Health sciences: But just what IS a medical myth?

Blue Hare <em>Sugar</em> Pot

Sugar: Current villain in human mortality

From Robin Nixon, Elizabeth Peterson and Karen Rowan (October 2016) at LiveScience:

25 Medical Myths that Just Won’t Go Away

Despite what you may have heard, drinking eight glasses of water a day isn’t the key to good health. Also, neglecting to wear a coat on a cold day won’t make you sick. And — you might want to sit down for this — pregnancy doesn’t last nine months.

Health-related myths are often repeated as fact, even though any diligent Google search will reveal the truth behind these fallacies. Here are 26 of the most common medical myths, debunked.More.

Hmmm. Some women distinctly recall pregnancy lasting a year and a half. 😉 No, but seriously, while it’s good to read through a list like this, we should reflect soberly on how much has been promoted as orthodox science that isn’t well founded. And laws, tax practices, and public policy were based on it.

<em>Butter</em> dish by DShopping on

Not the villain in this version of the tale

For example, from Markham Heid (September 2016) at Vice:

“The change in dietary advice to promote low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history.”

Recently, research has come out strongly in support of dietary fat and cholesterol as benign, rather than harmful, additions to person’s diet. Saturated fat seems poised for a similar pardon.

“The science that these guidelines were based on was wrong,” Robert Lustig, a neuro-endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told Tonic. In particular, the idea that cutting fat from a person’s diet would offer some health benefit was never backed by hard evidence, Lustig said.

Just this week, some of Lustig’s colleagues at UCSF released an incendiary report revealing that in the 1960s, sugar industry lobbyists funded research that linked heart disease to fat and cholesterol while downplaying evidence that sugar was the real killer. More.

This is why some of us say, scientists should feel free to march if they want, but their actual problems are more likely to be back at the desk than out in the streets.

Also, keep up to date with Retraction Watch

See also: New Scientist: EU green energy policies making global warming worse We didn’t realize it was still legal to say so.


The skinny on salt, veggie oil,, skim milk, whole foods. Nutrition science is nearly baseless but it rules.
Sitting does not increase overall mortality risk.