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.”
A New York Times article published in the 1990s encapsulated the fat-related hysteria of the day by recommending buttered movie popcorn come with a life insurance add-on. Meanwhile, Dr. Robert Atkins, creator of the Atkins diet, was touting a low-carb diet high in fat and ruffling more than a few feathers along the way. When Atkins died in 2003, his detractors were quick to blame his diet, even if that meant distorting the facts and breaching several codes of ethics.Read MoreThe Death of Dr. Atkins
Because academics “gain credit from publishing” and quantity is more important than quality, many publish closely related papers that add redundancy to medical research. This problem is compounded by pharmaceutical companies commissioning repeat publication of favorable studies. Though many think such practices are harmless, Richard Smith argues they lead to bias in the evidence doctors use to inform their treatment decisions. Treatments “may seem more effective than they are," which leads Smith to conclude redundant publication "pollutes medical evidence."Read MorePublishing Too Much and Nothing: Serious Problems Not Just Nuisances
Drs. Lustig and Malhotra discuss the ways our failure to properly address the causes of chronic disease have crippled our ability to provide effective health care. They briefly analyze how these problems originated and how they are perpetuated, concluding with a discussion of potential paths forward.Watch Interview With Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. Aseem Malhotra
Dr. Timothy Noakes continues to examine the events leading up to the academic world’s acceptance of Ancel Keys’ unproven diet-heart hypothesis. Beginning with the Framingham Heart Study in 1948, Noakes then discusses the contributions of John Gofman, Edward Ahrens, and Norman Jolliffe while analyzing how their work became supplanted by a reductionistic model in which just one causative factor — cholesterol — could be considered of overwhelming importance to the study of heart disease.Read MoreAncel Keys' Cholesterol Con, Part 4
Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, examines the advantages and disadvantages of various authorship models for the publication of scientific research. He advocates for a model based on contributorship rather than authorship. He claims such a model would "reflect the diversity of views of contributors ... [and] help to move us beyond the illusion of a scientific paper as an objective artefact to a living, human and therefore imperfect document."Read MoreThe Death of the Author and the Birth of the Contributor?
"Peer review is at the heart of the processes of not just medical journals but of all science," writes Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ. In this excerpt from his book, The Trouble With Medical Journals, Smith argues "peer review is a flawed process full of easily identified defects with little evidence that it works." He proposes a few ways the system may be improved.Read MorePeer Review: A Flawed Process at the Heart of Science and Journals
In the previous column, Dr. Timothy Noakes listed the sequence of events that were critical in directing the global acceptance of Ancel Keys’ diet-heart and lipid hypotheses. In this column, he investigates the relevant events that unfolded between 1910 and 1948 and discusses Dr. Vladimir Subbotin’s alternative hypothesis for coronary atherosclerosis.Read MoreAncel Keys' Cholesterol Con, Part 3
"This groundbreaking exposé reveals how millions of people are given dietary recommendations crafted by big business, are prescribed unnecessary medications, and undergo unwarranted procedures to feed revenue-hungry healthcare systems."Read MoreUndoctored: Why Health Care Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor
CrossFit, Inc. presents CrossFit Health Education, a program that provides continuing education and professional development opportunities for physicians, health-care professionals, and trainers. Membership in the program is also open to anyone interested in furthering their understanding of medical science, human health, and performance via access to world-class experts and educational content.Read MoreCrossFit Health Education Launches
Misinformation in medicine is so prevalent that it is undermining the foundations of evidence-based medicine, Dr. Aseem Malhotra claims. In this presentation from Dec. 15, 2019, Malhotra explains why “the best available clinical evidence unfortunately has been corrupted by commercial influence” and which steps need to be taken to fix a broken health-care system.WatchAseem Malhotra: Evidence-Based Medicine Has Been Hijacked
Prof. Timothy Noakes highlights 70 events he claims were critical in advancing the global acceptance of Ancel Keys’ diet-heart and lipid hypotheses. Noakes’ timeline details the major studies, scandals, and recovered trial results that ultimately disproved Keys’ hypotheses, which nevertheless continue to influence global eating habits and metabolic health.Read MoreAncel Keys' Cholesterol Con, Part 2
Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, discusses the problems that complicate and sometimes undermine scientists' ability to perform or interpret clinical studies, even the highly prized randomized controlled trial.Read MoreThe Complexities and Confusions of Medical Science
When Ancel Keys received funding to evaluate his diet-heart and lipid hypotheses in the late 1960s, he was dismayed when his study comprehensively disproved his theory about dietary cholesterol's role in heart disease. Instead of leveling “ruthless scepticism toward [his] own work,” as Karl Popper claims a scientist must, Keys and his colleagues buried the data. Here, Prof. Timothy Noakes tells the story of how Keys blurred the line between belief and proof, transforming the landscape of scientific research for decades to come.Read MoreAncel Keys' Cholesterol Con, Part 1
For a long time, we’ve attributed the virtues of eating plants entirely to antioxidants when in fact it might be the toxins making us healthier. Free radicals are not the demon they were once thought to be. In fact, they function as signaling molecules that activate our body’s stress response systems, and supplementing antioxidants may dull this effect.Read MoreWhy Antioxidant Supplements Don't Work, Part 3
Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, discusses how medical journals negotiate conflicting values and lists which values he thinks all journals should hold in the highest regard.Read MoreWhat Are and What Should Be the Values of Medical Journals?
In his review of the corruption of continuing medical education (CME) by the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Jason Fung presents a “behind-the-scenes tour of what really happens with medical education and Big Pharma from my perspective as a community physician.”Read the articleA Behind-the-Scenes Look at Medical Education
"Can journals reform? Can they lead? Are medical journals important for leadership in medicine? Or is this grandiosity on the part of editors? Aren't journals there to follow, reflect and comment rather than to lead? These are the questions I want to explore in this brief chapter," writes Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ.Read MoreCan Medical Journals Lead or Must They Follow?
Rather than trying to shield ourselves from free radicals, science is now indicating some stressors are vital to our health. The key is in the dose and type. Exercise, which results in a temporary but dramatic increase in oxidative stress that stimulates the body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms and cellular repair pathways, in some ways is a more powerful antioxidant than any supplement.Read MoreWhy Antioxidant Supplements Don't Work, Part 2