HAPPY NEW YEAR. It is time for my annual New Year’s rant. Sit back and enjoy while I fix the world by call out internet misinformation.
Special Note: This is a revised version of last years’ rant. So you may notice some comments from previous years.
This is a “tradition” I started six years ago in response to the wacko dietary and health advice I was seeing all around me. I cracked and whipped off I Call BS , what I would called an “I’m mad as h_ll, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” post. It felt so good after and it was a great public service announcement.
So, since it did not work so well before, I’m updating and going at it again. I’m sure I can fix it this time. I generally do not make “doctor” remarks on this blog, but this is the once per year exception I grant myself. This is not medical advice, just my educated outlook on the problem. See your doctor if you need medical advice.
Well, I have great influence on the world so of course, the issue has gotten much worse. The BS is everywhere, and even the mainstream media is spewing the cr_p. Homeopathic remedies populate the local chain drug store. Made up science is everywhere and conspiracy theories abound. Thank you, internet.
Social media is full of health and nutrition “advice,” almost 100% false. If you saw it on social media or most websites/blogs, it will almost for sure be wrong. In previous years, I called some of them “well-meaning but clueless” But now I believe they are either outright shysters or just too uninformed/uneducated to understand facts from fiction.
We now live in a culture where everyone thinks that “I’m entitled to my opinion” implies that all opinions are equal and that ignorance is just as good as scientific knowledge. No, sometimes you’re just wrong (adapted from Insufferably Intolerant Science Nerd). You can have your own opinion but not your own facts. 60 minutes of Google does not make your beliefs fact. A flat-earth, anti-vax loudmouth on the internet agreeing with your beliefs is not “fact”. You can find support for any wrong believe.
They want you to believe only they have the magic or secret knowledge. They will have compelling stories sprinkled with pseudo-scientific BS, and if you don’t know better, you might believe it. I call this “internet snake oil.” There will be celebrities who you trust making a pitch for this diet plan, that magic supplement or a magic energy bracelet.
Are you really that clueless? Really? So here are some helpful clues to look for…
Key phrases that should make you run the other way:
- Emerging studies or emerging science reveals. The snake oil is smelling strong.
- “Supports _____” : air and water support life. Show me a proper study. It is a BS word meaning we have no proof it really does anything.
- Leading experts – you can be sure they aren’t – I call BS ever time.
- “Promotes _____” – really… see supports
- Colon health – again show me the studies
- “Detoxifying” or “cleansing” Please see below.
- Non-GMO – I boycott any food that says that. Fear-mongering is not nice. Companies that exploit fear for profit over science need to be boycotted.
- “Natural” – almost always used to mislead you to believe safe and effective. Almost for sure not effective and maybe not safe.
- pH- if they talk about changing the pH of your blood, it is wrong or if true very very dangerous (but it is not true).
- Clean eating- totally wrong. See this article.
- Other bothersome phrases: “wellness”, “organic”, and “real food” ( mine is fake). All are used to imply “I have the true answer” always with no science behind them. Like fingernails on the blackboard.
Where does the information come from:
- Social Media – WRONG
- Friend or relatives – Almost always wrong.
- Your mother – usually better than you think
- Your doctor is usually good but not always. MD or DO only please.
- Infomercial – BAD… really bad…. always
- Doctor or Dietitian (R.D.) from your hospital system – Almost alway good.
- There are many nutrition “degrees” people are getting now. I only trust R.D.s.
- An advertised product is almost always bad.
- “Expert” on morning TV – frequently bad so watch for the key words above.
Why is it that the bloggers and “experts” who are recommending cleansing activities are also the ones expounding their wacko diet information? If their recommendations are so great, why do they need cleansing? Why?
Your liver and kidneys do this work for you. They don’t need the help of these “experts.” When they do need help, you need a lot more than a made up “cleansing” can do.
Sounds so good. High cost and no sound scientific evidence or even close to believable claims. A new version of “snake oil”.
So who do you believe?
- Most doctors are good resources for you. But a few have gone to “the dark side”.
- Your local nonprofit hospital system will usually have your best health in mind.
- Major websites like WebMD, the CDC, and your local hospital system will all have helpful information. Most medical practices have websites with trusted links. Mine did.
- Even your insurance company wants you healthy, and many provide excellent resources. Even if your insurance company is a blood sucking leech on society, a healthy you is still cheaper than a sick you. Let them help you.
- DO NOT go to Google. I love Google, but they do not verify information in their searches (not their job), and you are very likely to get very bad information. Google is not your doctor and not a health professional.
- If they tell you the AMA or doctors don’t want you to know a secret, hold on tight to your wallet and run hard.
- NEVER make a major change in your diet or exercise program without consulting you doctor.
- Anti-vax is a hoax and will kill many children. Vaccines have never caused autism but the deadly diseases the vaccines prevent do kill. I have seen it.
- Your 1 hour on the internet “researching” does not equal your doctors years of training. You are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts.
- If it sounds stupid or too good to be true, it probably is stupid or too good to be true.
Special note: I will be approving all comments before publishing. If you want to disagree… start your own blog and say whatever you want. My blog is not your public platform. I will publish comments that I consider scientifically sound, but ranting or pseudo-scientific BS will not be published so don’t waste your typing. If I don’t like it, I will delete it.
So if you believe the liars and shysters shame on you.
Now I feel so much better now.
December 31 2016