The "wellness" industry has birthed yet another scam: health coaching. Usually lacking any medical or scientific training, these coaches will charge you a king's ransom for useless – and arguably harmful – advice. Buyer beware. Meanwhile, the CDC says everyone six months and older needs COVID boosters. Here's what the data show.
ACSH Science Dispatch Podcast
A teenager died recently after taking the "One Chip Challenge," eating Paqui's uber-spicy tortilla chip and going as long as possible without eating or drinking anything else. The cause of death remains unclear, but there's an interesting lesson here about the uselessness of "non-GMO" food labels. Meanwhile, actress Jessica Biel sells all-natural Tylenol — which is identical to plain ole' Tylenol. Another case of dubious health marketing? Yep.
Roadside drug tests are unreliable, so why are they so widely used in the U.S.? Meanwhile, researchers who make "health disparities" the focus of their work sometimes misrepresent their results. Here's a textbook example from a study that used pulse oximetry to measure disparities in COVID-19 treatment.
Flu shots perform inconsistently because it's hard to anticipate which strains of the virus will be circulating in a given year. So far in 2023, it appears that the latest round of vaccines are working well. The FDA has determined that Sudafed PE doesn't work. Questions and accusations are flying as a result: why were we sold a useless decongestant in the first place? And more importantly, who's to blame for this public health blunder?
Evidence suggests that Tylenol isn't an effective pain reliever in many cases, so why do doctors rely on it post-surgery? When it comes to treating and discussing COVID-19, do doctors have the right to speak freely, even when they dissent from accepted medical wisdom?
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a physician was charged with manslaughter for administering morphine and a sedative to patients who couldn't leave the hospital during the disaster. Was she alleviating their pain and anxiety or trying to kill them? Meanwhile, many news outlets are paid to slant their science coverage. How did that happen, and what do we do about it?
Some indicators suggest that we're in for a potentially serious fall COVID surge. How fearful should we be? On a lighter note, are you risking your health every time you eat raw oysters? Maybe not, but at least one scientist thinks this particular seafood is "gross."
Recent breakthroughs in stem-cell have raised the prospect of one day "breeding" humans and growing organs in a lab. How realistic are these scenarios? Netflix just released an embarrassing miniseries about the opioid epidemic. Let's take a closer look at the show's claims.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) conclusion that the sweetener aspartame "possibly" causes cancer is ... definitely stupid. Meanwhile, you can eat a diet consisting of 91 percent "ultra-processed" food and be healthy. So says a new study. Let's take a closer look.
The American Medical Association claims the body mass index (BMI) is "white supremacist" medicine, and the CDC says men can breastfeed babies. The public health establishment seems to have lost its grip on reality. How did this happen?