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Posts Tagged ‘Bad Science’

Health news nonsense from the Daily Churnograph

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Telegraph headline

Drink a little wine, for thy stomach's sake

The Telegraph seems to be starting a health-news nonsense war with the Daily Mail:

Millions of couples who share a bottle of wine over dinner are unwittingly putting their lives at risk by underestimating the dangers of alcohol, a report has warned.

Some eight million British adults drink more than what is considered safe by experts, the study claims, raising their chances of suffering conditions such as cancer and stroke.

Many of those at risk are middle class drinkers, who are unaware that regularly drinking wine with their evening meal is damaging their health.

Women are at greater risk if they evenly share a bottle of wine with their partner because their alcohol tolerance is lower than men’s.

Tim Worstall makes the pertinent points about these “research” findings here. Of course, it’s not hard to see it as part of the Great Wowser Offensive, which started against smoking, continues with alcohol and “obesity”and will, if the usual puritan history repeats itself, end with targeting some modern form of witchcraft. It’s hard to know what the latter will be, but if I were Prince Charles, I’d be worried.

But this sort of pseudo-scientific reporting of press release flatulence has become increasingly common in the Telegraph over the last year or so (see Louise Gray et al) – to such an extent it really should be called the Daily Churnograph.

Personally, I don’t think the paper’s been the same since it was taken over by those mysterious oriental Barclay twins, Chang and Eng. I wonder what they’re up to, plotting in that mysterious opium den that is the isle of Brecqhou?

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Get a grip on the fertility figures

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Been to the doctor’s recently? Despite whatever illness or ailment you saw them for, you can be sure they will also have checked off one or more of the following boxes: Smoking, drinking, diet, exercise and probably swine flu. You can now add to that: don’t have more than two kids and save the planet!

No, you haven’t stepped back into India circa Indira Gandhi or even China today. The advice comes in the once august but now sadly looney-tunes British Medical Journal from John Guillebaud (emeritus professor of family planning at UCL) and Pip Hayes (a doctor). Doctors, they say, should advise patients against having a third child because it is the environmental equivalent of a patio heater or a gas-guzzling vehicle. Read more…