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Do you read with a sense of skepticism?

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  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,351Member Member Posts: 8,351Member Member
    It depends on the source and the information collected by that source. A peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in a respected journal and available on the NIH website, or an official recommendation by the World Health Organization based on many studies' worth of research (ie. red and deli meat being probable carcinogens) is more likely to be accurate than a website run by a doctor who cherry-picks studies and has his own personal reasons for wanting people to follow a certain diet.

    I read this detox from cheese article in the health section of the BBC site, after reading a good article there and clicking links at the end...

    Unfortunately this is an important lesson. You can trust the news to find out what's going on where you live, who won the election, stuff like that. But that doesn't mean you can trust them about nutrition.
  • leiflungleiflung Posts: 76Member Member Posts: 76Member Member
    I'm exhausted from New Year's Eve and from a lot of exercise today. I've been reading to stay awake until a respectable hour to go to bed. There was an article about how dairy is dangerous and addictive, should come with warning labels, gives you leaky gut syndrome, and makes your car break down.

    This quote early on got me in a ranting mood:

    While milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yoghurt, are good sources of protein and calcium and can form part of a healthy, balanced diet, as Dr Michael Greger, from NutritionFacts.org, put it to me: "There's no animal on the planet that drinks milk after weaning - and then to drink milk of another species even doesn't make any sense."

    Problem is, I have a cat, years old and fully weaned, who loves goat and cow milk. I mean, it's also a problem that leaky gut syndrome isn't actually a thing.

    There's a thread going on in the health section, somebody is slammed at having read that deli meat will give you cancer.

    When you read things, especially health and diet related, do you have a healthy sense of skepticism?

    But it's somehow okay to take that same "another species" milk and consume the cheese and yoghurt made from them? That distinction always makes me chuckle. According to Michael Greger (who is a quack, btw) shouldn't we all be consuming human breast milk cheese then?

    Or eat their flesh. If the body is good to eat why wouldn't the milk be?

    I mean there theoretically could be some reason that cow milk was actually poisonous to humans, but we wouldn't be drinking a lot of it every day if that was the case.

    If there's any interest, it might actually be the other way around. There seems to be a readon why it isn't toxic to a good many people.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/12/27/168144785/an-evolutionary-whodunit-how-did-humans-develop-lactose-tolerance

    But it really is toxic to some people. If you have some kind of general health ussue that never seems to get better, it might be worth cutting dairy for a bit to see how that makes you feel.

    That goes for a lot of foods. Allergies and tolerance issues don't always these immediate and obvious consequences.
  • mph323mph323 Posts: 3,196Member Member Posts: 3,196Member Member
    I don't know how people who just take this stuff at face value manage to get on in life. I would think they'd live with constant fear and anxiety about what they eat, how they exercise, what insidious thing might be slowly destroying their body unless they supplement with X. I mean, there is so much contridictrary drivel out there that if a person were to try to avoid all the "bad" stuff and do all the "good" stuff (which might actually be the same "stuff" depending on the article) they could end up huddled in bed unable to find a suitable eating window to consume the few foods that haven't been demonized at some point in a blog post by a random internet "doctor".
  • Bry_Fitness70Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,384Member Member Posts: 2,384Member Member
    "There's no animal on the planet that drinks milk after weaning - and then to drink milk of another species even doesn't make any sense."

    If their mothers would allow them to nurse indefinitely or they could figure out how to extract milk from other animals, they would certainly be drinking milk at every opportunity. This quote is confusing capability with preference.
  • urloved33urloved33 Posts: 3,361Member Member Posts: 3,361Member Member
    absolutely. except when my kids write things...they note the source even if its a result of their own work. ...and they are so thorough. <3 top notch scientists.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,155Member Member Posts: 2,155Member Member
    The truth is that doctors, nutritionists, and researchers by and large have been saying the same things about what constitutes a healthy diet for many decades, and it's about what you would expect -- based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, moderate amounts of animal products, and limiting red meat, high-mercury fishes, processed sugar, refined grains, processed oils, alcohol, etc. It may not be what people want to hear or what most people end up eating, but the majority of nutritional recommendations have remained consistent for a long time.

    Yes, but one issue is that the way the media tries to make everything new and interesting (or just clickbaity) means that many people are confused about this and think everything is constantly changing.

    I can think of some changes, but the main advice has been pretty consistent.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Posts: 7,149Member Member Posts: 7,149Member Member
    mph323 wrote: »
    I don't know how people who just take this stuff at face value manage to get on in life. I would think they'd live with constant fear and anxiety about what they eat, how they exercise, what insidious thing might be slowly destroying their body unless they supplement with X. I mean, there is so much contridictrary drivel out there that if a person were to try to avoid all the "bad" stuff and do all the "good" stuff (which might actually be the same "stuff" depending on the article) they could end up huddled in bed unable to find a suitable eating window to consume the few foods that haven't been demonized at some point in a blog post by a random internet "doctor".

    A very good friend of mine is someone who believes most of what she reads, as long as the source has the appearance of authority. She is a very intelligent woman who has had a successful career as a nurse (20 years in geriatrics and the last 10 in mental health). She is also very naive. She has a good heart and assumes everyone else does too. I don't think she lives in fear. It is more like she tries to live "right" so she follows whatever is the flavor of the month because it is a good thing, not because she needs to avoid a bad thing.
  • TacklewasherTacklewasher Posts: 7,067Member Member Posts: 7,067Member Member
    "There's no animal on the planet that drinks milk after weaning - and then to drink milk of another species even doesn't make any sense."

    If their mothers would allow them to nurse indefinitely or they could figure out how to extract milk from other animals, they would certainly be drinking milk at every opportunity. This quote is confusing capability with preference.

    I've see a cow with a nursing calf, sulking on it's mother. All 3 lined up and happy as could be. I've also seen cats drinking milk pouring out of a cream separator, and knowing the only time the barn cats would let me go near them is when I wash washing up the separator.
  • Keto_VampireKeto_Vampire Posts: 1,347Member Member Posts: 1,347Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What's humorous about statements such as these is that there is no logical justification.

    No X does Y, so why does Z do Y?

    Applying this same theoretical logic with any other variables usually exposes woo with ease.

    There is no animal on the planet that practices medicine.

    There is no animal that travels using mechanical means.

    There is no animal on the planet that deliberately sacrifices it's present for it's future.

    By this logic, stop using the internet as no other animal runs an ISP.

    No other animals use tools or practice farming to the extent that humans do. Seems like consuming dairy is a part of evolution being there are many cultures who still have intolerance/almost zero capacity to handle dairy (mainly Asians) whilst others have adapted some form of tolerance (quantity of consumption matters/limited amount of lactase production). Sure, the GI tract pH change from infant to adult is still present but this seems like a better adaptation to an omnivore lifestyle/ability to consume a greater variety of food for survival & immunity
    edited January 2
  • laurenq1991laurenq1991 Posts: 313Member Member Posts: 313Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Yes, but one issue is that the way the media tries to make everything new and interesting (or just clickbaity) means that many people are confused about this and think everything is constantly changing.

    I can think of some changes, but the main advice has been pretty consistent.

    The root of the problem is lack of science education. Unless you actually have a degree in the sciences (I have a degree in molecular biology and have worked in research) you don't really learn in school how to parse scientific research, let alone reading actual papers. Even if people go to college in most cases the non-major science classes are subpar. Clearly there is a major failure in the education system at teaching people what is a reliable source and what isn't. The job of the media is to get views, and while many of them do maintain some semblance of journalistic integrity while also being kind of clickbaity, a lot of them don't. Printing the same common sense dietary recommendations isn't going to get views. Printing stuff about how scientists are a bunch of money-hungry industry shills, global GMO and fluoride conspiracies, and everything both causing and curing cancer is going to get views. When we don't have adequate science education and we have the media sensationalizing anything, is it any wonder so many people distrust research and just ignore whatever research doesn't support what they want to hear?
  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Posts: 9,880Member Member Posts: 9,880Member Member
    I'm not trained as a medical doctor. I'm not trained as a dietician. I don't even have a certificate of certification in certified nutritionism. What I do have is an ability to read. I look for information such as citations, sources, and the credentials of the person doing the writing. For instance. Drs. Axe and Fung do deserve some credibility within the scope of their expertise as long as they stay there, while Dr. Oz has entirely exited his expertise and has no credibility. An ethical expert explains the limits of his expertise. This is not all. There are autodidacts who have accumulated credibility by study and rigorous experimentation. Beyond that, it is important to me that I question the interest of the presenter of the information.
  • RunsWithBeesRunsWithBees Posts: 946Member Member Posts: 946Member Member
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,351Member Member Posts: 8,351Member Member
    I've seen March of the Penguins, and those birds don't use fire to cook their food. Neither do my cats. I've heard stories about bears in Yosemite breaking into people's cars to steal food, but I've never heard of a bear starting a camp fire and hearing s'mores. (I think Smokey would disapprove.)

    But nobody has ever told me we should stop cooking.
  • vetvickivetvicki Posts: 62Member Member Posts: 62Member Member
    Always with skepticism! If I read an article saying dairy is bad I can find another article saying how amazing dairy is. I'm a vet, I have a medical background and some knowledge regarding evidence based medicine and how to assess evidence.
    I asked my own GP about his thoughts on a dairy or gluten free diet. His response: if you feel better eating that way then great, that's suitable for you. If you don't feel any different then you are clearly fine to continue eating dairy and gluten.
    And good point about cats drinking milk (of another species!). I've seen dogs eat sheep placenta- does that mean they are going against the natural order of things??
    Interesting topic!
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 17,933Member Member Posts: 17,933Member Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    No not at all. I like to become one with what I read and then fall asleep and let my dreams and nightmares do the filtering.

    Last night I dreamed I was back in the Air Force, but it was now the Space Force, and I was up in space and there was a problem with the air, and we were struggling to get back to Earth.

    I had fallen asleep to Orson Scott Card's "Wyrms." I suspend disbelief for that sort of reading :smiley:
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,155Member Member Posts: 2,155Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Yes, but one issue is that the way the media tries to make everything new and interesting (or just clickbaity) means that many people are confused about this and think everything is constantly changing.

    I can think of some changes, but the main advice has been pretty consistent.

    The root of the problem is lack of science education. Unless you actually have a degree in the sciences (I have a degree in molecular biology and have worked in research) you don't really learn in school how to parse scientific research, let alone reading actual papers. Even if people go to college in most cases the non-major science classes are subpar. Clearly there is a major failure in the education system at teaching people what is a reliable source and what isn't. The job of the media is to get views, and while many of them do maintain some semblance of journalistic integrity while also being kind of clickbaity, a lot of them don't. Printing the same common sense dietary recommendations isn't going to get views. Printing stuff about how scientists are a bunch of money-hungry industry shills, global GMO and fluoride conspiracies, and everything both causing and curing cancer is going to get views. When we don't have adequate science education and we have the media sensationalizing anything, is it any wonder so many people distrust research and just ignore whatever research doesn't support what they want to hear?

    It's not a problem unique to science media, though. I see it in lots of areas I know stuff about.

    I think teaching about vetting sources, how to research, so on, in a broad way would be helpful. (I agree that more and better science education would be good too, but I don't think we can expect the average person to be able to carefully read a scientific study -- in part because they won't put in the time or will prefer what they want to hear.)
  • laurenq1991laurenq1991 Posts: 313Member Member Posts: 313Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    It's not a problem unique to science media, though. I see it in lots of areas I know stuff about.

    I think teaching about vetting sources, how to research, so on, in a broad way would be helpful. (I agree that more and better science education would be good too, but I don't think we can expect the average person to be able to carefully read a scientific study -- in part because they won't put in the time or will prefer what they want to hear.)

    It's definitely not unique to science but science is an especially powerful example because a lot of the other topics out there have more of a degree of subjectivity, whereas with science it's all evidence-based and yet you see so many people out there who have no idea what that actually means. If the evidence doesn't support their argument then they get into global conspiracy territory (from what I've heard even the NutritionFacts.org guy does this, and he actually had a good education, but I guess he knows what the audience will respond to). I agree that the average person can't read a scientific study (the average person probably doesn't even know what the NIH is) but, I think with proper education people could probably be able to read the abstract of a meta-analysis. Of course whether people will actually choose to do that or just remain firm in their beliefs is another question.
    But nobody has ever told me we should stop cooking.

    Then you haven't come across the infamous raw vegans of Youtube, or even worse, the raw carnivores and raw milk adherents.
    edited January 3
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