Monday, December 31, 2012

A Grumpy Happy New Years

Peter Finch as news anchor Howard Beale in Network
I have made this an annual December 31st event.(It is now officially a tradition with this being the third year)

2 years ago (2010) I heard way too much BS on diets and health going into the New Years holiday. I just couldn't take it anymore so I whipped off an “I’m mad as h_ll, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” post. It felt  so good after and I think it was a great public service announcement. Here's a rerun since it continues today.

Well "they" are on their way out from under their rocks again today and for the next week or two so here is the entire post again...
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I Call BS


There Are No Silver Bullets Tonto

Happy New Years to All except liars and shysters. A little harsh you say... why you say? It's the season when many of us try to correct our bad habits. And always in the top 5 New Year's resolutions will be get healthier and lose weight.  And I see them coming out from under their rocks.

There will be well meaning (but clueless) experts telling you what to do or eat. I listened to one on the radio this morning. In 20 minutes, she had not one fully true statement. There will be the outright shister wanting you to believe only they have the magic knowledge. There will be compelling stories that are sprinkled with pseudo-scientific BS and if you don't know better, you may believe it. 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? Well if you are, I will give you some clues to look for...  

First key phrase that I hate:
  • Supports the Immune System - I don't know what this means and I'm a doctor. I call BS anytime you hear this
  • Increase your metabolic rate - I call BS
  • Burns fat - I call BS
  • Loss weight while you sleep- Really?- A major I call BS
  • Emerging studies or science reveals- I call BS
  • Promotes or Supports whatever - really... then how? prove it sucker - I call BS 99% of the time
  • Colon health - again a 99% bogus phrase to fleece you  - I call BS again
  • The magic of -I don't believe in magic - I call BS
  • Leading experts - you can be sure they aren't - I call BS ever time
  • Antioxidants - not a bad thing by it self but almost always BS- just eat your veggies.
  • Stem cells - I just saw an ad to "turn on" stem cells in the skin. I see a major cancer risk if true. I call BS again 
  • "Detoxifying" What does that mean??? - This one is just plain stupid - I call BS
Other things to watch for:
  •  Infomercial - BAD- Always
  •  Doctor or Dietitian provided to the local TV station by your hospital system - Usually good
  • "Expert" on morning TV- frequently bad- watch for key words. 
  • An advertised product - almost always bad - I will say I believe Weigh Watchers is GOOD for adults.
  • Your PCP (Primary care provider) - Usually good
  • A friend or relative - Almost always wrong. 99.9999%
  • You mother - better than you think usually
Some general rules that may help:
  1. The middle of the bell shaped curve is usually the correct place to be. This means that the mainstream is more likely to be correct then the extremes.
  2. Your local nonprofit hospital system will have you best health in mind.
  3. Almost all PCP's are good resources for you.
  4. Even your insurance company wants you healthy. Even if yours is a blood sucking leach on society, a healthy you is cheaper than a sick you.
  5. Drug companies almost always try to sell inappropriate and expensive drugs.
  6. Most of the time when a insurance company doesn't pay of a $200 or a $500 procedure from your marginal care provider, it is of little or no value. The first clue to these providers is that they don't take insurance because they don't want a third party that has some knowledge taking a close look at them. The shyster will ding you over and over. Run the other way and rescue your friends and family.
  7. If they tell you that doctors or the AMA doesn't want you to know a secret. I again call 100% BS. Hold on tight to your wallet.
  8. NEVER make a major change in your diet or exercise program without consulting you PCP.
Final thoughts:
  1.  A pound of fat is about 3500 calories. So a can of pop or 12 oz of juice a day is 20 pounds of weight gain per year.
  2. Weight is all about calories in and calories out.
  3. Your thyroid is probably fine but your doctor can check. There will always be somebody willing to give you an excuse if you'll pay for it.
  4. A low glycemic diet will help you control your appetite. But be careful what is called low glycemic. I just saw a recommendation for a "healthy" low glycemic breakfast of a glass of OJ with a bunch of heavy cream.. NOT healthy nor low glycemic.
  5. If it sounds stupid or too good to be true , it probably is stupid or too good to be true.
Special note: I'm changing my comment policy for a while so I don't get slammed. I will be approving all comments for now before publishing. If you want to disagree... Start your own blog and say whatever you want. I will publish comments that I consider scientifically sound but ranting or pseudo-scientific BS will not be published.

Sorry, I stepped on toes but it needed to be said.
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The end... Now I feel good... I love musing...

May you all have a Healthy and Happy New Years. Bless you all and may your year be full of joy and happiness.

DrDan


Updated

December 31 2012

DrDan

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