The invaluable power of healthy skepticism

Usain Bolt became the fastest human being ever by eating – wait for it – Chicken McNuggets, not following the latest health care fad

The invaluable power of healthy skepticismKicking off her wonderful book from earlier this year, Christie Aschwanden asks a seven-word question that might help us recover some sanity for our hyper-affluent, marketing-mad society. “Do any of these products actually work?” Aschwanden asks in the introduction of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange…

Taking a bite out of the dangerous notion that food is medicine

Pseudoscience and quackery love the food-is-medicine philosophy because it helps them sell their nutritional supplements, diet books and therapy sessions

Taking a bite out of the dangerous notion that food is medicineHippocrates supposedly said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I disagree. Food is not medicine. I can hear people saying, “But Dylan, you have type 1 diabetes and a PhD in human nutritional sciences. Surely you of all people know that food has a powerful impact on health?” I do. But…

Three nutrition trends to stay away from

Skip the cleanses, alkaline diets and IV vitamin therapy; there's no evidence they work and plenty of evidence they can be harmful

Three nutrition trends to stay away fromIf you follow health tips in some media, you’d think the nutritional sciences are a mess: Is butter good for you or bad? Should I eat breakfast or skip it? Should I eat like a caveman? Or should I eat more like a bird? Alternative facts are not a new concept in the field of nutritional…

Fishing for seafood fraud report of questionable value

The methodology used by non-profit Oceana for its report lacks scientific rigour

Fishing for seafood fraud report of questionable valueOceana – an environmental NGO – is known for its splashy reports on fish and seafood fraud. Their cumulative assessment across several Canadian cities showed that 44 per cent of the fish samples assessed were falsely identified. After Halifax, Toronto, Victoria, Ottawa, and Vancouver, Montreal is the latest market Oceana has looked at, and results…

The dark side of the Non-GMO Project

Suggesting that food products with the Non-GMO Project label are safer and more nutritious is simply misleading and rests on scrawny scientific evidence

The dark side of the Non-GMO ProjectMost consumers have seen Non-GMO logos on bread and other food products at the grocery store. But the verification program now faces criticism. The Non-GMO Project verified logo is now on over 50,000 food products in North America that bring in more than $30 billion in retail sales. The green leaves and orange butterfly logo first…

Repressed memory syndrome so much psychobabble

Memory is not a video camera accurately recording our experiences and is easily manipulated

Repressed memory syndrome so much psychobabblePeople frequently ask me about the possibility of repressed memories being the origin of their problems. This is a holdover from the once dominant psychoanalytic approach to psychiatric treatment. On television and in the movies we frequently watch psychiatrists help people recover memories of events from their childhood that may somehow explain the way they…

Blowing up climate change

It's hard to imagine a doomsday scenario with higher stakes, more exaggeration and greater calls for government intervention. It's just moral panic

Blowing up climate changeCanadian Thanksgiving was a blast for climate change propagandists. Monday’s turkey was in the oven as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that increasing carbon dioxide would destroy the Earth. Elsewhere, there was an explosion at Canada’s largest oil refinery. The next day, a pipeline exploded in British Columbia. It was described by…

Kinsey’s pseudo-science refashioned our sexual behaviour

It took decades to fully expose the deep and systemic problems with the studies. By then it was too late

Kinsey’s pseudo-science refashioned our sexual behaviourTV personality Phil Donahue once said, “Kinsey was to sexuality what Freud was to psychiatry, what Madame Curie was to radiation, what Einstein was to physics.” Alfred Kinsey was the person primarily responsible for turning western society from Christian sexual morals to amoral behaviour more in line with his tastes. Biographer James H. Jones believes…

Miracle healthcare cures rarely stand up to scrutiny

Miracle healthcare cures often remain unfulfilled. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in humans to see only black and white rather than shades of grey

Miracle healthcare cures rarely stand up to scrutinyWhen it comes to health and medicine, there are an abundance of beliefs, philosophies and practices floating around out there. Unfortunately, many of these healthcare cures have no real evidence to back them up but are still used and strongly supported. Often, erroneous beliefs about healthcare cures are not only wrong but expensive to the…

University of Manitoba succumbs to politically correct nonsense

Why is the university pretending indigenous knowledge and science are the equivalent of our written knowledge base? Why are they allowing this farce to unfold?

University of Manitoba succumbs to politically correct nonsenseI recently listened to an interview of the new head of the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous Knowledge department on CBC radio. She articulately explained that “traditional knowledge” and “indigenous science” have been vital to the survival of the aboriginal culture. A hunter-gatherer culture depended on information about the movement of animals, weather changes and the…