Saturday, 16 August 2008

Warning: Studies May Harm Health

I like medical studies. I kind of have to since these are what powers my day to day tasks. They show me why things have to be done a certain way or how to avoid infection or make patients feel better. This so far will no harm your health but 'buyer beware' the docs have been at it again.

Lets start with a famous example. Once upon a time there was a combination vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella, they smartly called it the MMR. Then after a study was done the press went a little bit nutty, blew it all out of proportion and linked this jab to Autism. Which has meant that equally nutty parents are not vaccinating their children. Sorry it's at this point I would like to quote House MD...

Young Mother: Her whole face just got swollenlike this overnight.
House: Mmhmm. No fever, glands normal, missing her vaccination dates.
Young Mother: We’re not vaccinating.
[Baby giggles and coos]
Young Mother: [Takes a toy frog and starts to make frog sounds] Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit. [Giggles]
[Baby smiles and giggles too]
House: Think they don’t work?
Young Mother: I think some multinational pharmaceutical company wants me to think they work. Pad their bottom line.
House: Mmmm. May I? [He takes the frog and starts to do the gribbit noise with the baby]
Young Mother: [Whispered] Sure.
House: Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit. [The baby laughs] All natural no dies. That’s a good business: all-natural children’s toys. Those toy companies, they don’t arbitrarily mark up their frogs. They don’t lie about how much they spend in research and development. The worst a toy company can be accused of is making a really boring frog.
[Young Mother laughs and so does House. The baby giggles again]
House: Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit. You know another really good business? Teeny tiny baby coffins. You can get them in frog green or fire engine red. Really. The antibodies in yummy mummy only protect the kid for 6 months, which is why these companies think they can gouge you. They think that you’ll spend whatever they ask to keep your kid alive. Want to change things? Prove them wrong. A few hundred parents like you decide they’d rather let their kid die then cough up 40 bucks for a vaccination, believe me, prices will drop REALLY fast. Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit.
Young Mother: Tell me what she has.
House: A cold.

I would love to have put up the clip of that exchange (it's much better on film) but no one on You Tube has done it as far as I can see. I recommend you watch Season 1: Episode 2: Paternity. But I do concur with his assessment of people who refuse vaccinations.

So to the point I came across this baffling piece of research, Ear Infections 'Link' to Obesity. So is this the magical link that will cure childhood / adulthood obesity simply by stopping ear infections. Er... no I think not. This is starting to sound rather like the simplified outcome of the MMR study - "12 children with autism who also had the MMR jab... oh look MMR caused their autism". So because I had several ear infections when I was a child that's the reason I'm fat? Least I'm not blaming it on my genes.

Well it's less likely than Clumsy Young Face Obesity Risk. Actually I can see the reasoning behind this. Think about it less coordinated children are less likely to enjoy school sports. Therefore more likely to avoid them in the future, increasing their chances of becoming overweight through lack of exercise. Brilliant huh? Wish I had written that could have made some money selling the results. I knew that sport wasn't for me when I was hit in the face by a basketball and everyone laughed. Didn't see it coming. Actually I'm quite a strong swimmer but when it comes to catching and throwing my skills stopped when the basketball hit my face.

You can't possibly follow every study done. I mean for everyone I've read that says X causes cancer there's another 4 saying A,B,C, and D all cause cancer too. You'd never leave the house, eat anything or touch a cleaning product. Least then I'd have more time to catch up with all the TV I watch. Unless there's a study that says TV causes some sort of debilitating illness... oh wait it does - Couch Potato-ism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The rate of obesity in children is as such increasing. Now the risks have increased as new studies have shown that chronic ear infections in children might lead to obesity as ear infections make sweet and fatty foods much more desirable thus raising the risks of obesity.

Post a Comment


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog