Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: Drug Companies are Shady, Obesity Prejudice, and Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

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It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the current medical model for health.  As a society – at least here in the States – we have a very reactive mindset as opposed to preventative.

Using the most obvious example – heart disease – it’s more common for a physician to prescribe a litany of pills to help “mask” the issue rather than take the more practical (and generally less expensive) route of educating people that eating a whole egg won’t kill them, and that Taco Bell probably isn’t the best choice for dinner.

Of course, it’s much more complicated than that as we have to consider psycho-social and behavioral issues, as well as the more glaring obstacle that our society enables poor health choices left and right.  I mean, can you blame a kid for crushing chocolate milk and an apple fritter for breakfast when that’s all that’s available to him or her in school? Right from the start, we’re programming them to accept that highly processed, sugary foods are part of a “healthy” start to the day.

We’re now currently in a state where, for the first time EVER, our children are expected to have a shorter life span than their parents.

Anyways, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it.  Ironic, huh?

Back to the whole doctor thing, though. I’m not placing all of them under one umbrella of suck.  Obviously there are a infinite number out there who “get it” and actually take a more proactive approach to medicine.

Interestingly, when it comes to the research available to physicians (which dictate what medications they prescribe to their patients) positive findings are TWICE as likely to be published than negative findings.

In every sense, doctors are literally blinded in evidence based medicine.

This is why primary care is shady business. Or, more to the point, why drug companies are a bunch of a-holes at times.

In their defense, doctors seemingly NEVER get the full picture.  How effective can they be in prescribing medication if they don’t have access to ALL the trials?

Ben Goldacre discusses this very topic in TED talk below.  Fascinating stuff, and well worth the 13 or so minutes it will take you to watch it:

What Doctors Don’t Know About the Drugs They Prescribe – Ben Goldacre

The Last Acceptable Prejudice – Dr. Jonny Bowden

This article kind of falls in line with the TED talk above (especially as it relates to drug companies), but most importantly it was a fantastic article discussing prejudice against the obese. More specifically, it delves into the story of Jennifer Livingston, the news reporter up in Wisconsin who was openly chastized by a viewer concerning her weight.

Another less obvious point to consider is how the internet allows people to say things that they would never say to someone’s face.

Is Aerobic of Anaerobic Training Best For Getting Rid of Belly Fat – Charles Poliquin

Before the gates of Hell Fire open, let me state that I’m not opposed to aerobic training.  I’d much prefer someone do something over nothing – and if that entails going for walks or jogging or Zumba class (with some *cough, cough* extracurricular activities) than so be it.

That said, as a strength coach, I obviously lean a little more towards the “people should lift heavy things” side of the equation.

Ever wonder why commercial gyms are chock full of “cardio” machines and why they’re the most popular, yet the vast majority of people using them are still overweight?

This isn’t the case all the time, but Coach Poliquin does bring up some interesting data in his argument.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Comments for This Entry

  • John J Brooks

    That may be the most terrifying TED talk ever. Good grief. People need to stop feeling like other people's adipose tissue is an affront to all that is good and holy. Fat people are not disgusting, some disgusting people are fat, but that isn't the same thing. I have said before, the people who don't get good results with Anaerobic training do so because they lack the ovaries to push themselves out of their aerobic system. True HIIT is horrible. It hurts, makes you want to pass out, puke and die.If you don't get butterflies before doing HIIT you're probably not doing HIIT. So it's a tougher sell than churning away on the elipti-tread-stepper for an hour.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply to this comment

    • R Smith

      You, Sir, are my hero for today: "ue HIIT is horrible. It hurts, makes you want to pass out, puke and die.If you don't get butterflies before doing HIIT you're probably not doing HIIT. So it's a tougher sell than churning away on the elipti-tread-stepper for an hour." An instant classic, and one that makes me feel better about myself: I get VERY nervous before HIIT.

      October 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply to this comment

      • John J Brooks

        Totally. Most folks are so deeply ingrained in the aerobic system that they just don't know how to get there, the upside is that they get major results once they do learn to embrace the suck. R, this is the original post I put up on this subject a couple years ago: http://jbzero.blogspot.com/2010/06/truth-about-hiit.html

        October 22, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      I remember back in the day I had a client tell me that the HIIT I was having her do on her own "wasn't that bad." My immediate response was "then you're not doing it right. You should hate life after you're done." She didn't believe me, so I took her through a session myself. She hated life.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lars Krogstad

    Ben Goldacre is the shit! His book "Bad Science" should be required reading for everyone!

    October 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jon

    This is also a good read http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/21/drugs-industry-scandal-ben-goldacre

    October 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Theplasticsurgerychannel

    Good points . I especially like your point about responding to comments and trying to promote the guest post on stumbleupon and other social media sites. The more you give back the more writing opportunities you will get.

    October 21, 2012 at 6:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Eric Bach

    Great stuff, awesome article by Polequin

    October 22, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply to this comment

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