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What You Should Know / April 27, 2009

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  • 1. Anonymous  |  April 29th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    “Let’s scrutinize it using one of the so-called successes that the healthcare system routinely trots out—the implementation of mass vaccination. If it has produced better health, then there should be a correlation between greater height and increased vaccinations.”

    Unless vaccinations prevent plague rather than increasing height.

    “Intelligence is affected, and testing has documented poorer mental capacity, not just poorer performance in schools. Chronic diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and asthma have become rampant.”

    No citation on any of that. No mention of the Flynn effect of rising IQ scores over time, or air pollution as a cause of asthma, or that when people live longer, they get more arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.

    They also make outlandish and unfounded claims about a lack of “nutrition” without mentioning any vitamins or nutrients by name, dismiss immigration as a factor without mentioning any demographic statistics, and mix true information about the very real problems with the USDA Food Pyramid with scare claims about grains made entirely without evidence.

    Did you read this article at all? These people are barking mad and scientifically illiterate. They’ll be telling you about little green men in flying saucers next. They give online special interest group press releases a bad name.

  • 2. Commenter  |  May 2nd, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Asthma and diabetes have become commonplace among children. Asthma has grown more common while air pollution has diminished, and diabetes type 2, which used to be a disease of aging adults, is now common in children. And yes, cancer is more common at all ages.

    Vaccinations are often cited as proof of modern healthcare’s benefits, and if they actually do produce better health, then people should be growing taller. The article does cite good documentation in the references at the bottom to demonstrate that height is related to health.

    One doesn’t need to cite chapter and verse over and over about the fact that the American diet is exceedingly poor, that foods produced by agribusiness are short on nutrients. And diets composed heavily of grains are a significant way of developing diabetes in anyone who doesn’t burn off the resultant sugar through a great deal of exercise, something that is in short supply in today’s world.

    The Flynn effect is not established in terms of it being ongoing now, and there’s indication that it’s not continuing. The effect may be associated with higher caloric intake, which leads to faster growth, including brain size, and therefore higher intelligence at an earlier age. It could also be related to changes in tests. I didn’t say it well, so take a look at this: http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2008/01/a_possible_expl.php It’s a thoughtful and interesting discussion of the Flyn effect, and reading it makes clear that it’s by no means sure that people are getting more intelligent.


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