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I was recently informed by a friend about a billboard that shows hot dogs coming out of a pack of cigarettes claiming that hot dogs will “WRECK your health,” and a study related to that billboard that concludes, in part, that hot dogs are “linked” to more colorectal cancer and other bad things.  I discovered that the group who put the billboard up has an animal rights agenda and subtly pushes a vegan agenda in general, but what really annoyed me wasn’t that. Groups push hidden agendas daily, but studies never come under the same scrutiny that outspoken groups do.

In fact, logic seems to bail out when a medical study says something. I posted the following in a comment box on a site and decided that it would be better off on my blog. Comment if you have any thoughts. Please note that I’m not trying to push any form of agenda of my own here, I’m trying to introduce critical thinking and logical analysis into peoples’ personal evaluations of medical study conclusions that tell them something is horrible and will cause their intestines to rot out and their car tires to flatten.

The vast majority of medical studies that “link” consumption of something to a negative outcome are questionable at best. Why? Simple logic: the study is unlikely to take ALL factors into account that “tip the scales.”  For example, take the statement “hot dogs have been linked to higher chance of developing colorectal cancer.”  Well…what about the fact that people who consume more hot dogs are likely to be taking other unhealthy actions, such as drastically over-consuming beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup, or always “having fries with that” when they eat take-out, or never engaging in any physical activity, or consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages?  Do any of these studies attempt to ensure that the only significant factor involved is the targeted food item or activity that’s being “linked” to the bad outcome?

Honestly, if we took these “linkages” from all of these studies as gospel and avoided the things they’re linking to negative outcomes entirely, we’d probably die of starvation or malnutrition, or live off of nothing but multivitamins and water. Apparently red meat, despite being an amazing source of protein, is supposed to kill anyone who eats it before they turn 40, yet it’s been an integral part of the American diet since anyone can remember, and I’m sure you can think of relatives of your own that have eaten red meat regularly and lived to be 80+ years of age. Remember: correlation does not indicate causation; ergo, eating more hot dogs plus having more cancer doesn’t mean that the hot dogs directly caused more cancer. It’s simple logic, really, but people seem to ignore logic when someone with “M.D.” after their name says something to them.

Vegan diets, without artificial supplements, have essentially zero human-usable Vitamin B-12, a lack of which causes myelin sheaths on nerve cells to degrade. Think about that. I just “linked” veganism with brain degradation, so does that mean all the vegans reading this will now stop eating a vegan diet? It’s ironic to say it here, but take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

I also recently found the term “food fascists” and for some reason, it’s starting to make sense…

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One Comment

  1. Same as it ever was … moderation in all things. The problem is with rats and studies is that in many cases, the rats are over-stuffed with whatever food is allegedly verboten. Not too many people are going to eat hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for weeks!

    When my kids read material along the lines that blue cupcakes cause foot fungus, my progeny know that the FIRST thing they need to find out is what group is doing the study. In many cases, it would be a group similar in interests to my fictional CWHBC … Citizens Who Hate Blue Cupcakes, or even CWLPC … Citizens Who Love Pink Cupcakes. They know that if this study is cited as “clinically proven” anywhere in an ad or interview, the first question they need ask is “What clinic? Where? How large was the control group? Etc. Etc.

    I know a dear lady who is hopelessly addicted to a dozen or more health magazines and shows. She is terrified of food, If you combine squash and mashed potatoes on Wednesdays in her world, bad things will happen. She lives on vitamins.

    Not a great way to live, I believe. Your mileage may vary.


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