What Are You Eating?
Everywhere you look these days, you hear people talking about detox, often with respect to questionable but trendy “detox diets” such as Master Cleanse. But the thinking behind this concept of detox is kind of…well, messed up. It gives tacit approval of treating your body however carelessly you want because you can always “detox” later – and then go back to the same old habits. Over at Cranky Fitness, Merry seems to have noticed this, too, and suggests an excellent alternative: The MeTox Diet.
And while we’re on the subject of trendy diets, check out Byron Richards’ sharp critique of the diet shilled by Oprah’s fitness guru Bob Greene, which few seem to want to point out doesn’t really work so well.
Play Is Serious Stuff
Many of us tend to think of play as something frivilous, unnecessary, having no relationship to anything that happens in “serious” life. And so we might not see anything wrong with kids leading highly structured lives, with very little time for it. But according to a recent report in Scientific American Mind, free play “is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress and building cognitive skills such as problem solving. Research into animal behavior confirm’s play’s benefits and establishes its evolutionary importance: ultimately, play may provide animals (including humans) with skills that will help them survive and reproduce.”
Tweaking Science in the Name of Orthodoxy
While the medical orthodoxy continues to downplay the connection between childhood vaccinations and autism, evidence of such a connection continues to mount. Writing for Huffington Post, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and David Kirby note that it’s not just that the CDC and other organizations are ignoring evidence but actually promoting flawed studies in support of the orthodox view. The authors give an overview of this tactic, as well as a good summary of the mainstreaming of vaccine-autism research.
“We’ll Teach You to Use Our Drugs”
Another big debate has been going on over drug company funding of continuing medical education (CME) for health care providers. The question being batted around the medical establishment: does drug company involvement with CME bias the educational aspect too much? Billy Rubin writes on a recent manifestation of the debate, laying bare and critiquing the arguments for continued drug company involvement. It’s an entertaining read, with quite a punchline. Check it out. (Via Carlat Psychiatry Blog)
Back in the Day When People Were Medicine…Wha?!
We’ve all heard tales of how medicine used to be, when doctors relied on treatments such as leeches and dubious elixirs and cannibalism. Well, cannibalism? Maybe not so much. But according to research reported on recently in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the consumption of human flesh and blood for medical purposes was quite common in the 16th and 17th century Europe – “almost as common as the use of herbs, roots and bark.” This brief article serves as a fascinating – if gruesome – reminder of how science and medicine are ever-evolving things, not static bodies (excuse the pun) of knowledge.