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In book shops & health stores I think it needs mention that alternative health needs stating such...
in Global

In book shops and health stores I think it needs mentioning that alternative health needs to be stated as such. The other day I was looking in a book shop at the health section where there were all sorts of information where either no or very little scientific evidence existed to support the information.

In addition to this I also once remember having a discussion with a sales assistant in a health food store that tried telling me things about nutrition which she claimed were wrong. But what she was claiming was wrong was clinically accepted, tried and tested data that had been tested for decades! This kind of stuff was also approved and/or documented by official medical boards. Some stuff she was saying was actually in contrast to multiple medical professionals  She also said that she knew this stuff because of doing some online nutrition course.

Another thing is that I have also witnessed in some self-help books how some authors are quite crafty. What they do is point out some stuff which actually is backed up by at least a certain amount of science research but, the catch is that what they're promoting isn't.

The bottom line is that when it comes to health the public need to be made clear as to what actually has a strong scientific medical consensus, and what doesn't. Alternative health material should not be on the same par as strongly accepted scientifically based health material that came about via decades upon decades of research and practical application. Furthermore, People who are not medically qualified should be giving advice to people, especially sales assistants in health food stores.

The following consists of some great reference material, some free, some premium:


Plaffelvohfen

The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.




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  • Listen to everything critically and make your own mind up. The science of nutrition is poorly understood and in my experience there are lots of claims the mainstream make that are patently false.

    Perhaps the best example is the idea that we should mostly eat carbohydrates. This is flat out wrong and is simultaneously causing obesity and malnutrition. The reason for this is that carbohydrates are very high in calories relative to their vitamin and mineral content. Of course we should eat some carbohydrates, but recommending them as the dominant macro-nutrient is profoundly ignorant and downright harmful. This is even worse when we go into the effects of such a diet on the balance of gut flora.

    As a result, there must be space for alternative health claims to be freely distributed and discussed. The mainstream perspective is very often not just wrong, but as in the case above, precisely the opposite of what is right. To needlessly stifle such innovation would be counterproductive.
  • Health is based on one thing, following what nature has outlined for us.

  • A multicoloured and varied eating plan should be enough to suffice for most people.

    As for carbohydrates a lot of people tend to confuse them as being bad for us which is not actually the case. Consequently, this has also lead to a market of high protein fad diets being sold to gullible public, which is basically nothing short of BS to be blunt. There are two different types of carbs; refined, and whole carbs. It's too much of the refined carbs that can be bad for health; not all carbs in general. Here are a couple of eat well guide references medically backed up: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Documents/The-Eatwell-Guide-2016.pdf, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/basics/healthy-diets/hlv-20049477

    As for alternative health claims I am not arguing that there should be no space for them, but they need to be made clear that there precisely that; alternative health claims with very little or no evidence to support them. They should also not be being sold in placed next to stuff that is medically accepted that is based on substantial evidence. People should also be warned to speak to their Doctor before embarking on any alternative health regime, as for some people with certain conditions this could prove potentially fatal!

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • I do not think consensus is important. There have been countless instances of medical scientific consensus turning out to be wrong in light of the new data, or reconsideration of old data.

    Personally, when choosing medicine, I base my judgment more on the real life data, than on what scientists claim in their labs to be true. As a scientist myself, I understand well how careful we must be when translating our theories into real world applications.

    In my opinion, you should not listen to salesmen when it comes to anything, and whenever you see a claim in a book that seems, at the very least, a bit unfounded - be very skeptical of it and look for the data for yourself. I have read a lot of, for example, self-help books in my life, and a lot of the authors used very dubious evidence to support their ideas. Skeptic by nature, I always looked for further proof, and many times was left disappointed.

    My point is that, in my opinion, you should not rely on book and drug stores to do this work for you. Research the matter yourself, find out what books and medicine is likely to give you the result you desire, purchase them and be very attentive to how you use them. I would even go further and suggest that you do not blindly follow the "recommended use" guidelines on the medicine you purchase (a lot of it is written in a way to minimize the chance of potential lawsuits, while undermining the potential of the medicine), but rather do some research to understand how different components affect your health, and to make a qualified decision on whether to follow the guidelines, or alter them some.

    This sounds like a lot of work, but this is how life is: you have to put in a lot of effort to really get the best out of this world. If you always rely on secondary sources to tell you what you should do to be more healthy, then chances are you will be played, at least, a few times. You do not have to be a qualified doctor to be able to analyse some data superficially and find out if certain claims are plausible or not. Of course, nothing compares to the judgment of an expert, but bear in mind that different experts have different goals and will not always make accurate statements, especially when it comes to the financial side of the issue.
  • MayCaesar said:
    I do not think consensus is important. There have been countless instances of medical scientific consensus turning out to be wrong in light of the new data, or reconsideration of old data.
    Are you sure you know what a medical scientific consensus is? Let's give you an example: A patient goes into hospital to have treatment for a suspected brain tumour. Several consultants discuss among themselves the best course of action while also evaluating scans, and then finally they are in agreement that brain surgery is the best option; this is a medical scientific consensus and it's highly unlikely to be wrong. This medical consensus isn't about some scientists doing a bit of research here and there, and then putting and sticking a label on something; this consensus came about via decades of strict research and real world practical application.

    Furthermore, while things do at times go wrong in the medical world, this is actually very rare, and is nothing to do with a whole medical consensus being wrong. There may however be lots of media coverage on specific rare incidences which might make it feel as there are countless incidence where medical physicians turned out to be wrong; but this is in actuality very rare.

    Also, medical consensus is important, rightly so. Hence, why we also have medical boards such as the UK NICE and the US FDA.

    In fact, the quote of yours above is something I would expect to see in an alternative medical book lacking in any degree of evidential support. I would urge the public to take these kinds of quotes with a huge pinch of salt, and advise consulting with your physician, as some alternative medical things could prove to be potentially fatal for some people. 

    Personally, when choosing medicine, I base my judgment more on the real life data, than on what scientists claim in their labs to be true. As a scientist myself, I understand well how careful we must be when translating our theories into real world applications.
    I am not sure what you mean by this, because a huge part of medical science research is based on real life data. Secondly, you seem to be using epistemically loaded language by first downplaying science's role in medicine, and at the same time up-playing yourself by claiming to be a scientist; this doesn't make much sense. Thirdly, medical science is not about just doing a few surveys on something here and there, and then labelling something as true or false; that's not how real medical science works. Furthermore, I am also familiar with other scientists that are also in agreement that consensus is important, they also realize that while they may be literate in their own branch of science that doesn't make them a scientist in all branches of science, and they also concede that when it comes to other fields they are not familiar with they at times they do have to defer a certain degree to that scientific authority.

    One has to ask themselves the following question: If a brain surgeon told you that you need surgery to save your life who would you be more likely to rely on, the 20+ year experienced Brain Surgeon that has spent decades of research and real world practical application performing thousands of surgery, or the alternative health article that you read in a random online article that claimed all brain surgery was a government conspiracy. I know what I would choose.





    Plaffelvohfen

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • maxx said:
    Health is based on one thing, following what nature has outlined for us.
    Care to elaborate?

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • @ZeusAres42 "As for carbohydrates a lot of people tend to confuse them as being bad for us which is not actually the case."

    I never said they were, I said that we shouldn't eat mostly carbohydrates, as is recommended (RDA/DRI macros are 66% carbohydrates).

    "Consequently, this has also lead to a market of high protein fad diets being sold to gullible public, which is basically nothing short of BS to be blunt."

    Any male who is physically active should have higher protein intakes than 65g/day, for they have a greater need to repair and build muscle (mainstream knowledge). Eating a high protein diet without such a need is indeed unnecessary, though.

    "There are two different types of carbs; refined, and whole carbs. It's too much of the refined carbs that can be bad for health; not all carbs in general."

    Refined carbs are certainly worse, once again though I'm not saying that carbs are bad, I'm saying that it shouldn't be the overwhelming majority of one's diet.

    "Here are a couple of eat well guide references medically backed up..."

    Neither source gives DRIs/RDAs, rather they essentially just tell us to eat a variety of foods. I completely agree with this statement. What I don't agree with is that the recommended 270g carbohydrates (90g of which sugars), 70g fats, 65g protein is a balanced diet, but neither source actually made such a claim.

    Evolutionarily speaking, it is only very recently that we have been able to grind down whole-grains to make wholegrain bread, for example (white bread would be the refined version). As such, it does not make sense that we would have evolved to eat a diet that is high in grains (not even whole-grains). Rather, we would have eaten mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts and meat. Of course, this observation is entirely secondary to my initial claim that high carbohydrate foods are lower in micronutrients per calorie than other foods.
    ZeusAres42

  • Fair enough. And yes, eat a variety of foods is the best advice that anyone can give to at least most average people I would say. I mean if you have no allergies, no other medical conditions than eating a balanced diet should suffice.

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

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