Health

CrossFit Health is an investigation into the ills of modern medicine and the wilful abuse of the public’s trust in science. The lessons learned from the legal dismantling of fake science, a crooked journal, and perjuring scientists have given us a forensic view as to how everything might have gone so wrong. We’re calling the combination of runaway medical costs and disease rates–which many profit from but none combat effectively—“The Mess.”

“If the statement succeeds in its purpose, we will know it because journals will stop using statistical significance to determine whether to accept an article. Instead, journals will be accepting papers based on clear and detailed description of the study design, execution, and analysis, having conclusions that are based on valid statistical interpretations and scientific arguments, and reported transparently and thoroughly enough to be rigorously scrutinized by others.” —Ron Wasserstein, Executive Director, American Statistical Association

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“Most of what we hear about hydration comes from companies and researchers with a vested interest in making it all seem complex and highly scientific. The current guidelines from the ACSM and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association have been updated to warn about hyponatremia, but they still promote the ideas that thirst is a poor indicator of hydration and that more than a 2 percent body weight loss should be avoided. The ACSM, NSCA and NATA all receive funding from sports drink makers, as do some of their members. If staying hydrated were as simple as just drinking to thirst, you wouldn’t need expert advice or scientifically formulated products like Gatorade.”

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Recommendation of the Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Carlsbad, California, 2015, as published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine: “Using the innate thirst mechanism to guide fluid consumption is a strategy that should limit drinking in excess and developing hyponatremia while providing sufficient fluid to prevent excessive dehydration.”

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ClownMirror

“Peer review is a flawed process, full of easily identified defects with little evidence that it works. Nevertheless, it is likely to remain central to science and journals because there is no obvious alternative, and scientists and editors have a continuing belief in peer review. How odd that science should be rooted in belief.” —Richard Smith, former BMJ editor

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In this piece from 2005, Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis explains that the majority of modern “science” is unscientific. When a range of mitigating factors are accounted for—such as bias, loose interpretations of statistical significance, and small sample sizes—the majority of published “statistically significant” findings are likely to be untrue or unverifiable.

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“In response, more than 3,500 health care professionals, scientists, and public health advocates signed a letter protesting the hospital’s move to the Danish minister of health. ... The letter states that Gøtzsche’s work has ‘played a pivotal role in favor of the transparency of clinical data, the priority of public health needs and the defense of rigorous medical research carried out independently of conflicts of interest.’”

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