News and Views

Hope you don't makeup (1) your mind before you read this thing.

Of all the scares that we debunk, perhaps no one is dumber than whatever appears on the Skin Deep Cosmetics web page, which, just by coincidence happens to be run by the Environmental Working Group—the perennial winner of the "Worst Science Site in the Galaxy" award. These jokers somehow find it within themselves make even the NRDC look like an All Star Team of Nobel Prize winners. Not so easy.

EWG cares a whole lot about your skin. So much so that they pretty much want you avoid putting anything on it. For example:

  • In the Perfume, cologne, and body spray category, they advise you to avoid: “Fragrance” (...

Chiropractors are traditionally thought of as someone you go to for back pain. However, the profession has started moving way (WAY) outside of that traditional scope, frequently claiming the ability to treat over one hundred different ailments.

This movement which appears to be a 'you have it - we treat it' type of philosophy, makes us question the validity of these claims and wonder about evidence is to back these statements up? We are not alone.

A paper published last year analyzed the content of websites of 11 chiropractic associations and colleges (listed at the end of this article) and 80 private clinics in Canada,...

There are a lot of Seahawks haters out there. Apparently, a popular insult hurled at the team is that it is a "Johnny-come-lately" franchise supported by a bunch of bandwagon fans. The problem for the haters, however, is that statistics show it's not true.

To be sure, every team has some bandwagon fans. A statistical analysis of Major League Baseball teams showed a small correlation between success on the field and attendance. Even the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that is considered to have the most loyal baseball...

This week a meta-analysis in JAMA Surgery looked at Prevalence and Causes of attrition among surgical residents [1] Here are the highlights:

•    There were nineteen studies of American surgical residencies, involving about 20,00 residents

•    Attrition rate was about 18 percent with a range of 4.4 to 43.6 percent.

•    The primary causes of attrition were ‘uncontrollable lifestyle,' followed by ‘chose another specialty’ – this data did not lend itself to further statistical analysis.

•    The preponderance of attrition was at the end of post-graduate years-one year (PGY-1) (48 percent ) and two (28 percent).

•    Only 20 percent of the residents leaving continued in general surgery residencies; anesthesia, plastic surgery, radiology and...

Some folks seem to spend lots of time thinking up more and more bizarre weight loss diets. And most work — initially. But as soon as you move back towards eating your normal diet (soon, we hope!), the weight piles back on. So in the long-ish run, these diets are basically useless! Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. The Blood Type Diet. Supposedly, you should eat the same type of foods that people ate when your particular blood type evolved. For example, people with type O blood should avoid grains and head towards more protein and fats — this blood type appeared before humans invested in agriculture, so they couldn't have consumed much grain-derived foods. But there's really no scientific support for this diet. Will it help you lose weight? Maybe, depending on the food...

Since writing about the increasing numbers of vaccinations earlier this month, it has been easy to feel like the score is tipping in public health's direction. More vaccinations mean fewer people are getting preventable diseases - and that is something that we at ACSH can celebrate. 

However, this is not the time to get complacent about the controversies surrounding vaccination. 2016 was a year filled with the fervor of the anti-vaxxer movement and their zeal for stopping this public health measure from saving the lives of their children looks like it is ramping up as we head into 2017. 

This year saw the release of Andrew Wakefield's movie VAXXED (thankfully...

There is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, though still quite real, phenomenon known as "Nobel Disease." For some reason, many people who have won a Nobel Prize went on to become infamous for saying and believing incredibly stupid things, some of which are quite delusional.

Two explanations seem most likely. First, a person who wins a Nobel Prize may begin to think that all of his ideas are prize-worthy. As a result, like being intoxicated with alcohol, a Nobel laureate may feel less inhibited to blurt out whatever is on his mind. Second, it's possible that Nobel laureates are a bit kooky to begin with; earth-shattering ideas often don't come from pedestrian minds. 

The newest inductee into this dubious club is Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and columnist for...

Check it out: the latest sleep device from Apple — the Sleep Pill for Sense, sits on your nightstand, helps you fall asleep, and helps you wake up at consistent times each day. The device has a mini-device that clips onto your pillow and it tracks your REM sleep, sleeplessness, and overall sleep health. The idea behind the device — and hundreds of others like it — is that it monitors your sleep...

Homeopathic products can be found in the aisles of almost every pharmacy. However, this past year, one group of these products - homeopathic teething remedies for babies - found itself more and more in the news and less and less on the shelves.

It started in September, when the FDA warned to stay away from homeopathic teething remedies. With that announcement, CVS pulled a subset of this type of product made by Baby Oragel, Hyland's and CVS, off of their shelves with other stores following suit. Soon after, Hyland's stated in an open letter on their website that they...

You are an adult in good overall health. And when it comes to your teeth and gums, they are in good shape, as well. You've avoided cavities, you brush frequently and effectively and you're about to walk into your dentist's office for a checkup.

You climb into the chair; it starts reclining. Then comes the question. 

"It's been a year since we took X-rays," your dentist says. "We'll do them now, OK?"

On the spot, prone, stretched out, your response is likely a product of the following, in no particular order: trust in your chosen professional; concerns over radiation, personal health awareness; your ease/unease in disagreeing; and cost. And after performing five seconds of this advanced calculus, if you're like legions of indecisive patients you simply default to...