Archive | Food and Medical Politics RSS feed for this section

Cardiologist urges doctors to take patients’ wishes more into consideration

Initiatives in both the US and the UK look set to vastly increase the number of people deemed eligible for treatment with statins. While some seem to have welcomed these moves, there has been a lot of dissent too. Some believe that statins already have an unfavourable risk/benefit profile for people judged to be at […]

Continue Reading Comments { 16 }

If statins are so safe, why won’t some researchers let us see their data?

A couple of weeks ago one of my blog posts focused on a news story regarding the safety of statins. We were informed that ‘new evidence’  had found, except in rare circumstances, statins are no more hazardous than placebos. Yet, when one pays to get access to the actual paper on which these ‘conclusions’ were […]

Continue Reading Comments { 28 }

If NHS Choices wants to be taken seriously, then I think it seriously needs to up its game

NHS Choices website purports to give the general public information and advice about a wide range of health matters. My impression is that many see the NHS Choices website as a portal for honest, trustworthy and balanced health advice. A couple of weeks back, I noticed that Paul Nuki, Editor of NHS Choices, had tweeted […]

Continue Reading Comments { 33 }

GSK is doing away with external ‘key opinion leaders’ – it’s just going to make them employees instead

‘Key opinion leader’ (KOL) is a term sometimes used to describe doctors or researchers paid by pharmaceutical companies to talk about its products (favourably). The practice is widespread and has been broadly tolerated by the medical profession. However, in recent times, some have started to ask questions about the ethics surrounding the use of KOLs. […]

Continue Reading Comments { 4 }

Researchers pronouncing ‘statins are safe’ are undermined by their own observations

Listen to most ‘key opinion leaders’ talk about statins and you will hear soothing reassurances about their safety. Yet, my experience as a doctor suggests that adverse effects such as fatigue and muscle pain occur more commonly than ‘official statistics’ suggest. However, a study published this week claims to provide evidence that, for the most part, […]

Continue Reading Comments { 50 }

My take on the recent ‘high protein diet as bad a smoking’ study

There are reports of a study doing the round in the UK press this week that warn us that eating a protein-rich diet is ‘as bad for us a smoking’. See here and here for examples of stories appearing in the ‘respected’ broadsheets the Telegraph and Guardian respectively. Reading the headlines of these pieces gives […]

Continue Reading Comments { 56 }

Article highlights the importance of ‘shared decision making’ when statins are being considered

On both sides of the Atlantic moves are afoot which will mean that many more individuals will be considered as good candidates for statin therapy. This will inevitably mean that more individuals are going to have the prospect of statin therapy raised by their doctors. In this situation, doctors can talk about ‘guidelines’ and ‘protocols’, […]

Continue Reading Comments { 9 }

I complain to NHS Choices website about its stance on carbs. 2 months later and still no response…

Back in December, I wrote a blog post about this article on the NHS Choices website. In short, I felt the ‘article’ put a very biased, unbalanced and potentially misleading case for carbohydrate in the diet. The day after writing the blog post, I decided I would make a formal complaint about the article to […]

Continue Reading Comments { 47 }

Does mammography save lives? Not according to the latest study.

The common perception of mammography is that, by detecting breast cancer earlier than it would otherwise be, it saves women’s lives. However, there is quite some evidence to suggest that many women need to be screen for one life to be saved, and on top of this we have adverse effects such as over-diagnosis (the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 16 }

My take on the Horizon documentary ‘Sugar v Fat’

Last night a BBC documentary aired called ‘Sugar v Fat’. If you’re in the UK, you can watch it here. The show charted the experiences of identical twin doctors in their (I think) mid-30s, who were put on very different diets for a period of 30 days. One ate a very fat-rich diet, while the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 224 }