Category Archives: Health

The Lancet

…has reviewed Nina Teichholz’s book:

Many readers will be incensed by this book. If you think saturated fats and cholesterol are bad for you, you’ll be incensed. If you think the fat story is exaggerated, you’ll be incensed. If you trust in the objectivity of science to inform health policy, you’ll be incensed. Stories of shocking scientific corruption and culpability by government agencies are all to be found in Nina Teicholz’s bestseller The Big Fat Surprise. This is a disquieting book about scientific incompetence, evangelical ambition, and ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades.

Good for her.

Low Fat Versus Low Carb

A major new study. This is an important point that too few pay attention to; it’s not about weight loss per se:

The 18-mo moderate weight loss of 3.7 kg was similar in both groups, but the reduction in waist circumference was higher in the MED/LC group (−6.9 ± 6.6 cm) than in the LF diet group (−2.3 ± 6.5 cm; P = 0.01). After 18 mo, the IPF volume had reduced twice as much in the MED/LC group compared with the LF group [−37 ± 26.2 mL (−22% ± 15%) compared with −15.5 ± 26.2 mL (−8% ± 15%), respectively; P < 0.05, after adjustment for changes in weight or visceral adipose tissue]. [My emphasis]

This is one reason BMI is BS. Another is that it doesn’t take into account the difference between muscle mass and fat.

Beware

…the ObamaCare Industrial Complex:

You can call this a bailout or just a swindle of taxpayers who were fed a litany of lies about Obamacare’s virtues from the very start. Either way taxpayers get shafted (again) and the Obamacare industrial complex gets fat and happy. If Republicans are partners to this fiscal crime, they are as culpable as the Democrats who passed this turkey in the first place and they certainly don’t deserve to be the governing party.

John McCain can rot in Hell.

Vegan Diets

and the brain:

Removing refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, flours, fruit juice, and cereals, makes ANY diet healthier. This is the most likely reason why plant-based diets appear healthier than meat-based diets in some clinical studies. All of the studies I’m aware of claiming that plant-based diets are superior to omnivorous diets suffer from the same tragic flaw. Researchers conducting these studies NEVER simply ask people to remove animal foods from their diet. They always change more than just that single variable—such as lowering fat content or adding exercise—and they always instruct people in the plant-based group to eliminate refined carbohydrates and processed foods. In almost every case, these special “plant-based” diets are then compared to a junky omnivorous diet loaded with sweets, baked goods and manufactured foodstuffs.

This is not a fair fight. How do we know whether it was the removal of the meat, refined carbs, industrially-produced oils, or artificial additives that was responsible for the benefits? I’ve engaged in countless social media conversations with plant-based diet experts in which I politely ask for scientific evidence that simply removing animal foods from the diet—without making any other changes—results in health benefits. None of them have ever been able to cite a single article for me.

The amount of junk science in nutrition studies is just appalling.

Health Care

Yes, access to it is limited by overregulation:

The problem is that healthcare consumers have limited options. At the two ends of the spectrum, they can see a licensed doctor, or they can do it themselves. One option is extremely expensive, time-consuming, and reliable, and the other is free and still time-consuming but not as reliable. In between, there are few other choices. It’s possible to use a service like Teladoc or visit a drugstore clinic in some areas for minor issues like strep throat, an earache, or a sprained ankle, but in the absence of the current system of occupational licensing, there’d be a much broader continuum of possibilities between my unlettered amateur visits to Dr. Google and visits to an actual doctor’s office.

The problem is compounded by the fact that we pay for health-care via “insurance” coverage, which isn’t really insurance but just prepaid health-care. This system requires lots and lots of rules about what can and can’t be covered and what constitutes medicine. The entire healthcare market would function much more efficiently if there were more options. For treating a lot of conditions, you don’t need someone who went to four years of medical school and worked through a grueling residency. Better to save that talent for more challenging stuff and allow people to seek marginal improvements over DIY diagnosis.

But instead, we’re forced to buy “insurance” that isn’t really insurance, and they’ve totally destroyed the concept of insurance.