syndicated column less "impeccable" than these two. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:33, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
If you think those are bad, why add more bad? QW is not a MEDRS, but it's a good source for identifying health fraud/quackery. Alexbrn (talk) 08:36, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Please answer the question. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:40, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
I did: your premise was wrong. Adding non-MEDRS sources, especially when we have good ones (Canadian Cancer Society), does not improve the article. Hence your edit was reverted. This is the way it works. Alexbrn (talk) 08:45, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Calling Ask Doctor K "unreliable" and Quackwatch a "good source" when they make essentially the same points is a ridiculous double standard, in my opinion – especially when the former comes from a notable medical authority. I strongly suggest re-adding the article, and in fact using it (and others such as AICR and CCS) to replace Quackwatch as a source. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:56, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Way to misrepresent what I said with selective quoting. You think other editors won't notice? Alexbrn (talk) 09:18, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

QW is fine for supporting main stream opinion with respect to alt med topics. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:47, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm really at a loss as to the problem people have with QW. Dbrodbeck (talk) 13:31, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
[5]...could be used as indicated by Alexbrn--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 21:39, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm not. Fans of quackery hate every site that accurately discusses SCAM. Guy (Help!) 21:42, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Which means that they ought to hate the external link that Alexbrn removed, right? That's the one that begins "I wish it were [true that an alkaline diet prevents cancer], but it’s not. So-called alkaline diets do not fend off cancer" and ends with "An alkaline diet has no proven health benefits". I can't imagine why anyone would think that this link supports this diet.
This was in the ==External links== section. It doesn't even matter if QuackWatch (which was not disputed here) or this newspaper column is a reliable source, because the WP:External links guideline specifically permits the inclusion of non-reliable sources as external links. This looks like it falls into the permitted category of "Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources". So this would be permitted (assuming editors wanted to include it, of course, because WP:EL takes a particularly hard line about not including disputed links).
So the question is: Should you be disputing this link? If your goal is to be strategic about educating people and changing their minds, then sending them to sites that they can quickly reject because they're so obviously biased against anything in the altmed range is a stupid approach. Sending them to something that sounds impressive (e.g., a syndicated newspaper column from a physician at Harvard Medical School) and isn't dedicated to "anti-SCAM" information is likely to be much more effective. If your goal is to make sure that people who kind-of-sort-of think that this diet might be a good idea are tipped into strong belief through the backfire effect, then we should probably try to cite QuackWatch and other sources with extremist-sounding names in every sentence, and try to make sure that everyone knows that we think it's stupid. I recommend that you think about what you want to achieve, and make your decision after rationally considering what will achieve your goal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:23, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
I know exactly what i want to achieve. Accurate information that does not pander to scammers. People are dying because of the alkaline diet bullshit, that's pretty important. Guy (Help!) 11:01, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm sure that we all wish to provide accurate information to readers. But how does that relate to the sources under discussion? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 13:23, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
If your concern is that the source does not provide "accurate information", then would you please provide a specific example of the inaccurate information that column allegedly contains? That would be very helpful, as the presence of inaccurate information would give us a good reason to discard it immediately. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:43, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is descending into a bizarre meta-argument. To the point: given that the article already contains pretty much all we need to comment on wrt. cancer and this diet, sourced to the Canadian Cancer Society, is any editor here arguing that an EL to "Ask Dr K" enhances the article? Alexbrn (talk) 16:50, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

That's a non-sequitur – I don't think that the article contains all we need to comment on, and additional sources would help to substantiate the information presented. But yes, I am arguing that the link in question is valuable, for the following reasons:
  • It's written for a general audience, and so cuts through the mass of verbiage that tends to clutter Wikipedia articles like these;
  • It's from a recognized medical authority; and
  • As User:WhatamIdoing pointed out, it's free of polarizing language such as "quack" and "nonsense", which are likely to alienate a lot of readers interested in the topic.
Sangdeboeuf (talk) 05:28, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Update: Since no one has said exactly why the Ask Doctor K link is inappropriate, aside from not meeting WP:MEDRS, which doesn't apply to the external links section (which includes "Further reading"), I've re-added it. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 14:17, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
The Canadian Cancer Society – after I enable Javascript and tell lies about living in a Canadian province, so I can see the page at all – says this: "An alkaline diet – also known as an acid alkaline diet – is a diet that consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts and legumes and only small amounts of meats and dairy products. Some people believe that this type of diet will help you lose weight, increase your energy and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer."
The remaining seven sentences say that this diet – a diet of "fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts and legumes and only small amounts of meats and dairy products" – does not work. My initial reaction is to ask them why a high-vegetable diet doesn't work when it's called "acid alkaline" but apparently works just fine on a different page, where they list effective prevention strategies such as "Eating well – lots of veggies and fruit, lots of fibre, and little fat and sugar" and "Red meat and processed meat increase your risk of cancer."
I therefore believe that the CCA page alone is inadequate because it doesn't differentiate the weirdness of this high-veggie diet (and its pseudoscientific blather about pH) from the mainstream recommendation for a high-veggie diet. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:41, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
It's perfectly straightforward. A healthy balanced diet reduces your risk of cancer, but not because it changes the body's pH, and not because it prevents any specific cancer, as alkaloons claim. It's pretty much the same situation as for any fad diet. Proponents claim the fad diet is uniquely able to do X, whereas the reality-based community says any health balanced diet will do X, and by the way most fad diets are healthy and/or balanced only by accident, because they are usually dreamed up by cranks with idiosyncratic notions of how the body works. Guy (Help!) 20:51, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
A very trenchant analysis. What would be truly helpful, however, would be naming a reliable, published source for such information, so that it could be used to actually improve the article. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 23:44, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Have you read the article on fad diets? Guy (Help!) 08:24, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── IMO the first limitation to the CCA source is that it doesn't differentiate this high-veggie, low-meat diet – which excludes certain fruits and vegetables – from any old high-veggie, low-meat diet, e.g., one that includes cranberries, prunes and plums. It says that this is just a high-veggie and low-meat diet; it does not say that this is a high-veggie and low-meat diet that specifically excludes cranberries, prunes and plums (for what most scientists will describe as nonsensical reasons).

If we relied upon the CCA source, we would not accurately describe this diet. We therefore need an additional source, if we want an accurate description of the weirdness of this diet. Do we agree on that much? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:57, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Maybe so, and Dr K might do it, if used explictly for that purpose. But the source has just re-appeared, promoted this time to WP:Further reading, which should really all be RS. Alexbrn (talk) 15:19, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
The Dr K article seems overly simplistic. It's certainly not MEDRS. It doesn't address the alt med issues. I don't understand why it is being discussed. --Ronz (talk) 16:47, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
As Komaroff states, "Proponents of alkaline diets claim that when the body’s pH is too acidic, your risk for many conditions, including cancer, increases. They also claim that by avoiding acidic or acid-producing foods, you can make your pH 'alkaline enough' to prevent cancer ... There are only two problems with this theory. First, to repeat, changes in your diet have only a brief and minimal impact on your body’s pH. Second, there’s no evidence that a brief and minimal increase in pH (to make the blood slightly more alkaline) does anything to prevent cancer".
Looks like it does address alt med issues, in fact. However, there's nothing that says that external links (including "Further reading") have to cover all aspects of a topic (or even meet WP:MEDRS), just that they contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:29, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
What do you mean by "promoted" to WP:Further reading? And where does it state that further reading sources should "all be RS"? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:30, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Lead sentence[edit]

Should it be

"based on the false belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body"

or

"based on the belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body"

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:33, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

It's as if nobody's read the previous discussion about using such value laden terms in Wikipedia's voice. We don't do this. The recent restoration of this word with the reasoning "Wikipedia is based on consensus" reveals an underlying misunderstanding of policy, namely WP:NPOV, which explicitly states that the NPOV policy is not negotiable and not subject to consensus.
As to the sentence itself, it's sufficient to say "belief" rather than "false belief". For the same reason the lead doesn't (and shouldn't) say "Alkaline diet ... describes a group of loosely related diets based on the fact that..." we also don't (and shouldn't) say "Biblical infallibility is the false belief..." (even though plenty of reliable sources say so).
Yes, it's a false belief. That isn't the point. We shouldn't misuse Wikipedia's narrative voice to say so. It's sufficient to state simply that it is a "belief" and then explain its invalidity in the next sentence, as done already in the lead. That is, show, don't tell. That's much more powerful than simply making a bare assertion about "false belief".
The Wikipedia guideline WP:LABEL covers this already. We shouldn't dictate to readers what to think. Doing so violates WP:NPOV. No WP:BURDEN grounded in policy has been met in any of the reverts that restored this word. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:49, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
"false belief" is better, because of WP:NPOV. Wikipedia doesn't take a detached stance on BS. Alexbrn (talk) 04:53, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
No, it violates NPOV and WP:LABEL. Just the word "belief" already implies BS. We're not calling it fact, or even an educated viewpoint. We already hashed this out with the "nonsense" discussion above. And for those who want to argue about consensus: The word "false" was inserted without consensus into the article just a few days ago in this edit. It should have been reverted immediately at that time. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
See WP:PSCI. Needs to be clear this is false. Alexbrn (talk) 05:13, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
"False belief" is clearer. No one is disputing the sources, correct? --Ronz (talk) 15:23, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
It's WP:SYNTH. The MEDRS sources don't say "false belief" so why should we? Furthermore, this is about NPOV, not the subject of the article.
Leading any article with "X is a belief" is a neutral, impartial sentence.
Leading any article with "X is a false belief" violates WP:NPOV. It doesn't matter what the value of X is. The point is that a judgmental-sounding qualifier is being used in Wikipedia's narrative voice, giving the appearance of bias.
WP:PSCI addresses calling things out as psuedoscience. It says nothing about using value-laden terms such as "false belief". Come on people, we had this same discussion about the word "nonsense" above. What part of NPOV is so hard to understand? Why do we need to go though this every time someone decides to insert a judgmental-sounding term into the article?
Sorry guys, I am not seeing the WP:BURDEN being met for this recent change in direction away from impartiality. Are we going to start putting qualifiers on other articles about beliefs? "Pro-innovation bias is the false belief that..." or "Sacerdotalism is the valid belief that..." or "Polytheism is the rational belief in multpled dieties". I doubt anyone would argue that those examples give the appearance of bias. As I said, it doesn't matter what the value of "X" is. I'm focusing on NPOV here, not this article in particular. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:26, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Ref says "They also claim that eating too much of certain foods–animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods–makes your body more acidic and that changing what you eat will change your pH."... "But claiming that restricting certain foods and eating others will make your pH “alkaline enough” to prevent cancer is more fiction than fact."

I am happy with paraphrasing "claim" together with "more fiction than fact" as "false belief". So IMO it is supported by the source provided. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:34, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Yup. S'good. Alexbrn (talk) 19:43, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Remember, NPOV isn't subject to consensus.
That source takes pains to attribute views to proponents. Our lead sentence doesn't. That source also doesn't make a blanket assertion about the whole topic being "fiction", rather it says "more fiction than fact", which is a distinction we don't make. "More fiction than fact" describes pseudoscience, not a flat-out "false belief". Therefore, we are misrepresenting that source in violation of WP:NPOV.
But that's beside the point I made above. We can call pseudoscience what it is. WP:NPOV, and its attendant guidline WP:LABEL, prohibits using value-laden qualifiers that give the appearance of bias. Using the sentence "X is a false belief" isn't an impartial statement, regardless of the value of X, as I wrote above. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:48, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
WP:NPOV says "All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."
The major and significant view on this diet is that those who consider that it alters the bodies pH are holding a "false belief". So we are following NPOV. We do not create a false balance. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:00, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Nobody is advocating a false balance. Misrepresenting a source, as I explained in my previous comment, violates NPOV. Synthesis violates NPOV. Call it pseudoscience. Or attribute the source properly in prose if the source actually calls it "false belief" rather than what it actually says, which is "more fiction than fact". The recent introduction of the word "false" into the lead sentence introduced an NPOV violation where none existed before. ~Anachronist (talk) 20:41, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
The source is not being misrepresented. I agree with Doc James and Alexbrn. We don't do fair and balanced. This has been explained a number of times. Dbrodbeck (talk) 22:02, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Nobody's advocating to "do fair and balanced". I am advocating NPOV compliance. To argue that slapping a label "false" on something is any way neutral, without attributing that label to a source, is ludicrous. This is the same argument that was hashed above about the word "nonsense". Sangdeboeuf said it succinctly: "Whatever the merits of the topic, using such value-laden prose in articles damages Wikipedia's reputation as a serious, impartial source of knowledge." ~Anachronist (talk) 00:05, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
We are allowed to paraphrase, in fact we are required to paraphrase. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:32, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Exactly, and what we have is reasonable paraphrasing. Dbrodbeck (talk) 00:34, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. Combining different parts of a source or parts of different sources to reach a conclusion is not paraphrasing, but rather the definition of editorial synthesis, which is prohibited by policy. Nevertheless, "more fiction than fact" is definitely more nuanced than the simple label "false". "Claim" does not necessarily imply falsity either. More than that, starting any article with "X is based on the false belief" is just sloppy writing, and fairly smacks the reader over the head. Anyone who bothers to read the entire lead section beyond the first sentence should have no illusions about the merits of this idea as it is "the lack of credible evidence supporting the benefits of this diet". —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 02:29, 11 March 2017 (UTC) (updated 18:25, 14 March 2017 (UTC))
So it comes down in your view to mainly being a problem that the wording "fairly smacks the reader over the head". If that's all it is why go to the mat on this? I think it's rather more important: we need to be very clear about what's a fringe view; that's my reason for caring - not just a style quibble. Alexbrn (talk) 18:28, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
See my reply to User:Ronz, below. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:01, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't really chime with your "more than that ..." comment. At this point things are beginning to smell disrupted: could you please state very clearly what the change is you want to make with rationale (while preferably acknowledging that other editors think "false belief" is a good paraphrase). Alexbrn (talk) 04:11, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
The disruption started with the recent unilateral addition of the word "false" without discussion, which (a) is a clear violation of WP:NPOV and WP:LABEL, (b) is not equivalent in meaning to "more fiction than fact" and therefore not a valid paraphrase, and (c) amounts to WP:SYNTHESIS of a conclusion that is not evident in the sources. The disruption was compounded by reverts to restore this word with a rationale of "consensus", ignoring the fact that WP:NPOV is not subject to consensus. It doesn't matter that I also share the view that it's a "false belief" but I won't push my POV here, and I am surprised to see other experienced editors doing this. That is disruptive. ~Anachronist (talk) 07:16, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Removing the content completely [6], citing this discussion as rationale, seems a rather questionable approach at resolving this dispute. --Ronz (talk) 19:41, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

The rationale was actually the need to maintain an impartial tone and avoid editorial synthesis, as I commented above. Both these reasons are supported by policy. In my opinion, the point is already expressed well enough by the phrase "lack of credible evidence" in the second sentence of the lead paragraph. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:01, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not clear how the second sentence is related. --Ronz (talk) 20:44, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems obvious enough. "Alkaline diet ... describes a group of loosely related diets based on the belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body and can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease. Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the benefits of this diet...." First sentence says it's a belief. Second sentence provides the value of that belief. The second sentence could be stronger. I recommend substituting: "The medical community views this diet as pseudoscience, with no credible evidence supporting its benefits. Therefore..."
In that way we show, don't tell, which is far better than slapping in a value-laden bare assertion "false". ~Anachronist (talk) 07:22, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree that we need something to substantiate the apparent mainstream view of the topic as pseudoscience, in the spirit of "show, don't tell". Frankly, I think even calling something pseudoscience without further detailed explanation is an example of unduly loaded, perjorative language, but I gather that the community has other views.
Regarding the label false, one reason it's such a poor choice for WP:NPOV is the fact that it doesn't just mean "erroneous" or "mistaken", but can also mean "fake" (false teeth), "insincere" (false sympathy), as well as "deceitful" and "disloyal" (false promise, false friend). Even when the context shows that those are not the intended meanings, there's enough vagueness there to give the word a disparaging ring, in my opinion. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:19, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
“… the community has other views …” ← I think this nicely sums the situation up. If it's a false belief we can say that and it's not so much "perjorative" as true. We need to be clear and up-front about such nonsenses. I have posted at WP:FT/N. Alexbrn (talk) 09:03, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Please note that in the diff I provided the word "belief" was removed completely, which apparently @Anachronist: didn't notice. Again, I don't seen how Sangdeboeuf can justify that edit at all, and saying that the second sentence of the lede somehow addresses it needs explanation. --Ronz (talk) 16:37, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@Ronz: Yes, I missed that.
There are ways to formulate the lead to avoid running afoul of WP:LABEL. Here's my attempt at rewriting the whole first paragraph in a way that still makes a strong statement with proper attribution and without value-judgment adjectives:
Alkaline diet (...) are diets that their proponents claim affect the acidity (pH) of the body for treatment and prevention of disease. The medical community views these diets as pseudoscience, with no credible evidence supporting their advertised benefits. Therefore, this diet is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals.
Any objection? ~Anachronist (talk) 19:53, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Of course: this is precisely the kind of thing we don't want and for which there is evidently no consensus. We need "false belief" or equivalent, and must assert that this is pseudoscience without weasels. Alexbrn (talk) 05:45, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
So, what is the objection? The three sentences I wrote above are factual, dispassionate, and assertive, without weasels. "False belief" is not going to fly, as it is a clear WP:NPOV and WP:LABEL violation. What I proposed above unequivocally states what the subject is in a show, don't tell form, without resorting to labels. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:21, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
"The medical community views ... " Seriously? Implication is it's just a view (against FRINGE and ASSERT); and per WP:RS/AC you need explicit sourcing to ascribe a view to an entire group like this. I think we're done; the current text is settled. Alexbrn (talk) 21:47, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
"'False belief' is not going to fly [...] I think we're done; the current text is settled – This discussion is devolving into a pissing contest. Experienced editors should know that consensus is built through reasoned arguments, not dictated by fiat. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 18:33, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Reasoned arguments do not include the sorts of arguments I see used below by you and Anachronist. Please understand that nothing about this upsets me in any way. At the end of the day, it's no sweat off my brow if the article reflects your preferred version. But you have both used fallacies and falsehoods to argue your case, and absent those fallacies and falsehoods, there are no arguments left. I know I sound pompous and overbearing, but there's really no other way to say it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:45, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree the "arguments" we're hearing have no merit. We're done here; if the disgruntled parties want to pursue the dispute there's a live thread at WP:FT/N. Alexbrn (talk) 19:05, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Constructive proposals would be helpful. In fact a version of your own edit in another article would work here too: "Medical research has shown that these diets constitute pseudoscience, with no credible evidence supporting their advertised benefits."
The arguments we're hearing from those who insist "false belief" is neutral when used in Wikipedia's voice, have no merit and no basis in policy. Therefore, we should revise the lead. What I proposed makes a stronger statement without resorting to adjectives that sound like an opinion is being dictated to the reader. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:22, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I find the proposal unduly long, the use of "the medical community" rather inappropriate, and overall it doesn't address the concerns by removing all information about the problems with the "beliefs". --Ronz (talk) 21:10, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Alkaline diet (...) are diets that their proponents claim affect the acidity (pH) of the body for treatment and prevention of disease. The medical community views these diets as pseudoscience, with no credible evidence supporting their advertised benefits. Leaving aside the phrase "the medical community" for the moment, what other information about "the problems with the 'beliefs'" would you prefer to see included? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 22:47, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Is anyone disputing that the belief is false? Not that I can see. Is anyone disputing that the RSes contend that the belief is false, even without using the exact phrase "false belief"? Not that I can see. So the only argument for not referring to this as a "false belief" is that policy prevents us from being as accurate as we could be which is, frankly, a pretty crappy argument.
I see someone compared this to polytheism/monotheism. If anyone can find RSes that show that it's impossible to prove that certain foods affect the acidity of the body, then that's a legitimate argument. Otherwise, it falls flat.
I also see someone suggesting that "false" is a poor choice because it's vague, and thus could imply something negative. Well, with any false belief, people push it either knowing it is false (which is fake) or not knowing it is false (which is mistaken). It would be a POV and OR violation to assert that all purveyors and adherents are faking it, just as it would be a POV and OR violation to assert that all purveyors and adherents are mistaken. The more vague term is the better one, in this case, because it's more neutral, accurate and verifiable. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:15, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Invoking WP:IAR now? We especially don't carve out exceptions in WP:NPOV for IAR convenience.
Saying "X is a belief" is neutral. In the case of this article, it's also true. Saying "X is a bullshit belief" or "X is a valid belief" or "X is a [insert adjective] belief" is a value judgment in Wikipedia's voice, which violates NPOV, regardless of the truth of those statements. See WP:LABEL. It is neutral to say "Dieticians regard X as a false belief" because we are attributing the view.
In any case, I think (believe?) the whole problem can be avoided by rewriting the lead paragraph in a show, don't tell way, to make a stronger statement about the legitimacy of this diet. See my comment in italics above. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:53, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Invoking WP:IAR now? We especially don't carve out exceptions in WP:NPOV for IAR convenience. In actual fact, I was very subtly and civilly attempting to convey the point that the arguments for excluding the word "false" are an obvious attempt to wikilawyer in non-neutral language. I am sorry if I was too subtle about it. But for the record: IAR applies to ALL policies. Hence the "A" in the middle.
Saying "X is a bullshit belief" or "X is a valid belief" or "X is a [insert adjective] belief" is a value judgment in Wikipedia's voice "False" is not a value judgement, but a binary, objective descriptive word. Please read the article I linked to, it's quite good and explains exactly what a value judgement is. I see the term misused quite a bit on WP. Calling a false belief "false" is a statement of fact, not a value judgement. Calling it "wrong" would be a value judgement, as would calling it "bullshit" (as you're equating its value to bovine excrement). But false is a binary, objective and factual statement. It is not, in any way, a value judgement.
See my comment in italics above. I'm not married to the phrase "false belief" and I'm not opposed to a rewrite that conveys the same information but with different words. However, your insistence upon putting the consensus of relevant experts into source voice does not jive with WP:YESPOV, which states in part: Avoid stating facts as opinions. For the purposes of WP, the consensus of experts is invariably a fact. Attributing it to them is a POV shift of the sort best known as part of the Wedge strategy, as it implies that they may be wrong. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:10, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
"For the record: IAR applies to ALL policies" – except the ones User:MjolnirPants thinks are important, such as WP:YESPOV? I don't think so. Forgive my incivility, but I find being accused of wikilawyering to be rather insulting, especially when the accuser employs such a blatant double standard themselves.
"Is anyone disputing that the RSes contend that the belief is false, even without using the exact phrase 'false belief'?" – see above comments stating that "more fiction than fact" is not equivalent to "false belief".
"For the purposes of WP, the consensus of experts is invariably a fact" – not true. The consensus of experts is just that – the consensus of experts. Fears that presenting it as such is some sneaky way of introducing bias are unfounded.
For the record, I think that User:Anachronist's proposed wording is much clearer, in part because it presents the information in a sober, reasoned way rather than through shrill, quasi-hysterical language like "false belief". That is how an encyclopedia should function, in my opinion. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 21:54, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
– except the ones User:MjolnirPants thinks are important, such as WP:YESPOV? I'm searching your response for a rationale that ignoring YESPOV would improve the project, and not seeing one. Meanwhile, there's a very clear rationale that ignoring policies in general for the sake of improving the project laid out for you at WP:IAR. A rationale, I might add, that represents a long-standing community consensus. And while it may be easy enough to take two completely different arguments of mine about two completely different points and combine them together to imply that I'm a hypocrite, it's easier still to point out that you took two completely different arguments about two completely different points and combined them together to argue with a statement I never actually made. In case you missed it, I never actually argued that IAR should be applied here. I, instead, argued that it is nonsensical to insist that we use equivocating language in a situation in which we can be enormously certain of the truth simply because some editors interpret policy to suggest that equivocating language is better.
– see above comments stating that "more fiction than fact" is not equivalent to "false belief". So it is your assertion that the source is suggesting that there is truth to the belief that changing your diet will change the acidity of your body and "...can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease."? What about the next source? Are you suggesting that the source calling it "Nonsense" is not stating that it is a false belief? Is the author permitting some leeway when he writes "Dietary modification cannot change the acidity of any part of your body except your urine"?
shrill, quasi-hysterical language like "false belief". This is a prime example of irony. The only thing "shrill" or "quasi-hysterical" I can see is the assertion that a valueless, bland statement of fact such as "false belief" is "shrill" or "quasi-hysterical". Using emotional language to denigrate what you claim is emotional language (for being emotional language, no less) is not a very effective debate tactic. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:30, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
"More fiction than fact" - we go with what reliable sources say, and the source says "more fiction than fact." That does not equate to "false belief". Like with any pseudoscience, an underlying basis of incomplete or selected facts is always there (that's what makes it 'pseudo' science), and the sources make some effort to describe that basis. In the same way that "nonsense" should not be used in Wikipedia's narrative voice, and is no longer used that way in this article, neither should "false belief".
My focus here is on policy, while others appear to be focused on the article topic, which is irrelevant to policy. There is no basis in policy for narrating value judgments to the reader whether true or false; in fact the policy expressly prohibits this.
"X is a false belief" is neither valueless nor bland, it clearly violates WP:LABEL and does come across as shrill when used in Wikipedia's voice.
Nobody has raised any specific objection to my proposal for improvement above, other than WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Let's work on better prose. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:21, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
the source says "more fiction than fact." That does not equate to "false belief". Yes, it does. You insisting that it doesn't is just a fallacy.
There is no basis in policy for narrating value judgments to the reader... I've already linked you to an explanation of what a value judgement is and shown how that is not the case, here. Do you need me to summarize it for you?
"X is a false belief" is neither valueless nor bland, it clearly violates WP:LABEL and does come across as shrill when used in Wikipedia's voice. No, to all of that. We're talking about basic axioms of philosophy here, I'm shocked that I need to explain this. "False" is a binary and objective term when used to indicate negation. It is not a "value" which is a moral position. It does not violate WP:LABEL and there is nothing in that section, nor in the link which is given in the first word to suggest that "false" might be considered any sort of value judgement.
Nobody has raised any specific objection to my proposal for improvement above, other than WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Are you kidding me? I did exactly that just above. Are you even reading my comments? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:49, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Long, rambling messages are difficult to understand, and are frequently either ignored or misunderstood. If you wish other users to take your points seriously, may I suggest that you pay more attention to making your arguments concise and coherent, and base your arguments on reliable sources and Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, rather than Wikipedia articles (such as Value judgement) that anyone can edit? You may wish to have a look at WP:Wikipedia is not a reliable source. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 18:58, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Long, rambling messages are difficult to understand, and are frequently either ignored or misunderstood My response was shorter than the comment it was in reply to, and shorter than a a large number of comments posted to talk pages regular. Suggesting that it's really too long for you to read is nothing but an act of self-deprecation.
may I suggest that you pay more attention to making your arguments concise and coherent, Now you're just casting aspersions.
You may wish to have a look at WP:Wikipedia is not a reliable source How about Merriam Webster? Are they reliable enough? What about dictionary.com? What about an article in a peer-reviewed journal of Philosophy? Is that reliable enough? If you can't comprehend the difference between an editor saving time by using a couple pairs of square braces and an editor who doesn't have a clue how RSes work, then I'm afraid you really have no business editing Wikipedia. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:06, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
First, I agree with MP that false is not a value judgment at all. Secondly, the lede is supposed to summarize the article. There is more than adequate sourcing in the article to support the use of false in the lead. We're literally talking about something impossible here. Even minimal changes to blood pH lead to adverse health effects, at minimum, and can lead to life threatening situations fairly quickly. A fact that is well sourced in the article. Thus the lede should reflect this fact and you can't really get more accurate than false. Capeo (talk) 23:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 'False' is in my opinion being overly POV for no reason. It isn't necessary either; using 'belief' alone is perfectly accurate, and the sentence following the one we are discussing makes it perfectly clear that the consensus is that the alkaline diet is bogus. Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the benefits of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals.[1]InsertCleverPhraseHere 00:44, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

How about "erroneous premise" rather than "false belief"? "Erroneous" is less judgmental than "false" (since everyone makes mistakes). The reason that the premise is erroneous is nicely detailed in the second paragraph, so this would help to make the material flow from one paragraph to the next. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:54, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Yup, that would work too. Alexbrn (talk) 03:55, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Why not just "premise"? As Insertcleverphrasehere points out, the next sentence makes it perfectly clear that the diet is bogus. The adjective doesn't add any value. ~Anachronist (talk) 05:17, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
"Erroneous premise" literally means the exact same thing as "false belief" but I'd expect it sounds more palatable to most because "belief" can be a loaded word. I'm all for that change. Anachronist, I simply can't understand your argument that the adjective doesn't add value. The basis of this diet is wildly false and equivocating serves no purpose. Capeo (talk) 06:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
'Erroneous premise' isn't any better. Again, we make it clear that the belief is erroneous in the second sentence, and it isn't necessary to shove it down the throats of our readers two sentences in a row. There isn't any equivocation going on with the first sentence; it is perfectly true that the concept of the diet is based on the belief that acidic... whatever (the first sentence), and it is also perfectly true that the consensus is that it is bogus (the second sentence). No need to have both sentences say the same thing, moreover, the real problem is that the first sentence doesn't give the reasons why it is false and erroneous, so it feels like a slap in the face to proponents of the diet (the reason it is POV). Whereas the second sentence establishes exactly why the concept is bunk while dismissing it. InsertCleverPhraseHere 07:37, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
so it feels like a slap in the face to proponents of the diet I expect reality is a slap in the face to people who could be taken in by the erroneous premise. Removing it for that reason would violate POV, FRINGE, NOT, and the associated ArbCom decisions. --Ronz (talk) 14:59, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
As I said, it isn't POV to leave out 'false', we clearly state what the consensus is, and the first sentence is perfectly true with just 'belief'. Your assertion that it violates those policies is incorrect. If you want to increase the negativity of the article, perhaps you should look beyond the lede; the actual article content seems remarkably light on criticism given the abject hostility toward the subject that I am seeing on this talk page. I'll think about rewriting the sentence in question so that we can sidestep this issue. InsertCleverPhraseHere 18:38, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
If you want to increase the negativity of the article abject hostility toward the subject We're getting close to ArbCom-enforcable problems now. Please WP:FOC and note that your personal pov doesn't dictate what is NPOV. --Ronz (talk) 15:31, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
To be clear, I am pointing out that the lede is inconsistent with the body of the article. In no way did I advocate for what you are saying. I have no personal stake in this diet, and came here to help after seeing the notice over at the NPOV board. Per my point, the lede is clearly muych more dismissive of the diet than the body, so we either need to shift POV in the lede toward the body, the body toward the lede, or both toward each other a bit. Its up to you guys, but I am just pointing out my observations about the POV issues of the article (as was requested over at the NPOV board). InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I want to point out here that using 'belief' alone is the long term stable version of this article (including what the sentence used when it was assessed as a Good Article). Using 'false belief' was inserted by Guy on March 4th in this edit. As we clearly do not have consensus for a change, the default should be to revert to 'belief' alone as it was the stable edit before the change (consensus is needed for a change, not to leave the article at the state it was prior to the change, per WP:NOCONSENSUS). InsertCleverPhraseHere 22:39, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

You could try a RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:06, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I've made the point relatively clear actually. WP:NOCONSENSUS clearly indicates that we should change it back to 'belief' alone. Then if you want to start an RfC about it, that would be perfectly fine. Could you please explain what policy lead you to re add 'false' given that we don't have a consensus to do so and we have had 3 weeks of edit warring? InsertCleverPhraseHere 10:10, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
The majority support its presence. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:37, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if you are looking at the same discussion I am, but ^that^ is not what consensus for a change looks like. In any case, I've cleaned up the lede as best I can, and I'll be stepping away from this article. InsertCleverPhraseHere 10:54, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Insertcleverphrasehere I am looking at the discussion above, and in it you are the only editor to present a coherent and policy-based reason for exclusion. Several other editors (including myself) have presented coherent, policy-based reasons to include it (for the record, I'm okay with "Erroneous premise" as well). I think we can all agree that consensus is about the weight of arguments, and that Doc James was implicitly accounting for that in his comment. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:25, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

"Incorrect belief" is IMO fine as well. If people are unhappy they should try a RfC to gather further input. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:29, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

The current wording is "incorrect belief", it is slightly better than 'false' (due to the avoidance of other definition confusion of false), however, it still suffers from a bit of POV issues (calling someone's belief incorrect in wikipedia's voice still seems a bit POV to me). I would prefer "unfounded belief" if you guys are ok with that, as being the most NPOV word I can think of that still satisfies the desire to specify that the ideas behind the belief's of proponents are factually incorrect. The definition of unfounded:"having no foundation or basis in fact." InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:10, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
It's still a WP:LABEL violation. I object to any adjective preceding "belief". Just the word "belief" is factual and neutral. In fact, I object to including "belief". This is better: "Alkaline diet (...) are diets that their proponents claim affect the acidity (pH) of the body for treatment and prevention of disease."
Using "proponents claim" is factual, neutral, and doesn't provide credibility to the diet in any way. ~Anachronist (talk) 03:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Except that 'proponents claim' violates WP:CLAIM. InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:32, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not a WP:LABEL vio (which is an MOS page, anyways), and I've explained why to you multiple times now. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:49, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
"Incorrect" is clearer IMO and thus restored. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:17, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Even though I added "incorrect belief", I'm thinking now that using any adjective like "false", "incorrect", or "unfounded" in the lead sentence is an inappropriate form of editorializing, and amounts to taking sides in a dispute. The medical consensus is already described in the lead section, and using such categorical labels is simply un-encyclopedic, even when writing about pseudoscience. Consider that the lead sections for Astrology, Ancient astronauts and the Hollow Earth describe their subjects perfectly well without flatly stating that they are false, unfounded, or untrue. Instead, they describe the weight of scholarly evidence refuting these ideas in a disinterested manner. I think this article should be rewritten along the same lines. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 06:25, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Words like claim are not banned, and in this case claim should be easy to support with reliable sources. The statement that someone is claiming something is objectively verifiable, as opposed to an editorial description of the claim as "false", "incorrect", etc. Per WP:CLAIM, "To write that someone asserted or claimed something can call their statement's credibility into question, by emphasizing any potential contradiction or implying a disregard for evidence" – well, I think that's what most reliable sources do imply in this case, so there should be no problem with using the word here. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 07:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Another problem with belief is that it presupposes that any of the users or proponents of the alkaline diet do in fact believe in it – which is, of course, an unverifiable assumption. I've replaced "incorrect belief" with "claim". —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 07:14, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Now it's time to drop the WP:STICK. This is getting disruptive. Remember DS applies here. Alexbrn (talk) 10:51, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
'Claim' violates WP:CLAIM as proposed here. I am not saying the word "claim" is banned (we use it elsewhere in the lede after all), but as proposed here it violates WP:CLAIM because you are not being clear about what you are trying to say, but rather trying to imply something with loaded language. The second sentence doesn't have this problem because of the first part about "a lack of credible evidence".
I still like "unfounded" instead of "incorrect" personally, as it seems more accurate and less POV to me. WP shouldn't be calling a belief "incorrect" per WP:IMPARTIAL, Sangdeboeuf is correct to use this policy here I think. WP:IMPARTIAL says "The tone of Wikipedia articles should be impartial, neither endorsing nor rejecting a particular point of view". A belief can be unfounded however, "having no basis in fact", and it is ok for WP to say so in clear terms. InsertCleverPhraseHere 11:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
An assertion in the realm of science is not a "point of view" (except to people who are scientifically illiterate). We assert what is false, is false. To be neutral. Alexbrn (talk) 12:05, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Alex is right: Whether a belief about a scientific hypothesis (in this case: Eating alkaline foods can increase the alkalinity of your body) is true or false, correct or incorrect is not a question of POV or ethics, nor a subjective judgement. It is a completely binary proposition. There are only two options: It is true, or it is false. It is correct, or it is incorrect. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:23, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not going to start arguing the issue of whether science is capable of proving something absolutely true or false; what's important here is keeping the article in line with Wikipedia's core content policies, which state that all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source. Wikipedia itself does not "assert" anything not directly supported by reliable sources, no matter how true it may be. In this case, "claim" is a better term than "[incorrect] belief", since it more closely summarizes the meaning of the sources cited. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 14:15, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)No-one has said anything about absolute truth. The usual disclaimers apply (being the usual disclaimers means we would only specify when they didn't apply). As far as WP is concerned, if something is established beyond any reasonable doubt, we say that it is true. We don't explicate all the same caveats one normally sees in peer-reviewed articles because our articles aren't being submitted for peer-review and consideration by the scientific community, but being presented to laypersons trying to learn about a specific subject. The suggestion that we engage in equivocation is harmful to that goal.
Your implication that the falsity of this claim is not born out by reliable sources is laughably wrong, by the way. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:19, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Distinction between groups of proponents[edit]

I realize that the "incorrect" bit of the lede sentence is supposed to be talking about quacks that say that eating alkaline ash food makes your blood magically go high pH and that kills all the cancer or some such nonsense, and not legit doctors who used to perscribe alkaline ash diets for osteoporosis, but the lede sentence is not making this clear. The main problem is one that has been pointed out before, we have quack dietitians trying to promote a blood changing pH diet that magically kills cancer (clearly both false and incorrect) and legitimate scientific study and discourse on whether alkaline diets help for osteoporosis (not clearly false nor clearly incorrect; the consensus is something along the lines that alkaline diets don't work very well because the role of protein is complicated and not as simple as acid or alkaline)[7][8][9]. The situation is not as simple as the first sentence currently makes out, nor is the scientific consensus firmly against alkaline diets having a positive role in fighting diseases (TO BE CLEAR: just talking about bone health here, the magic anti-cancer proponents are quacks).

Yes the sentence as it stands right now is technically accurate (that the blood pH does not change with regards to diet), but only because it leaves out the fact that most proponents of alkaline diets for osteoporosis never actually suggested that it changes the pH of your blood, but rather that it helps your body regulate pH without dissolving your bones (because that's how the body makes sure your pH doesn't change). The old wording worked because there was nothing wrong with saying that some people believe one thing (sentence 1), then saying that it isn't backed up by scientific evidence (sentence 2). That was an accurate portrait of the situation, but even then it didn't tell the whole story with regard to the osteoporosis theory. Saying "incorrect" in the way we have seems to almost purposefully obfuscate a real scientific debate on the osteoporosis issue, which certainly violates WP:IMPARTIAL.

Even "unfounded" is not sufficient to solve this issue, I was wrong to suggest it. A possible solution is to separate the pH changing claims from the bone health claims, and describe them differently in terms of their plausibility. Something like:

  • "Alkaline diet (also known as the alkaline ash diet, alkaline acid diet, acid ash diet, and the acid alkaline diet) describes a group of loosely related diets based on various ideas about how certain foods affect the acidity (pH) of the body. Some proponents of these diets incorrectly propose that the pH of the body can be made more alkaline by such diets and that this can be used to treat a range of diseases, while others do not claim that the diet causes pH changes in the body, but rather propose that an alkaline diet can help the body regulate pH without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions that might result in adverse affects on bone health."

I know it is long winded, but perhaps ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants can help condense it down a bit. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 14:21, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

@Insertcleverphrasehere: For the most part, in terms of overall meaning and in the majority of details, you have hit the nail on the nose (anyone care for a metaphor salad?). I would, however, like to point out two things which, I believe bear consideration after reading your comment:
  1. When it comes to the truth or falsity of any claim of fact, it is a binary proposition, as I have pointed out before. To say something is "mostly true", for example, is to say "Something very similar to this is true, but this is false." The same goes when saying something is "mostly false". It means "Something very similar to a direct negation of this is true, and this is false." This is the crux of what you were getting at when you said the sentence is "technically accurate", I believe.
  2. The claim of falsehood (or "incorrect-hood" as the case may be) is simplistic, yes. But the claim it is stated in response to is also simplistic. It does not do article subject justice (and would even damage the article by making it more difficult to parse), to respond to a simplistic claim with technical language, caveats and equivocating. When the claim is made that "X is good fer ya!" we shouldn't respond "In sufficiently low doses, under the proper circumstances, X is actually capable of producing certain metabolic changes which can be beneficial to a very small percentage of the population to a very small degree, but comes with significant harmful side effects that cause the medical community to not recommend X as a treatment or supplement." That's just confusing for a lede. Instead, we should say "No, it isn't," and save the precise and detailed explanation for the body. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:31, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
@ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants But "No, it isn't" isn't the whole story, and only talks about some of the proponents, moreover it refers to the rather vague "belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body" which could really refer to either of the above groups (cancer quacks or the bone debate). What you are suggesting sounds a lot like editorializing to me. Our job isn't to oversimplify things just so that we can get our point across. Our job is to display the facts impartially. Conciseness is a virtue, but only so long as it does not impact precision. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 14:47, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
@Insertcleverphrasehere: ut "No, it isn't" isn't the whole story, I agree, which is why I suggested we tell the whole story in the body. The lede is for summarizing, and in this case "No, it isn't" is not only technically true, but the best way to summarize. This article is, after all, about the fad diets, not about the overall utility of monitoring the acidity of one's nutritional intake, a subject which would be more appropriate for WebMD than Wikipedia. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:56, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
For the record, you don't need to use the styling of my username unless you want to. I know it takes an extra few clicks to do that. :) ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:11, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
@ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants I don't think so. The statement is only "technically true" if we intentionally leave out the bone density proponents. We end up describing the diet as being based solely based on the belief that foods can raise pH, and then describing this belief as false. Meanwhile we neglect to mention that a large subset of the proponents (and the best qualified I might say) say that it isn't about lowering the pH of the blood at all, but about lowing the acid load on the acid-base homeostasis systems. What we have just done is create an incomplete definition, and then disproven it. If we do include the bone health proponents in the definition (as we damn well should), we can't describe their beliefs as "incorrect" or "false" or even "unfounded" because the sources are not nearly as dismissive of these ideas (in fact there is ongoing debate in MEDRS sources). What we have here is a problem of False equivalence. Telling the whole story in the body does not make our definition of alkaline diet in the first sentence any less incomplete and is not a solution at all.
As for the styling, it is actually easier to just copy paste your name from your signature with an @ symbol in front, so it is easier to use the styling than without. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 15:19, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The article, as it stands doesn't address the usage of "...lowering the pH of the blood at all, but about lowing the acid load on the acid-base homeostasis systems." I might be convinced to agree with adding that in if we shift the focus of this article from, as I mentioned above, the fad diets to the general utility of monitoring the acidity of one's nutritional intake (a prospect I don't think is appropriate and would require significant convincing on). As far as I have seen, none of the fad diets address any of the legitimate uses for monitoring the acidity of foods, and instead all promise to cure or prevent cancer/heart disease/low energy levels/whatever. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:34, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
It is addressed in the "current hypotheses" section. Again, the consensus IS that the diet doesn't work reliably for osteoporosis prevention, but not to the degree that we can straight up say that their ideas are "incorrect" or "false". I don't have a problem with legitimately calling out the fad diets and alternative medicine pH raising claims as bullshit, but it needs to be separated from the scientific debate about the "acid-ash hypothesis" that was proposed to play a role in osteoporosis. The body of the article has about as much about fad diets and alt medicine ("alternative medicine" and "evidence base" sections) as it does about the osteoporosis debate (in the "current hypothesis" section), so I do not see an argument that it is not WP:DUE holding any water.
I am heading off to bed, and I'll get back to you on this tomorrow. I'll have a think about the best way to keep the wordiness down but also address the bone health theories in the diet definition. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 16:00, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not seeing anything in that section or it's sources to justify equivocating. Systematic reviews, and meta-analyses of pertinent published data have been done, and no evidence of the "current hypothesis" has been found. There may be some debate still, but certainly not enough to warrant reflection in the article lede. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:34, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is already reflected in the lede (see the last sentence), the issue here is that our defining sentence is inaccurate because we've chosen to only consider fad diet proponents when writing it.

Consider this sentence: "Alkaline diet describes a group of loosely related diets based on the incorrect belief that certain foods can help the body regulate pH without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions that might result in adverse affects on bone health."

Here I have decided to explicitly leave out the fad diets, and only consider the osteoporosis theories. Is our language still appropriate saying that it is based on an "incorrect belief"? No it isn't. While reviews do indicate that the diet isn't effective at this purpose, there is nowhere near the justification needed to say "incorrect belief" in this case without violating WP:IMPARTIAL. My point is that our current wording does not distinguish between fad diet proponents and bone health theories, and the "incorrect belief" wording is only appropriate for one of those groups. We need a more detailed definition that distinguishes between the two. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:05, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

But the claims of the proponents of these diets isn't that "certain foods can help the body regulate pH without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions" it's that certain foods will change the overall pH balance of your body and thus cure cancer and heart disease, give you more energy and make your penis larger[citation needed][10] [11]. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
No. That is the claim of many of the proponents (the alternative medicine quacks), not all proponents of alkaline diets. The bone health theory proponents do not all claim as such (for example even some of the the alternative medicine people). In the lede sentence we are lumping them all together, I feel like I have been super clear on this point. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:18, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Even the Quackwatch source was careful to differentiate between the two: "When you take in more protein than your body needs, your body cannot store it, so the excess amino acids are converted to organic acids that would acidify your blood. But your blood never becomes acidic because as soon as the proteins are converted to organic acids, calcium leaves your bones to neutralize the acid and prevent any change in pH. Because of this, many scientists think that taking in too much protein may weaken bones to cause osteoporosis."InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:28, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Honestly, it sounds like you're drawing a distinction the article doesn't draw for the most part, though the sources often do. If the article were to reflect that distinction, I'd likely agree with something like "Alkaline diet describes a group of loosely relate diets, based either on the incorrect belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body and can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease, or else on the controversial belief that certain foods can help the body regulate pH without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions that might result in adverse affects on bone health." It's a mouthful, but we could work it down. But right now, the article reads as if... "There's a bunch of woo out there that's totally bunk. Oh and also there's a tiny little bit of actual science similar to the woo that's probably bunk as well, but it has nothing really to do with the fad diets so we're not going to get into that here". If the article read more like "There's a bunch of woo out there that's totally bunk, not to be confused with the similar actual science which is only probably bunk." I would be down to make the lede reflect that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:32, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
(ec) For what it's worth: One proponent puts it this way: "If we are not eating enough alkaline-forming foods, then our body has to pull these important [alkaline-rich] minerals from our bones, teeth and organs. This can compromise our immune system, cause fatigue and make us vulnerable to viruses and disease." Basically it isn't promoting the "incorrect belief" that an alkaline diet changes the body's pH balance, but rather helps make it easier for the body to regulate that balance.
And then we have the notorious Dr. Oz, who comes right out and makes a claim nearly identical to the "incorrect belief" referred to in this article.
I agree with Insertcleverphrasehere, a distinction should be made. ~Anachronist (talk) 20:39, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
@ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants, I agree that the body of the article should also make the distinction more clear as well. This isn't an argument that we shouldn't touch the lede though, or else we end up in a chicken and egg situation. I propose that we agree on a modification to the lede sentence as proposed above and also separate out the osteoporosis stuff in the body its own section, with some summary sentence like: "Some proponents of alkaline diets do so on the idea that alkaline forming foods allow the body to maintain a normal pH without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions that might leach calcium from the bones, thus resulting in less risk for osteoporosis. However, systematic reviews indicate that the situation is considerably more complex than this, and that a high protein diet is not a significant risk factor for osteoporosis and may actually help prevent osteoporosis." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Insertcleverphrasehere (talkcontribs) 21:10, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm pretty much okay with that, provided the body reflects it. I very much believe that the lede should follow the body, not the other way around. Also, I fixed your indenting (and signed your comment, For shame! For SHAME!) so as to make it clear you weren't agreeing with the comment that offered up some random, anonymous web site and Dr Oz as MEDRS sources. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:16, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

arbitrary break[edit]

In general where there is some alt med pseudoscience thing that plays off real science we treat them separately. A big reason for this is that the lunatic charlatans play off the real science to sell their bullshit. See for example Leaky gut syndrome (bullshit) and Intestinal permeability (a real physiological thing). Likewise Vitamin C megadosage and Vitamin C. If folks want to have content on actual science it should go somewhere else. Jytdog (talk) 20:57, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

This is why I'm a little wary of drawing the distinction more clearly in the article. There are ways it could be done, but there are so many ways it could go wrong... ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:19, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Jytdog I don't see how we can separate these two in the way you describe, as the diet advocated between the two groups is pretty much identical, it is only the claims about how it works and what it can be used to treat that are different (this is very different to the vitamin C controversy, where the claims as well as the dosage of VC is very different between the two topics). Our most reliable sources (medical review articles) also tend to discuss both at once.
How about something like: "Alkaline diet describes a group of loosely related diet theories that discuss the effects of different types of food on the pH balance of the body. These originated from controversial theories about how that certain foods can help the body regulate acidity (pH) without resorting to acid-base homeostasis reactions that might result in adverse affects on bone health, however, various fad diet proponents have made incorrect claims that alkaline foods actually change the pH of the body and have advocated without evidence that the diet is cure for a range of diseases unrelated to bone health."InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:30, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The way the article is set up now, with clear sections on actual med hypothesis and alt med, doing a split would be extremely easy, and this would solve the problem with the lead. The fad diet should be split and be at Alkaline diet (alternative medicine) or Alkaline diet (fad diet). Jytdog (talk) 21:39, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, since the claims about the benefits differ as much as the claims about mechanism do, I'm with Jytdog. But the question of what to call the article about the more scientific version remains open (IMHO) because using the current title for that may be confusing. Perhaps High alkaline diet? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
From what I can tell, a good common name for the med hypothesis that differentiates it from the fad diet might be "acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis"[12]. Some discussion of osteoporosis would still need to occur in the fad diet article though, as there are fad diet variants that specifically follow the "acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis" (i.e. this one) and that can't be simply described as "incorrect" like the other fad diet quacks. So we might end up simply pawning the problem off to the new fad diet article. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:55, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
That's a bit of a mouthful, but I'm game! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:57, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Alright, if you guys are keen to split the article into something along the lines of "Acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis" and "Alkaline fad diet", I won't object. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 22:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

POV of the article as a whole[edit]

An issue I am seeing with the article (outside the lede) is that it is remarkably light on the criticism. Even in the hypothesis section, there is evidence that is shown that it might cause bone disease, but not a lot of sourcing outright calling the diet concept 'false'. The lede on the other hand is so vehement that every paragraph in it ends with a statement that the diet is an erroneous concept, and these statements are not backed by good sources either. We have one archived source from 'intelihealth' which isn't exactly a journal review article or anything, and we have another source from 'quackwatch': a source who's website and name should clue us in to the fact that this is not a reliable source (I have removed it). Another issue I am seeing with the article is that the sourcing of the consensus against the alkaline diet seems extremely weak, in fact, the only review article that we cite on alkaline diets that I have found concludes that "There may be some value in considering an alkaline diet in reducing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and further studies are warranted in this area of medicine."[13]

Similarly, the 'evidence base' section offers some solid criticisms, but again not to the level of calling the entire concept false.

I really do not think we have the sort of negative coverage to justify the statements in the lede that condemn the diet repeatedly, and at the very least, the lede is currently wildly unrepresentative of the article as a whole (the lede should summarize the article, this lede does nothing of the sort). InsertCleverPhraseHere 19:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Some of the stuff in the lead should be in the body. Since editors know the lead is the only part of the article that many of our readers actually read, there's often a tendency to pack anything important into the lead. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:28, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, as I pointed out, that tendency is contrary to policy, especially when it is unsourced, or sourced very badly. InsertCleverPhraseHere 19:30, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
The sources I mentioned above were discussed over at RSN and the consensus was that they were ok, but that we should add better sources if available. I did a bunch of small edits to the lede, both to improve the sourcing, as well as to avoid repetition. With the exception of the change I have proposed in the 'Sources for the lede' section below, I believe that the issues with the lede have largely been resolved now. InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:20, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

RSN notice[edit]

Note there is a post on RSN that I have started to discuss the reliability of two sources from the lede. InsertCleverPhraseHere 19:32, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for this. I left a note at FTN as well. Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:38, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

NPOV notice[edit]

I just realized that I can't find a notice on this page of the discussion over at the NPOV noticeboard regarding this article (it might be buried in the above discussion). Anyway; there is a discussion there about the use of 'false' in the lede over at the NPOV noticeboard. Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard#Alkaline_diet_and_.22false_belief.22 For future reference, a notice should have been provided as a separate section when the discussion was started. InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:36, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

The WP:FORUMSHOP is evidently open for business! I think there is soon going to be a need to sanction some WP:PROFRINGE editors. Alexbrn (talk) 20:40, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Sheesh. WP:AGF already. The purpose was to direct parties interested in NPOV to this page, not to start a discussion there. ~Anachronist (talk) 03:25, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Sources for the lede.[edit]

The lede is woefully undersourced. Having tried to add sources, I was accused of POV pushing here. The sources I added were from Authoritynutrition.com (written by a dietitian), and another source that is a review article that is already sourced in the body of the article. I also changed one sentence from:
"Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the benefits of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals."

to

"There is a consensus among dietitians or other health professionals that the claims about the mechanism behind the diet are false, but that the diet may have other health benefits."
Which is an accurate reflection of the sources added:

The authority nutrition source states:"Unlike many other strange diets, the alkaline diet is actually quite healthy. It encourages a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and healthy plant foods, while restricting processed junk foods. However, the claims about the mechanism behind the diet are NOT supported by evolutionary evidence, human physiology or any reliable study in humans. Acids are actually some of the most important building blocks of life… including amino acids, fatty acids and your DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The alkaline diet is healthy because it is based on real and unprocessed foods. It has absolutely nothing to do with being acidic or alkaline. Period."

and the review article states: "There is no substantial evidence that this improves bone health or protects from osteoporosis. However, alkaline diets may result in a number of health benefits as outlined below... [list of benefits here, too long to copy but you can go see the source]... From the evidence outlined above, it would be prudent to consider an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity and mortality of chronic disease that are plaguing our aging population.

Please discuss. InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:32, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

The Alkaline diet review at WebMD came to similar conclusions. As did the globalhealingcenter.com, [14]. a review over at foodandnonsense.com pointed out that the ideas behind it are bunk, but that it could have health benefits die to its high fruit/veg recommendations, but ultimatley advised against it as it is overly complicatedcompared to other diets with similar benefits [15]. A review at self.com is similar, noting that the theory is bunk, the diet is reasonably healthy, but notes that users of the diet should be careful to make sure they get all the micronutrients they need [16]. a review of the diet at shape.com also comes to similar conclusions, saying that "Like lots of other fad diets, alkaline programs get you to make healthy changes by feeding you spurious justifications. If you're eating tons of meat, processed foods, and refined grains, ditching those in favor of more fruits and vegetables is beneficial in all sorts of ways. It just has nothing to do with changing your body's pH levels," [17].
I think that these sources overwhelmingly support the statement "There is a consensus among dietitians and other health professionals that the claims about the mechanism behind the diet are false, but that the diet may have other health benefits.", or some variation of it. InsertCleverPhraseHere 23:40, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Note typo fix (bold above). InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Why do you keep using rubbish sources? If the diet is good by accident that's like the "homeopathy is effective for treating dehydration" argument. Alexbrn (talk) 11:27, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a pretty amusing metaphor, and quite apt. I will point out that many of these sources aren't really any worse than the Intelihealth one that is currently being used alone (that writer was also a dietition/nutritionalist). How else to establish consensus then to look at what dietitians are actually saying? In any case, my recommendations are above, and are available for anyone to make an edit if they feel it is appropriate, I however will be moving back to my regular duties over at NPP. InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:13, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
  • One issue I'm seeing is that both sentences are correct. Dieticians and nutritionists do not recommend it, but they agree that it may have health benefits. Of course, I'm sure they'd all agree that spending all your free time exercising and planning meals while your family goes ignored may have health benefits, but they wouldn't recommend that, either. I bet dollars to donuts they'd recommend homeopathy's standard treatment in cases of dehydration, as well. I do think the sources cited are good enough to add an addendum, and I propose the following:
"Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that its emphasis on eating unprocessed foods may have health benefits."
Thoughts? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:00, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Strike "its emphasis on". Alexbrn (talk) 21:06, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Works for me like hooked on phonics.
"Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that eating unprocessed foods may have health benefits."
ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:47, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Looks good. Dbrodbeck (talk) 00:16, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd suggest that some variant of "the diet's adherence to eating unprocessed foods" is probably advised for context, given that we haven't yet mentioned that this is one of the suggestions of the diet (before this sentence I mean). But either way it is a definite improvement. InsertCleverPhraseHere 02:20, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Doesn't make sense. The diet doesn't "adhere". Alexbrn (talk) 03:41, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Hence the phrase 'some variant of', I think I've made my point clear. InsertCleverPhraseHere 04:08, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
I understand Clever's concern here. It's actually the same concern I have about the "false belief" statement, but applied to different content. Yes, the diet is elsewhere described as emphasizing unprocessed foods, and it's stated in the proposed wording that eating unprocessed foods is healthy. Meanwhile, the idea that the sources are (clearly) trying to communicate is that this diet may be healthy and why. Instead of saying that, my current proposed wording says that eating unprocessed foods may be healthy. I've skipped over what the sources said, and turned their explanation of a statement into their sole statement.
Reconsidering, I think the first wording I proposed is best.
"Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that its emphasis on eating unprocessed foods may have health benefits."
ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:32, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Still got a grammar snit: it's not its emphasis which has health benefits. Cut "its emphasis on" and it makes sense (maybe add "as the diet recommends" somewhere if you feel the need). Alexbrn (talk) 12:41, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
The diet has an emphasis (which is the same thing as it's recommendations), and that emphasis is on unprocessed food. Since it is a direct result of that emphasis, it's fine to attribute qualities or results (since the emphasis is the object in that part of the sentence). Grammatically, it's perfectly fine. That being said, I have no problem with your suggestion, either. Here's the latest round with some alts:
A: "Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that its recommendation to eat unprocessed foods may have health benefits."
B: "Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that it may have health benefits due to the recommendation to eat unprocessed foods."
C: "Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that a diet consisting of unprocessed foods -as this one does- may have health benefits."
D: "Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though several have noted that eating unprocessed foods as this diet recommends may have health benefits."
Personally, I think the last one reads the best. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:31, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
D is fine! Alexbrn (talk) 15:04, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
@ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants D seems fine except for the hanging 'due' at the end. Is that a typo? InsertCleverPhraseHere 20:28, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
"may have health benefits due" ? What is "due" doing there? Jytdog (talk) 20:41, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Yup. it's a typo. I've fixed it now. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:43, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that the edit is good and represents the consensus, especially among dietitians, but we need to add a source or two to the statement as the only source used currently doesn't actually go into the unprocessed foods discussion. Perhaps the Schwalfenberg 2012 review, or one or more of the sources that I listed at the top of this section (though Alexbrn has expressed concern with some of these sources). InsertCleverPhraseHere 21:37, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

I linked the WebMD and Schwalfenberg review from the body as sources, as they both have conclusions that support the second half of the sentence. MebMD also supports the intelihealth source for the first half of the sentence. Feel free to revert and discuss here if you don't agree. InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:22, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Actually the correct statement re the health benefits of unprocessed food would be "any health benefits are likely to be due to the emphasis on unprocessed foods". Because, as others have pointed out, this is a case of being partially right and only by accident. Guy (Help!) 16:39, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I've said this before on this talk page, but any such evaluation, interpretation, analysis, or synthesis requires a citation to a reliable source. Providing such sources would be more helpful to the project than making general statements about the topic – this is not a discussion forum. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 07:34, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Chiding an admin about talk page guidelines when the admin was discussing the wording of a sentence in the lead? Really? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:06, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Community Reassessment[edit]

Alkaline diet[edit]

DELIST:
  • Summary: Consensus exists to Delist this article.
  • Reason A strong consensus developed throughout the discussion to Delist this article. I have therefore returned it to its B-class rating. It is important to point out that this closure does not set any sort of precedent - it applies solely to this article. Exemplo347 (talk) 13:17, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment pageMost recent review

Due to ongoing content disputes and edit warring for the last month, the article clearly fails GA criteria 5 and is not stable. InsertCleverPhraseHere 03:53, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Delist. The article is incoherent: it mixes up a fad diet with legitimate research into body acidity. Needs a complete re-write (as discussed in Talk). The edit-warring is a symptom of this I think. Alexbrn (talk) 04:04, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Delist Agree needs significant work. Needs further organizations. The medical aspects section contains lots of non medical aspects. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:21, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Delist Agree with my colleagues above. Dbrodbeck (talk) 11:43, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Delist I'm in lockstep agreement with all the above. It's going to end up being a good article, but for now it's not something we want to highlight. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:23, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Delist due to content disputes concerning NPOV. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:15, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Retain G article status - This means any article that generates new editing should be delisted. If the article was stable when it was reviewed, then it was stable. There is no condition of a continuous state of stability to retain its status or we would be doing massive reevaluations of all G articles. Best Regards, Barbara (WVS)   15:51, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
    • And why not? Besides, if you would have a look at the talk page and edit history, you would see that it's not simply a case of "new editing", but rather an ongoing dispute regarding neutral POV, with accompanying edit-warring. I'm guessing that such problems are why WP:GAR exists in the first place. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 22:43, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
    • @Barbara (WVS) The reassessment page says that you should use the process "when you find an article listed as a good article that you don't believe satisfies the good article criteria". The criteria linked does include 'stable'. This indicates to me that GA's should at the very least not have ongoing content disputes, even if the dispute happens after the review. While I agree that simple content changes should not generate a review (which would at the very least be highly impractical), edit warring and long term content disputes violate Criteria 5. If what you say is common practice, perhaps we should discuss updating Wikipedia:Good_article_criteria#cite_note-8. In any case, other users have raised other issues with retaining it as a GA. InsertCleverPhraseHere 23:06, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Delist.
There are a few issues with this article that indicate it might not fulfill the GA Criteria 2B (reliable sources), :
  1. Ref 15 is dead and cannot be verified.
  2. External link to an anonymous blog.
  3. Ref #17 is to a charity that has a a 1-star rating from Charity Navigator and is not very highly-regarded (see Chicago Tribune, Charity Watch - which gives the American Institute for Cancer Research a grade of F - I am not sure that this organizations' publications should be regarded as reliable sources or that the group itself should be cited within the article's text as an expert-organization.
Fails GA Criteria 1A & 1B regarding prose & MOS guidelines.
  1. There is a POV-statement in the lead section that "Due to the lack of credible evidence supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals,[1][2] though several have noted that eating unprocessed foods as this diet recommends may have health benefits.[2][3] [<-bolding mine] Several? Which "several", how many "several"?...apparently 2. And is this statement supported within the main text? Sure doesn't seem so, Ref #3 is repeated but I fail to see this "several" that the lead mentions.
  2. There is a single section called "Adverse effects" which implies by omission that the rest of the article is about the good effects but reading through the rest of the article the claimed good effects are just that - unsupported assertions, seems to me the adverse effects section could almost be the entire article.
  3. Agree with the statement by Alexbrn about how the article mixes up fad diet claims in with legitimate research - the article needs to undergo a somewhat-ruthless re-write to deal with these issues.
The "Historical uses" section fails or, at least gives the appearance of failing 1A, 1B and 2B.
  1. It makes several vague statements about the usage of this diet in the past using words like "historically" and "years ago" but the word-choices are somewhat vague and the sourcing for these statements is also somewhat lacking - it is possible that the information is contained in Ref #20 & #21 back these statements up. If this is so, including refquotes from the sources that are within the paragraph would go a long way towards assuaging any doubts. Shearonink (talk) 00:36, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Acid Reflux[edit]

This article suggests that alkaline diets are "based on the incorrect belief that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body and can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease, " however less acidic foods are often recommended to people with GERD or LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux) to reduce stomach acidity, and there is no mention of this in the article:

https://med.stanford.edu/content/dam/sm/ohns/documents/voicecenter/resources/Stanford_ENT_Clinic-LPR_Protocol.pdf "Citrus fruits, kiwi, pineapples, tomatoes (and other acidic foods), spicy deli meats, and hot spices (hot mustard, curry, hot peppers) directly irritate the throat lining. "

http://www.voiceinstituteofnewyork.com/silent-laryngopharyngeal-reflux-lpr-an-overview/ "When a patient has severe LPR, it is well worth prescribing a two-week induction (“detox”) reflux diet in which nothing consumed that is pH <5; " XBiophagex (talk) 01:11, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

This is straightforward conventional medicine and has nothing to do with the alkaline diet as such. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:11, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Shouldn't the article clearly articulate the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate uses of an "alkaline" diet?XBiophagex (talk) 06:04, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps, if we can clearly avoid WP:OR, especially not to promote a pov not in any reliable sources.
The LPR bit, which appears completely unrelated to Alkeline diets, doesn't look like a MEDRS. --Ronz (talk) 15:19, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Split of page[edit]

I was the last one to make major rewrite of this page, and it appears the result is not satisfactory for most here. It seems a lot of the trouble comes from the conflating of the legitimate medical aspects of the diet and the alt med speculation. Would it be better to have split to have an Alkaline diet page (for legitimate scientific/medical discussions) and Alkaline diet (alternative medicine) split so that we can deal with these topics in an adequate fashion? Yobol (talk) 22:33, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

That seems to be what folks have generally agreed to above. No disagreements yet -- just some open discussion of what to call the medical-y article. (nice to see you, btw!) Jytdog (talk) 22:35, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Those names don't work for me, but I agree with the split. I think that 'alkaline diet' is the commonname of the fad diet (vast majority of sources and coverage and reviews), whereas 'acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis', or something similar, should be used for the legitimate scientific discussion with regard to the osteoporosis hypothesis. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 12:33, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the legitimate stuff needs its own standalone article, but could be a section at Acid–base homeostasis (which needs work anyway). Alexbrn (talk) 12:36, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
It could work, but I don't think it is a good idea. The issue is that 'acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis' is very fringe in and of itself, and doesn't have much WP:WEIGHT in the Acid–base homeostasis article. Acid-base homeostasis is quite short and would be overwhelmed by the amount of material cut from this article. A short summary section that leads to a main Acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis article should be included in both the fad diet article, as well as in the Acid-base homeostasis article (though a hatnote might suffice for the fad diet article). — InsertCleverPhraseHere 13:01, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree. We'd just be swapping out a problem in this article (alt-med fringe conflated with legitimate scientific fringe) for a problem in that article (legitimate, well-understood science conflated with legitimate scientific fringe) if we merged it into that article. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:09, 10 April 2017 (UTC)