There are interesting double standards that we apply to different fields of human endeavor. In sports the use of performance enhancing drugs is forbidden. Whilst that does not necessarily stop athletes using them at least it is not condoned.   Efforts are made to try and catch and sanction those who are found to be using such drugs. The rationale behind this is that sporting contests are meant to be about who ...

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Once upon a time people only went to the doctor when they felt sick. For most of human existence there was not much the doctor could actually do when you got there. Yet somehow the human race managed to get through to the second half of the twentieth century when things changed completely. As technology advanced exponentially we developed a range of treatments so that conditions, which used to be fatal ...

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As the world speeds up we tend to assume that newer must be better. In some instances it is but when it comes to health, less so than one might expect. The other tendency is to overlook simple solutions and go to complicated, and often expensive ones. In medical practice there is one step even before considering what to do with a given problem and that is whether there is a ...

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Medicine is presented as being highly scientific. This is until information comes out which questions certain assumptions that underpin the practice of medicine. One of the mantras of modern medicine is that early detection is good. This seems logical enough. However there is an underlying assumption. That is that there will be a worsening of the condition if it is not detected and that treatment will improve the situation. What would happen ...

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Children are getting fatter because they are not allowed to run around and play. This comes from parents wanting to wrap kids in cotton wool -- also known as helicopter parenting. There is a new push to get children to walk to school. This is something which previous generations just did but has largely disappeared over the last 25 years. There are many reasons for this but one of them ...

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Overeating is not a surgical problem. This may seem to be a statement of the obvious, but the solution to a behavioral problem is not surgery. Overeating is not a surgical problem -- it is a behavioral one. The problem is not because the stomach is too big and needs to be made smaller. It is a function of how ...

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Childhood obesity is a problem. It is a function of the foods children eat both at home and at school. The people responsible for feeding children are parents not advertisers. Running the line that it is all to do with advertising allows adults to run a "Johnny told me to" line, which would not be accepted as an excuse from a child. It is not about blaming parents. It is about ...

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It has been said that depression is the epidemic of the 21st century. Certainly the rates of diagnosis have increased over the last 10-15 years. Some claim that this is due to better recognition of the issue and that actual rates are unchanged. Others feel that we are collectively more depressed than in years gone by. The number of Americans prescribed an antidepressant doubled between 1996 and 2005 and those being ...

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