There\’s a solution to this

I agree asbolutely that public health is important.

Lipkin says societies need to be more proactive in combating the dangers. \”People need to understand that science is critical to address these kinds of challenges and respond in real time,\” he said. \”We need to be prepared. We need better bio-surveillance, with better detection and better ability to develop vaccines. However, our public health system is underfunded and overwhelmed, and we need more scientists.\”

However, that last isn\’t really true.

We have armies of \”public health\” scientists. However, instead of worrying about pandemics they\’re all off being five a day consultants and worrying about health inequality. If they were actually doing public health rather than being the medicine wing of the sociology department then we\’d have plenty of resources and scientists.

Assuming that any of them can still do science that is.

12 thoughts on “There\’s a solution to this”

  1. john b
    Explain something to me.
    If I decide to spend my life in the pub & live on cheeseburgers you would say that the effects on my health are ‘lifestyle diseases’ & I need encouraging to change my behaviour, yes?
    However, if I decide to take up a competitive sport & dedicate my life to succeeding in it, the effects on my health will inevitably be a host of sports injuries ranging from joint damage, broken bones up to major paralysis or death.
    So why am I counselled, by so called health experts, to avoid one & take up the other?

  2. I suspect that the evidence that “preventable lifestyle diseases” are indeed preventable with the present corpus of knowledge is thin to non-existent; the evidence that they are “lifestyle” diseases may be ditto. People really can’t keep parotting “the French paradox” for 40 years – it would be more honest, and potentially more fruitful, to say “Fucked if I know.”

    Remember that doctors used to know for sure that your stomach ulcers were all your own fault because of your feeble reaction to stress. Until it turned out that many were because of an infection.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    john b – “The fact that more people die of preventable lifestyle diseases than of infectious epidemics is, what, irrelevant here?”

    What dearieme said. With bells on. The science behind these claims is just farcical. Let’s keep in mind the fact they simply invented their alcohol recommendations out of thin air. That alcohol, it turns out, is good for us even though they have been saying it is not for decades. That when they put people on low fat diets, fewer people die in the control group. That the whole basis of the claim about heart disease and diet is based on one guy’s holiday in the south of Italy in the early 1950s. And so on.

    Before we start making these claims, lets make sure that these diseases are preventable, are a result of life style and that people are dying of them. Make really sure. Apart from smoking I am not sure this is true of any so called life style disease. Certainly when public health experts waste their time on gun control, it is time to shut them down.

  4. And also that the ‘study’ which said heart attacks in Scotland following the smoking ban were down sharply was a pack of lies.

  5. john b, yes it is irrelevant. If there are preventable lifestyle diseases, then people can avoid them by their own actions. Little or no government intervention is required. Better, as Tim says, that the public health scientists focus their efforts on the communicable diseases and other such threats that the average person cannot protect themselves against.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “If I decide to spend my life in the pub & live on cheeseburgers you would say that the effects on my health are ‘lifestyle diseases’ & I need encouraging to change my behaviour, yes?”

    Because fat people are ugly! And, after all, as many other people have pointed out, talking about obesity is a good way to talk about class and race among people who would die before admitting that the sight of Black women made them uncomfortable.

    Still, I think you’re too harsh on cheese burgers. A more balanced meal than a good burger would be hard to imagine. It is made from all the major food groups – bread, meat, vegetables. If the food fascists were serious, they would be recommending them.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    They have been lying to us about preventable diseases for decades. Well not lying, per se, but assuming their prejudices are facts.

    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/8/529.abstract

    ….
    Results Of the initial 142?605 men and 335?873 women included in the study, 9604 men and 21?000 women were identified with cancer after a median follow-up of 8.7 years. The crude cancer incidence rates were 7.9 per 1000 person-years in men and 7.1 per 1000 person-years in women. Associations between reduced cancer risk and increased intake of total fruits and vegetables combined and total vegetables for the entire cohort were similar (200 g/d increased intake of fruits and vegetables combined, HR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.96 to 0.99; 100 g/d increased intake of total vegetables, HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.97 to 0.99); intake of fruits showed a weaker inverse association (100 g/d increased intake of total fruits, HR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.98 to 1.00). The reduced risk of cancer associated with high vegetable intake was restricted to women (HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.97 to 0.99). Stratification by alcohol intake suggested a stronger reduction in risk in heavy drinkers and was confined to cancers caused by smoking and alcohol.

    Conclusions A very small inverse association between intake of total fruits and vegetables and cancer risk was observed in this study. Given the small magnitude of the observed associations, caution should be applied in their interpretation.

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