Yet More Fake Health News Nonsense From The Mainstream
By TruePublica Editor: As a rule, your best course of action for obtaining health news is to steer well clear of the mainstream media. In the past few years more and more frustrated health professionals have come forward to share a truth that says it all when it comes to mainstream media using our health fears as way to generate profit. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.
Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.
“Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
Dr Horton is not actually referring to mainstream news, he’s referring to the research and scientific industry who are now blighted by conflict of interest as corporations go in search of ever more profit. One way of increasing those profits is issuing misinformation or just plain lies that plays on our fears in the hope that it changes our behaviours in favour of buying one product against another. However, the press need to keep the pennies rolling in and click-baiting the public, irrespective of the dangers is a favourite tactic.
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“Most cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code when cells divide out of the blue, new research shows,” the Daily Mail reported. Not so says NHS Choices who went on to accuse the Mail of making misleading statements about the research.
“The pill can protect women from cancer for 30 years,” is the front page headline in the Daily Mirror. Not statistically significant say health professional experts. They says that we should not lose sight of this study’s limitations and that it’s not possible to say that taking the pill prevented women from getting certain cancers.
“It’s tea time! How at least two cups a day can shield you from dementia,” reports the Mail Online. NHS Choices once again steps in and debunked the Mail’s dementia claims by ending their conclusion with “This study, on its own, does not prove that drinking tea will stop you from getting dementia.”
And for the latest nonsense spewed out by the irresponsible, here’s a few more recent headlines that could do with some clarity.
“Starting the day with mushrooms could help you shed pounds from your waistline, new research has found” the Mail Online reports.
The Mail Online manages to take another rather stupid study and make a link between eating mushrooms and losing weight. Of course, the Mail Online does not actually focus too much on the sponsors of the study.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota in the US and published in the peer-reviewed journal Appetite – said the Mail.
NHS choices looked into this story who concluded: “Interestingly, the study was supported by a grant from the Mushroom Council. The Council is a US organisation funded by mushroom producers; its aims include persuading people to buy and eat mushrooms.”
It’s not too much of a dot connecting conundrum to work out what is going on here now is it?
More from the NHS “The Mail has taken a bit of a leap saying that new research has found starting the day with mushrooms could help you shed pounds from your waistline – the study didn’t look at weight and found little evidence that eating mushrooms altered overall energy intake.”
So, just to be quite clear, the health professionals have concluded that – the Mushroom Council wants you to buy mushrooms and that the Mushroom Council have paid for research to see how good mushrooms are for your waistline and found ….. no evidence to support that claim. None. Whatsoever. Anywhere.
Alternative claim: The Mail Online publishes fake health news stories purely for profit purposes – screw your health. True.
“Eating a low-fat diet ‘increases your risk of dying young by 25%” so says The Sun.
Just for a start off the study looked at people in lower and middle-income countries, where diets are very different, so the results will not be relevant to the UK in the first place.
Indeed, this utterly ridiculous headline concluded that people should avoid a low-fat diet but do so forgetting to mention that the study looked at people in countries such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, where eating enough food may be just a little bit more of a pressing concern than weight gain! In other words, the Sun might be right, that eating a low fat diet could reduce you life expectancy – but only if you were actually starving to death or seriously malnourished as you might be in say …. Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.
And just to make it quite clear, in Bangladesh 31 percent of its 150 million citizens live below the poverty line living on less than £1.50/$2 a day. Hardly the income bracket to be overly worried about the fat content of your average Quinoa and Feta salad.
You literally couldn’t make this up if you tried. Of course, you could, if you’re the editor of The Sun!
“A daily slice of Marmite on toast may help prevent you getting dementia” the Daily Mail reports.
This was a truly minuscule study involving just 28 people in their early 20’s who consumed a teaspoon of Marmite a day for a month. The idea was to test if vitamin B12 has an effect on memory – which of course, would automatically lead to the conclusion that dementia was setting in – having been tested on people too young to see an effect in the first place. Also not mentioned is that vitamin B12 is found a large range of other foods, like meat, cheese and so on.
But oh look, here’s something you would have never known coming from the Daily Mail. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of York and was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Leverhulme Trust.
And, the Leverhulme Trust was set up by the founder of Lever Brothers (William Hesketh Lever) now Unilever, which quite coincidentally are the manufactures of .. erm …. Marmite. Good grief – you would never have guessed. Well, of course you wouldn’t if that not insignificant little fact was not reported, which it wasn’t.
Predictably, the UK media loved this story. The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror referred to Marmite “giving a boost” to the brain. Sky News said it “keeps the brain healthy”
Those really boring party poopers at NHS Choices in their white coats and stethoscopes concluded – “The study has no implications for people with dementia, or at risk of dementia.”
More interestingly was the lead researcher who told NHS Choices: “We’re a bit puzzled as to where the idea [that dementia is involved] has come from. Our study didn’t test any patients and we don’t have any reason to expect that Marmite would have any effect on dementia at this time.“
Well, let’s test another health silver bullet claim in the mainstream that ensures your perfect health and youthful looks for at least the next 2,000 years or so.
“How hot chilli could help you live longer.“
Here we go again. Another medical story with no foundation whatsoever but good for click-baiting the public eh. Sorry to say it’s the Daily Mail, not to be confused with the Mail Online of course.
Those pesky health professionals at that big place all over Britain known as the National Health Service just keep rolling their eyes, with hands on hips and attempt to put the record straight or as we say in the general public – tell the truth. This time they said of the study – “Ultimately this study proves very little.”
The researchers attempted to account for possible contributory factors, such as other dietary factors, income and age, but as they admit, they couldn’t find any evidence of that, or anything else for that matter.
Just in case you were not entirely sure, those pesky health professionals (tuh – not again) decided to clarify their position on this matter just so the public were not confused – “This study does not prove that eating hot chillies will help you live longer.”
Got that – no evidence at all. None.
However, what the actual real people from the heart of the health industry did say was this: “Ultimately, rather than looking for a single “superfood” that will boost health and reduce mortality risk, you’re probably better off just following the standard recommendations. Eat a balanced diet high in a variety of fruit and vegetables, limit salt, sugar and saturated fat – stay active, avoid smoking and moderate your consumption of alcohol.”
Of course, they should have added – and don’t read all this crap in the press, the stress is bad for your health go HERE instead.