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Autism/vaccine link still unfounded

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 25, 2009

I usally pick on The Examiner because of the ridiculous stuff you find in their site. But, I am aware that many reasonable people are trying to change that by becoming writers for the site. This is an example of a pretty good article on vaccines and autism on The Examiner website. Shocking!

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In this world where technology becomes increasingly relevant to our everyday lives, it’s only natural to look for reassurances that our modern conveniences don’t come with too high a price.  Never has that been more true than with the medicine we put in not only our own bodies, but in our children’s as well.  There are a wide variety of diseases out there that threaten our kids, and it is easy for some to take advantage of the anxiety we feel about the health of those we love to make us do foolish things, like not get our kids vaccinated.

It is vital for parents to educate themselves about the dangers of childhood diseases and also about the vaccines that help prevent them.  There is quite a lot of information out there about vaccines, what they do and what they don’t do, it’s hard for a concerned parent to separate real information from fabrications.  It is made harder still because of some who are well-meaning, but ignorant of the facts and who overreacting to misleading information with scare tactics designed to get past well-reasoned argument.  There are organizations all over that claim to provide facts about vaccines, but have nothing but rumors, propaganda and misinformation and are just plain wrong.

Those sources will say that vaccines have ingredients in them which cause autism.  However, the facts say otherwise.  What is in vaccines is no great secret.  Your doctor can tell you, or you can ask the Center for Disease Control.  It is their job to know more about these things than just about anyone else.  There is a wealth of information about vaccines out there for anyone who wants to look past the propaganda and fear, places like the National Network for Immunization Information.  It’s actually extremely easy to tell a good source of information from a bad one.  The good ones provide you with information and supporting evidence.  The bad one’s try to scare you.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE EXAMINER

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Low-Carb Diets and Heart Disease

Posted in Neurologica by Skepdude on August 25, 2009

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Eat a balanced diet, containing foods from all the good groups, especially fruits and vegetables.

There – for the vast majority of people that is all the diet advice that you need for overall health. Get regular exercise, don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, and have good sleep habits – now we have covered most lifestyle risk factors. If people followed this basic advice they would significantly reduce their risk of the most common diseases and disorders.

Often, however, I meet or hear people who add unneeded complexity to what it means to have a healthy lifestyle, even while simultaneously ignoring more basic advice. I can’t tell you how many patients I have who spend hundreds of dollars a month on useless supplements while they still smoke.

The media, weight-loss, and supplement industries are no help. They offer a constant barrage of complex, often conflicting, misleading, or downright false health information. Meanwhile, many people have lost site of the basics.

Dieting for weight loss is the same. Everyone wants to know the secret to maintaining a thinner waistline. Low-carb diets have been all the rage for at least a decade, despite the fact that they don’t work. What does work is calorie control and exercise – eat a balanced diet in moderation and get regular exercise. Not always easy, but at least it is simple. (Again – this is for most people. Certain health conditions do require special diets.)

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT NEUROLOGICA BLOG