In what has become a seasonal rite nearly as reliable as the solstice, U.S. News and World Report has issued its rankings of best diets to coincide with the turn of the calendar. Once again, I was privileged to serve as one of the judges.
For each diet, each of us judges receives a generally quite excellent summary of the principles and relevant scientific evidence. We are invited, and encouraged, to draw from our own knowledge of the related evidence, and/or to review the literature as warranted to inform our judgments. Those judgments are then expressed numerically, using a 5-point ordinal scale, across a range of categories pertaining to soundness, safety, effectiveness for various health conditions, and ease of maintenance. Each of us 25 judges fills out our score sheets independently, and anonymously.