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Links With Your Coffee - Thursday

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Americans may believe the United States is set up for the middle class, and Europe is set up for the bourgeois. Or let's put it this way: America is a great place to buy kitty litter at Wal-Mart and relatively cheap gas. But it is not designed for me, a professional without a lot of money. That's who Europe is for: people like me.

The pattern is depressingly common – take a disease that is not currently cured by science-based medicine. Claim that doctors “don’t care”, or are ignoring treatments that do not make them money, or there is a conspiracy of silence headed by “Big Pharma.” Then offer a snake-oil alternative based upon anecdotal evidence. Sometimes faith and God are thrown in for good measure.

Nita Scoggan fits this mold nicely. She is promoting herself as a “health and happiness coach” and using her husband as anecdotal evidence of the power of her nutritional advice. The story is now being promoted by other low-carb gurus, including Jimmy Moore.

The story is a great example of why anecdotes are so problematic. We are told that Nita’s husband, Bill, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but she cured him with diet and nutrition, specifically coconut oil and a low carb diet. The problems with this story begin with the diagnosis. Scientific medical trials always include what are called inclusionary and exclusionary criteria – this is to make sure that subjects actually have the disease that is being studied. This is critical because apparent remissions may be due to the fact that the person never had the alleged disease in the first place.


 

Comments

Some great links today. I’ll address them in order.

Dr. Laura: First of all, isn’t Larry King dead? Maybe someone just hasn’t told him. Dr. Laura is a horrible person not because she said the word “nigger” a bunch of times but because she is a horrible person and a total fucking idiot.

As far as The Onion article about Obama declaring victory in Iraq, I’m down with that if we just get out, like, yesterday.

As far as the Alzheimer’s and diet article, just about everything ever published about diet has been specious at best.

Monty Python thing. Good lord, if ever a kid needed a good wedgie or just a good ass kicking it’s this dipshit.

Commenting on a couple of the others: Germany - the main reason to leave Germany is that it is full of bloody germans. Pseudocopulation in orchids - this even happens in England - see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V233B-Yhv8

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