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Cancer Research UK Controversial Ads - Thoughts?

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  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,080Member Member Posts: 6,080Member Member
    Not going to say anything about the whole microbiome thing as that has been debated ad naseum and those threads were actually closed and deleted by MFP.......

    I CAN say something about the thyroid thing. I started gaining weight fast at puberty and my doctor kept saying my thyroid function was fine and didn't look anywhere for any other cause for the weight gain. It got the point where I dreaded seeing her. I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my early 20's because the doctor I was seeing at the time had kept up with the latest research and knew that the standard for what is considered a normal range had changed and what had always been called normal in the past was actually hypothyroid. I was also finally diagnosed as having PCOS.

    Fast forward about 6 years or so. I was seeing an endocrinologist at this point who actually told me I would never be able to lose weight because of those two diagnosis. I then proceeded to lose 100 lbs........ Unfortunately, 2 years later, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and in all the ups and downs of that treatment and getting my body used to no longer having a thyroid and figuring out what medication level I needed, I gained most of that back.

    Fast forward again to 2017. whatever switch in my mind and willpower that clicks on and off when it comes to being able to stick to a diet clicked back on again, and I again, over the course of a year, lost that 100 lbs and then a few more. In the meantime, I was seeing an endocrinologist at a teaching hospital in the state connected to the state university. At that time, as part of the therapy for my cancer, she had my synthroid pushed very high to keep my TSH extremely low. However, I kept feeling hypo symptoms, never hyper symptoms. I read up on some things concerning thyroid and got a strong recommendation from other patients to have more than just my TSH checked - that just because TSH was normal did not automatically mean the other levels were. I could not get my doctor to order a test to check T4 and T3 (and this was a teaching professor at the medical school specializing in endocrinology!) She insisted that TSH was the gold standard and that if it was a certain level, everything would fall in line.

    My PCP, however, was willing to work with me and ordered the tests I requested - TSH, T3, and T4. she then copied the endocrinologist on the results. And guess what? Low and behold, even though my TSH was very low and my T4 was in the normal to high range, my T3 was below normal. My endo was finally forced to address the issue, but instead of putting me on a T3 supplement, she actually increased my synthroid, claiming that would bring my T3 levels up. Well, we retested in 6 weeks (this time she actually ordered all 3 tests) and low and behold, my T3 had dropped EVEN LOWER. Finally, after all that, she finally put me on T3 as well as T4 to get my T3 up in the normal range.

    So the moral of the story? 1) doctors, especially PCP's and even specialists are not always up to date on the latest research especially, in my experience, in the field of endocrinology. Even though the new thyroid standards have been out for over 10 years, there are STILL some doctors who are using the old standards (my sister's former doctor from just 2 years ago comes to mind). 2) just because a person has underlying hormonal issues does NOT mean they cannot ever lose weight. Yes, hormones do have a part to play in the CO part of the equation so that a person may have to adjust a calorie limit a little from what the generic calculators give, but no one is unable to lose weight. 3) CICO is still the principle in play; just remember that it is a dynamic number and not a straight mathematical linear equation - there are lots of things that are unique to each individual that makes up the CO part of that, but even with that said, there's a limit to how far away from the statistical average that individual can be. 4) in the end, a calories IS a calorie - I lost all that weight both times without having to cut types of food from my diet; I still ate white pasta on occasion, still had candy and cake and sweets, drank diet pop, used artifical sweeteners, ate TV dinners and fast food; the difference was I changed the portion size I was eating by eating less. Never at any point did I add exercise beyond what was a typical day to day work for me. I lost that weight simply by controlling my diet. The difference is, I did choose to eat certain types of food less often simply because I found that the calorie count was not worth the pleasure; since I had a limited amount of calories, I knew that eating that donut would fit, but I also knew I was going to be hungry again in 2 hours after I ate it, and decided it wasn't worth those 300 calories - usually. Sometimes I counted it and ate it anyway.....

    Stories like these are what eventually drove me into medical science.

    I was diagnosed with an ulcer at 13 and before Helicobacter pylori was accepted by the medical community.

    People often mistake medicine for science, when it is an interesting merger of engineering and science. Practice becomes dogmatic and humans rarely question "what is known" and risk upsetting confirmation bias.

    I think of alleged "maverick" physicians such as Jeffrey Brown, MD, endocrinologist who revolutionized the treatment of thyroid disorders, but ostracized by the boards for challenging dogma.

    Why it is important to understand what the actual impact is so we know how to properly address the root cause, modify behavior, and apply medical interventions.
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Posts: 222Member, Premium Member Posts: 222Member, Premium Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Not going to say anything about the whole microbiome thing as that has been debated ad naseum and those threads were actually closed and deleted by MFP.......

    I CAN say something about the thyroid thing. I started gaining weight fast at puberty and my doctor kept saying my thyroid function was fine and didn't look anywhere for any other cause for the weight gain. It got the point where I dreaded seeing her. I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my early 20's because the doctor I was seeing at the time had kept up with the latest research and knew that the standard for what is considered a normal range had changed and what had always been called normal in the past was actually hypothyroid. I was also finally diagnosed as having PCOS.

    Fast forward about 6 years or so. I was seeing an endocrinologist at this point who actually told me I would never be able to lose weight because of those two diagnosis. I then proceeded to lose 100 lbs........ Unfortunately, 2 years later, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and in all the ups and downs of that treatment and getting my body used to no longer having a thyroid and figuring out what medication level I needed, I gained most of that back.

    Fast forward again to 2017. whatever switch in my mind and willpower that clicks on and off when it comes to being able to stick to a diet clicked back on again, and I again, over the course of a year, lost that 100 lbs and then a few more. In the meantime, I was seeing an endocrinologist at a teaching hospital in the state connected to the state university. At that time, as part of the therapy for my cancer, she had my synthroid pushed very high to keep my TSH extremely low. However, I kept feeling hypo symptoms, never hyper symptoms. I read up on some things concerning thyroid and got a strong recommendation from other patients to have more than just my TSH checked - that just because TSH was normal did not automatically mean the other levels were. I could not get my doctor to order a test to check T4 and T3 (and this was a teaching professor at the medical school specializing in endocrinology!) She insisted that TSH was the gold standard and that if it was a certain level, everything would fall in line.

    My PCP, however, was willing to work with me and ordered the tests I requested - TSH, T3, and T4. she then copied the endocrinologist on the results. And guess what? Low and behold, even though my TSH was very low and my T4 was in the normal to high range, my T3 was below normal. My endo was finally forced to address the issue, but instead of putting me on a T3 supplement, she actually increased my synthroid, claiming that would bring my T3 levels up. Well, we retested in 6 weeks (this time she actually ordered all 3 tests) and low and behold, my T3 had dropped EVEN LOWER. Finally, after all that, she finally put me on T3 as well as T4 to get my T3 up in the normal range.

    So the moral of the story? 1) doctors, especially PCP's and even specialists are not always up to date on the latest research especially, in my experience, in the field of endocrinology. Even though the new thyroid standards have been out for over 10 years, there are STILL some doctors who are using the old standards (my sister's former doctor from just 2 years ago comes to mind). 2) just because a person has underlying hormonal issues does NOT mean they cannot ever lose weight. Yes, hormones do have a part to play in the CO part of the equation so that a person may have to adjust a calorie limit a little from what the generic calculators give, but no one is unable to lose weight. 3) CICO is still the principle in play; just remember that it is a dynamic number and not a straight mathematical linear equation - there are lots of things that are unique to each individual that makes up the CO part of that, but even with that said, there's a limit to how far away from the statistical average that individual can be. 4) in the end, a calories IS a calorie - I lost all that weight both times without having to cut types of food from my diet; I still ate white pasta on occasion, still had candy and cake and sweets, drank diet pop, used artifical sweeteners, ate TV dinners and fast food; the difference was I changed the portion size I was eating by eating less. Never at any point did I add exercise beyond what was a typical day to day work for me. I lost that weight simply by controlling my diet. The difference is, I did choose to eat certain types of food less often simply because I found that the calorie count was not worth the pleasure; since I had a limited amount of calories, I knew that eating that donut would fit, but I also knew I was going to be hungry again in 2 hours after I ate it, and decided it wasn't worth those 300 calories - usually. Sometimes I counted it and ate it anyway.....

    Stories like these are what eventually drove me into medical science.

    I was diagnosed with an ulcer at 13 and before Helicobacter pylori was accepted by the medical community.

    People often mistake medicine for science, when it is an interesting merger of engineering and science. Practice becomes dogmatic and humans rarely question "what is known" and risk upsetting confirmation bias.

    I think of alleged "maverick" physicians such as Jeffrey Brown, MD, endocrinologist who revolutionized the treatment of thyroid disorders, but ostracized by the boards for challenging dogma.

    Why it is important to understand what the actual impact is so we know how to properly address the root cause, modify behavior, and apply medical interventions.

    You only have to watch the Dr. Oz show in the U.S. a few times to understand that not all doctors understand science.
  • bmeadows380bmeadows380 Posts: 1,229Member Member Posts: 1,229Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Stories like these are what eventually drove me into medical science.

    I was diagnosed with an ulcer at 13 and before Helicobacter pylori was accepted by the medical community.

    People often mistake medicine for science, when it is an interesting merger of engineering and science. Practice becomes dogmatic and humans rarely question "what is known" and risk upsetting confirmation bias.


    I agree - I've dealt with several doctors that seem to act as if their medical degree makes them all knowing and no one is allowed to question them - as if what they learned in medical school was set in stone. Yet I've also dealt with doctors who spout a lot of woo nonsense when dealing with areas outside their expertise. That's one reason I stick with my PCP even though she's 4 hours away from me since I moved. There are a lot of doctors much closer, but she really listens to me and works with me, and that's worth the long drive to me!

    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I think of alleged "maverick" physicians such as Jeffrey Brown, MD, endocrinologist who revolutionized the treatment of thyroid disorders, but ostracized by the boards for challenging dogma.

    Why it is important to understand what the actual impact is so we know how to properly address the root cause, modify behavior, and apply medical interventions.

    My impression of the endocrinology field is that the field seems to be especially resistant to change so I can definitely see Doctor Brown being ostracized.

    It seems to be hard to know who to trust these days when we have to choose between doctors who are firmly entranced in a certain mindset and won't even consider any ideas that challenge accepted dogma of the day, or the modern day snake oil peddlers who try to use a title to establish authority to legitimize their particular brand of woo through pop culture.......
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Posts: 6,543Member Member Posts: 6,543Member Member
    We seem to be taking a little turn off topic here.
  • kevinflemming1982kevinflemming1982 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    I think it works just fine. Straight to the point and no nonsense. The majority of fat people don't have medical issues. It's eating too much, either through personal problems (a minefield, I know but it's still the individual's problem), laziness or greed. The actual percentage of those who can claim it's medical is very small compared to those who just scoff themselves large. It costs the country millions to constantly baby-sit those who just eat too much and don't look after themselves, then need endless medical assistance because they simply couldn't be bothered.

    Now, before I get lynched, I was one of those people who just didn't care enough to do anything and I can honestly say that it took me becoming much larger than I am supposed to be to make those changes. But I did it. Not through the NHS, not through doctors. Myself. I got off my *kitten* and did something about it. I had negative personal views of myself and hated everything, from top-to-bottom, both inside and out. The stuff inside, was partly helped by therapy (in the past) and just accepting that life sucks sometimes. The outside stuff, well, that's why I'm here eating properly and exercising.

    And I'm classified as obese, so I'm not just some trimmed bloke wanting to look better.

    But aside from the minefield that is personal problems and whether a person deserves medical treatment, part of the problem is health foods, mainly their cost. If all of the healthier foods were cheaper than everything else, more people would buy them and eat better. But as it is today in modern society, most bad food is cheaper because we are creatures of luxury. No longer the hunter. So what are people going to purchase? Obviously the bad stuff, because with the cost of living, most people don't have lots of money to buy everything good. I don't, so I have to balance mixing good with bad (and it's a pain sometimes). I know that's mostly dependant on earned wages, but still.

    Make it available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

    Society whinging about people getting fat, when society is the one who is making them fat in the first place. That's another rant, which I might come to later.
  • kevinflemming1982kevinflemming1982 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    Yeah, I think you are right. It's probably the mindset that healthier foods are more expensive, rather than actual cost because that's what we get told by others and believe it. Something even I caught, by the sounds of things! Some of that probably comes from those times when certain branded "health foods" were all the rage and I do remember the costs of them being pretty crazy compared to everything else. So part of that was imprinted on every day healthier stuff as well.

    Perhaps it's less about cost and more about awareness, motivation and willpower.
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    I think it works just fine. Straight to the point and no nonsense. The majority of fat people don't have medical issues. It's eating too much, either through personal problems (a minefield, I know but it's still the individual's problem), laziness or greed. The actual percentage of those who can claim it's medical is very small compared to those who just scoff themselves large. It costs the country millions to constantly baby-sit those who just eat too much and don't look after themselves, then need endless medical assistance because they simply couldn't be bothered.

    Now, before I get lynched, I was one of those people who just didn't care enough to do anything and I can honestly say that it took me becoming much larger than I am supposed to be to make those changes. But I did it. Not through the NHS, not through doctors. Myself. I got off my *kitten* and did something about it. I had negative personal views of myself and hated everything, from top-to-bottom, both inside and out. The stuff inside, was partly helped by therapy (in the past) and just accepting that life sucks sometimes. The outside stuff, well, that's why I'm here eating properly and exercising.

    And I'm classified as obese, so I'm not just some trimmed bloke wanting to look better.

    But aside from the minefield that is personal problems and whether a person deserves medical treatment, part of the problem is health foods, mainly their cost. If all of the healthier foods were cheaper than everything else, more people would buy them and eat better. But as it is today in modern society, most bad food is cheaper because we are creatures of luxury. No longer the hunter. So what are people going to purchase? Obviously the bad stuff, because with the cost of living, most people don't have lots of money to buy everything good. I don't, so I have to balance mixing good with bad (and it's a pain sometimes). I know that's mostly dependant on earned wages, but still.

    Make it available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

    Society whinging about people getting fat, when society is the one who is making them fat in the first place. That's another rant, which I might come to later.

    You don't believe in mental health issues as treatable illnesses?
  • jenilla1jenilla1 Posts: 9,507Member Member Posts: 9,507Member Member
    Yeah, I think you are right. It's probably the mindset that healthier foods are more expensive, rather than actual cost because that's what we get told by others and believe it. Something even I caught, by the sounds of things! Some of that probably comes from those times when certain branded "health foods" were all the rage and I do remember the costs of them being pretty crazy compared to everything else. So part of that was imprinted on every day healthier stuff as well.

    Perhaps it's less about cost and more about awareness, motivation and willpower.

    This.
  • kevinflemming1982kevinflemming1982 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    You don't believe in mental health issues as treatable illnesses?
    I didn't say that. I said that regardless of whether or not mental health is the reason for overeating, it's still the individual's problem. It wasn't meant in a derogatory way whatsoever. If you read just under that bit, you can clearly see that I've had therapy myself. Why would I poo-poo something I've been through personally? :D
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    You don't believe in mental health issues as treatable illnesses?
    I didn't say that. I said that regardless of whether or not mental health is the reason for overeating, it's still the individual's problem. It wasn't meant in a derogatory way whatsoever. If you read just under that bit, you can clearly see that I've had therapy myself. Why would I poo-poo something I've been through personally? :D

    Because you pooh-poohed the idea of going through the NHS, or doctors at all?
  • kevinflemming1982kevinflemming1982 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Because you pooh-poohed the idea of going through the NHS, or doctors at all?
    Again, you're putting words in my mouth and making your own assumptions of what I said. I said that I didn't go through them for weight loss, but I did get therapy for other issues. My own personal experience of dealing with problems is not a strict rule for how I think others should do it. Not once did I say that people shouldn't seek professional help, if they feel it's needed.

    My point was more about that regardless of whether someone gets professional help, there is still only so much others can do to help. That final push to making a better life for yourself can really only done by the individual. If their mind is not in the right place, then it can fail before it has even begun.
    edited July 25
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Because you pooh-poohed the idea of going through the NHS, or doctors at all?
    Again, you're putting words in my mouth and making your own assumptions of what I said. I said that I didn't go through them for weight loss, but I did get therapy for other issues. My own personal experience of dealing with problems is not a strict rule for how I think others should do it. Not once did I say that people shouldn't seek professional help, if they feel it's needed.

    My point was more about that regardless of whether someone gets professional help, there is still only so much others can do to help. That final push to making a better life for yourself can really only done by the individual. If their mind is not in the right place, then it can fail before it has even begun.

    While this is true, someone's mind not being in the right place can be a medical issue. Chronic depression, for example, can make it difficult to even seek help. Overeating can be a way of self-medicating for various disorders. 'Laziness' and 'greed' can both be caused by self-esteem issues at root; and those are not helped by calling people lazy or greedy.

    I was 'lazy' and 'greedy' for over thirty years. During that time I competed an Oxford degree while frequently suicidal, and completed a second degree alongside working full-time. Today, I work full-time, do gym classes three times a week, and hike fourteen or more miles half of my Sundays. Am I a lazy person? When my mental misfunctions drive me to eat until my stomach hurts, does that mean I'm a greedy person?

    Yes, ultimately the person has to do the hard work for themselves. But those around them can make it easier, or harder. And socially shaming and labelling them actually makes it harder.
  • TheMrWobblyTheMrWobbly Posts: 1,242Member Member Posts: 1,242Member Member
    @kevinflemming1982 I get you and probably save your time explaining if people haven't understood the full context.

    Re the advert clearly they have done their job, this isn't the only place I am talking about this. I don't believe it is fat shaming merely saying you should understand what risks you run of being overweight. The are many papers published about the cost of obesity on the NHS though the government figures from 2014/15 stated over £6 BILLION. To put that into context the total UK policing budget is £12 Billion.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    While this is...
    ...makes it harder.

    You're confusing what I said. Please read the sentence properly.

    "It's eating too much, either through personal problems (a minefield, I know but it's still the individual's problem), laziness or greed."

    I am in no way saying that having mental issues are being lazy or greedy. The sentence is split using commas. Personal problems, laziness or greed. Personal problems encompasses everything related to mental health, be it depression or whatever. Laziness or greed are simply that. Being lazy or greedy. On their own, not in any way connected to aforementioned personal problems was how I worded it.

    I would have said outright that they are being lazy, if that was what I meant. I'm a man who doesn't mince his words or hide behind disguised motives in sentences.

    Some people are just lazy and greedy. I wasn't saying that everyone is, but some are. It's a simple fact of life.

    The poster is trying to make that aware as well! Not everything is about mental health. They're trying to inform everybody, regardless of their state of mind, that obesity is unhealthy. Not just mentally, but physically too. Overweight people have a much higher risk of developing serious health issues. That's what this is about. I wasn't trying to say that having mental health issues shouldn't be treated. Obesity included.

    Now, I too suffered from depression for many years and this came in many forms. Not quite as long as yourself, but still long enough to attempt suicide at one point. I also suffered from anger issues, anxiety, severe lethargy to the point of not even getting out of bed, almost bi-polar mood swings, huge lack of self-preservation, etc. etc. But I digress. This isn't a pissing competition. It's about identifying the issues, overcoming them and the NHS trying to use a format which has previously worked with smoking. Fewer people purchase and smoke tobacco than the previous year and has been ever declining since 2011, due to warnings such as this. Shocking photos and openly giving information about illnesses does work.

    Education is key when it comes to health-related problems.

    Some people simply do not know what they are doing to themselves. There are people who genuinely believe the Earth is flat, due to lack of education and/or stubbornness. So there are definitely those who simply choose to eat unhealthily because they want to, They become obese, have heart attacks and/or other medical issues. All of which add to the cost of the NHS yearly budget, when it could be going to those who genuinely need it more. Such as those with mental health issues and incurable diseases.

    I also do not think that it is publicly shaming them by making them see that their condition is a massive health risk to themselves, by creating an informative poster. Nobody from the NHS is standing there, pointing a finger in the street at each overweight person and shouting "Hey, fatty! Lose some weight!" It's just a poster, using the same tactics as tobacco warnings. People still smoke regardless (and now vaping, which is just as bad), as will people still eat more than they require on a daily basis. Regardless of the reason(s) as to why they might do so, trying to recognise an issue and overcome it is the most important thing a person can do.

    It doesn't hurt to try and get people to lose weight. As a species, we are simply not meant to be overweight. Fact, whether someone likes it or not. Granted, there are cases in which a person might have a medical condition which affects their weight (and I have already mentioned about that) but as it stands, obesity is not normal for us as a species.

    Modern culture (especially farming) has turned us away from the hunter and into creatures of leisure, where we often gorge ourselves on unhealthy foods. No matter what the reasons behind that are, it's still a problem when you look at Humanity as a whole.

    The food industry is constantly making you feel like you should eat everything, by advertising delicious-looking cakes, greasy and unhealthy burgers, pizza that contains a whole day's worth of calories. Cheese on practically everything. They prey on those unable to say no.

    Certain foods release chemicals that make you feel good and most of them are unhealthy in large quantities. Chocolate, for instance, contains tryptophan. A chemical that helps the release of serotonin (the same chemical you can get from exercise) which in turn makes you feel better. Look at how much advertising for chocolate there is. It's bloody everywhere. Whether or not you have a mental health issue, you are being bombarded with "Buy and eat this and you'll feel satisfied with your life!" adverts for certain foods.

    I feel that most countries actually need to tackle this even harder than just a friendly poster. It's already become an epidemic. Obesity rates are still far too high and without some form of control, it will spiral even further. Obviously, there are moral issues with restricting and banning such things, but seeing as there are still a large amount of the world's population who are struggling (for whatever reason), I think it's the logical step. It will lower costs for not only healthcare but life insurance as well. It might cause companies to focus more on better foods and provide an overall healthier lifestyle for everyone. People might live better lives, potentially longer lives.

    Look at it this way: There is enough food in the world to solve all of the hunger problems in every country world-wide, yet we throw away millions of tons of food waste every year and eat far more than our fair (and required) share. It's about time we did something more than just posters.

    Leave my cheese and chocolate alone please :D

    I'm not sure it can be broken down any more clearly than this. Very well said in my humble opinion.
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    The extremely long post (tl;dr) seems to be suggesting that a lot of people don't know that obesity is a health risk.

    Seriously?

    Also, the comparison being drawn with smoking just doesn't work. Smoking is something you can give up entirely; food isn't. Smoking is also something that actively impacts on other people, but nobody has yet had an asthma attack from me eating cake around them.
    edited July 25
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