Video Presentations on Medical Corruption and Evidence-Based Medicine
"The Mess: The Money vs. the Evidence" - Dr. Zoë Harcombe
Zoë Harcombe, Ph.D., is an independent author, researcher, and speaker in the fields of diet, health, and nutrition. Over the years, research for her books and speaking engagements has made her an expert in the corruption and error plaguing the health sciences — a dire situation that she, like CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, refers to as “The Mess.”
Harcombe defines “The Mess” as “the escalating disease (and) the escalating medical costs, which many people are profiting from but none are combatting effectively.” During a presentation delivered on July 31 at the 2019 CrossFit Health Conference, Harcombe outlined many factors that contribute to this growing problem — specifically, the role of dietitians and the food and beverage industry in influencing how and what we eat, accreditation that regulates who can offer dietary advice, and the disparity between what we are told to eat and what the evidence suggests we should eat.
Early in her talk, Harcombe shares her research on the dubious back-door maneuvers multibillion-dollar food companies use to promote their products, including paying for studies that tout their products’ health benefits and adding public health advisors to the payroll. She observes that the only thing that would make their marketing efforts easier would be if these paid advisors had a monopoly on doling out dietary advice — which is precisely what they have sought to do in many states in the U.S. by joining forces with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Harcombe shares the story of Steve Cooksey to offer one telling example of how these organizations and others like them try to maintain a monopoly over nutrition advice. Cooksey was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but rather than following the medical advice he received to eat a low-fat, high-carb diet, he ate the opposite way and lost 70 lb. He started a blog, sharing his story and offering free advice to others, and was promptly rebuked by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition, which claimed he was “practicing without a license.” CrossFit and the Institute of Justice helped Cooksey with his case, developing a defense based upon the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. Cooksey won.
Nevertheless, industry-backed organizations continue to pursue sole rights to offering nutrition advice — advice that proves convenient for the companies that support the organizations financially. To demonstrate how problematic this system is, Harcombe compares the AND’s food recommendations to scientific research on nutrition.
Apart from the AND’s tendency to confuse macronutrients with food groups, Harcombe also points to its support of the overconsumption of carbohydrates. Citing a 2005 government panel on macronutrients, Harcombe notes, “The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.” “There is no essential carbohydrate,” she explains. “There are essential proteins, and there are essential fats.”
Harcombe discusses how to evaluate the credibility of a scientific paper then brings this to bear on the nutrition recommendations promoted by the Evidence for Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and the AND. She finds their evidence entirely inadequate.
Nutrition advice provided by the AND, DGA, and CDR “is not evidence-informed, let alone evidence-based,” she argues. These credentialing organizations “need to be countered with an equal and opposite force.”
"Evidence-Based Medicine Has Been Hijacked" - Dr. Aseem Malhotra
Dr Aseem Malhotra is an NHS Trained Consultant Cardiologist, and visiting Professor of Evidence Based Medicine, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador, Brazil. He is a world renowned expert in the prevention, diagnosis and management of heart disease. He is honorary council member to the Metabolic Psychiatry Clinic at Stanford University school of medicine California, and is Cardiology MSc examiner at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He is a founding member of Action on Sugar and was the lead campaigner highlighting the harm caused by excess sugar consumption in the United Kingdom, particularly its role in type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In 2015 he helped co-ordinate the Choosing Wisely campaign by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges as lead author in a BMJ paper to highlight the risks of overuse of medical treatments. In the same year, he became the youngest member to be appointed to the board of trustees of UK health think tank, The King’s Fund that advises the government on health policy.
Aseem is a frequent expert commentator in print and broadcast media and he has written scores of articles for a number of publications including the BMJ, British Journal of Sports Medicine, BMJ Open Heart, JAMA Internal Medicine, Prescriber, The Pharmaceutical Journal, European Scientist, The Guardian and Observer, BBC online, Huffington Post, The Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and the Washington Post. He is an international guest editor of the journal of evidence-based healthcare. Aseem has appeared in the Health Service Journal’s list of top 50 BME pioneers, and has won a number of awards for his work to raise awareness of diet-related illness both in the UK and internationally. He is a pioneer of the lifestyle medicine movement in the UK and has had feature articles written about him in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and Healthcare Leader. In 2018 he was ranked by software company Onalytica as the number 1 doctor in the world influencing obesity thinking.
In 2016 he was named in the Sunday Times Debrett’s list as one of the most influential people in science and medicine in the UK in a list that included Professor Stephen Hawking. His total Altmetric score (measure of impact and reach) of his medical journal publications since 2013 is over 10,000 making it one of the highest in the World for a clinical doctor during this period. His first book co-authored with Donal O’ Neill, The Pioppi Diet, has become an international bestseller.
"Too Much Medicine & the Great Statin Con" - Dr. Aseem Malhotra
Filmed at the Public Health Collaboration Conference 2017
"Dietary Guidelines & Scientific Evidence" - Nina Teicholz
Nina Teicholz is a New York Times bestselling investigative science journalist who has played a pivotal role in challenging the conventional wisdom on dietary fat. Her groundbreaking work, 'The Big Fat Surprise', which The Economist named as the #1 science book of 2014, has led to a profound rethinking on whether we have been wrong to think that fat, including saturated fat, causes disease.
Nina continues to explore the political, institutional, and industry forces that prevent better thinking on issues related to nutrition and science. She has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the British Medical Journal, Gourmet, the Los Angeles Times and many other outlets.
"Real Food Politics: Institutional Defense of the Status Quo" - Nina Teicholz
"The Real Food Politics" - Nina Teicholz
Big Fat Nutrition Policy - Nina Teicholz
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
Featuring Nina Teicholz, Author, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet; director of the Nutrition Coalition; adjunct professor, New York University Wagner School of Public Policy; moderated by Terence Kealey, Visiting Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; author, Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal: Why You Should Ditch Your Morning Meal For Health and Wellbeing.
Nina Teicholz is the investigative journalist who, in her book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, overturned 40 years of official dietary advice and showed that meat, cheese, and butter are nutritious and need not be avoided.
At this event, Ms. Teicholz will tell of her discovery of the systematic distortion of dietary advice by expert scientists, government and big business to the detriment of the health of Americans. She will chronicle the succession of unfortunate discoveries she made, and she will describe how the Nutrition Coalition, a non-profit, bipartisan group which she founded and directs, works to educate policy makers about the need for reform of nutrition policy so that it is evidence-based.
"Science and Politics of Red Meat in 2021" - Nina Teicholz
"Financial Conflicts of Interests and the End of Evidence-Based Medicine" - Dr. Jason Fung
“Evidence-based medicine is actually so corrupt as to be useless or harmful,” Marcia Angell wrote in 2009. The statement was less a revelation than something many already knew, but it made waves because of its source. Angell, a medical insider, had spent two decades as the editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Jason Fung is also a medical insider who has become wary of scientific research that purports to be “evidence based.” A well-known nephrologist and author, Fung often speaks about Type-2 diabetes reversal and the metabolic effects of intermittent fasting, but in this presentation from Dec. 15, 2018, he turns his focus toward the many ways the foundations of evidence-based medicine have become corrupted by financial conflicts of interest.
The first conflicts of interest he highlights pertain to the corruption of doctors. Practicing physicians who accept gifts from Big Pharma are 225-335% more likely to prescribe drugs from the gift-giving company than those who do not, Fung explains.
The corruption of doctors in prestigious universities is even worse, he claims. “There's a clear correlation: The more prestigious a doctor, the more money they're getting from the pharmaceutical.” Anecdotally, he says, this means you may be better off seeking medical advice from a family physician than from a Harvard professor; the former probably just accepted a $10 pen from Big Pharma while the latter is on the take for $500,000. “It just is a terrible system,” he says. “Yet, these people are the people that are in the newspaper. They're the ones that are teaching medical students, are the ones who are teaching the — the dietitians, the pharmacist — everybody.”
The most insidious corruption affects the published research on particular drugs. Fung highlights the influence industry can have when it finds a medical journal editor willing to take its money. Another problem arises in the form of industry-funded medical research. This conflict of interest leads to the selective publication of positive trials, which can skew the science on particular drugs and lead to unnecessary or even dangerous overprescription. Fung notes how statin prescriptions illustrate the scope of this particular problem.
“We accept this of drug companies … but the problem is that people die,” Fung says. He later adds: “You can make arguments that sugar is a health food, that opioids are good for you … but it harms patients, and we always have to remember that at the end of the day, this is not why we became doctors. The reason we became doctors was to help people, but we're not until we kind of set those same rules as everybody else.”
"What Are the Barriers to Health?" - Dr. Pran Yoganathan
Dr. Pran Yoganathan graduated in medicine from the University of Otago in New Zealand. His training in internal medicine was undertaken in the Westmead Public Hospital. His Advanced training in Gastroenterology was completed in major teaching hospitals in Sydney.
Dr. Yoganathan has a strong interest in the field of human nutrition. He practices an approach to healthcare that assesses the lifestyle of the patient to see how it impacts on their gastrointestinal and metabolic health. Dr. Yoganathan believes that the current day nutritional guidelines may not be based on perfect evidence and he passionately strives to provide the most up to date literature in healthcare and science to provide “Evidence-Based Medicine”. He Is a strong motivator and aims to empower his patients to embark on a journey of self-healing using the philosophy of “let food be thy medicine”.
Dr. Yoganathan has a special interest in conditions such as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and abdominal bloating. He takes a very thorough approach to resolve these issues using dietary manipulation in conjunction with an accredited highly qualified dietician rather than resort to long-term medications.
"The Failure of Medical Education: Why is LCHF Not Being Shouted From Rooftops?" - Dr. Gary Fettke
"LCHF: Health, Performance and Politics" - Dr. Peter Brukner
"Medical Corruption: How Your Doctor Was Bought" - Dr. Jason Fung
How financial conflicts of interest have corrupted modern medicine, from the medical journals to the universities. Studies that support drugs are published where those that don't are not, producing a corrupted version of reality.
"Finding the Truth in Nutrition: an Epidemiologist's Perspective" - Dr. Simon Thornley
Dr Simon Thornley is an epidemiologist, lecturer, researcher and public health physician working at the University of Auckland in the section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Biology in 1997, a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in May 2000 a Master of Public Health with First Class Honours in 2006 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine in 2015.
Dr. Thornley's research interests include tobacco dependence, food addiction and obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, psychiatric disease, injury and environmental epidemiology. He has completed a PhD on cardiovascular risk factors and has a particular interest in the health effects of sugar and low carb lifestyles.
"Statin Wars: Have We Been Misled By the Evidence?" - Dr. Maryanne Demasi
Dr. Maryanne Demasi is a former medical scientist who completed her PhD in Medicine at the University of Adelaide. Her research focused on the pathology of Rheumatoid arthritis and potential therapies. Her innovative research has appeared in several internationally published medical journals.
Leaving her lab coat behind, Maryanne accepted a position as a political advisor and speechwriter for the South Australian Minister for Science and Information technology portfolios. She advised on issues concerning Intellectual Property and commercialisation of research.
Maryanne was headhunted by the ABC ‘s Catalyst program in 2006 and gained a reputation for reporting on relevant and sometimes controversial medical stories. She has won numerous accolades for her work and in 2008, 2009 and 2011 was awarded the National Press Club of Australia’s prize for her excellence in health journalism.
"The Corruption of our Nutritional and Medical Guidelines" - Dr. Anthony Chaffee
Dr Anthony Chaffee is a practicing Neurosurgical registrar, host of the PlantFreeMD podcast, former professional rugby player and long term adherent and advocate of the Carnivore diet.
In this talk he outlines the pervasive influences behind the nutritional and medical guidelines from the Seventh Day Adventist church, big food corporations and pharmaceutical industries.