Heard of Quack Watch?

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Heard of Quack Watch?

Postby boardn10 » Fri May 02, 2008 7:49 am

Anyone? Jeff?

Heard of this guy who runs this site???

http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/vegetarian.html
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I've read quackwatch before.

Postby tiranda » Fri May 02, 2008 7:58 am

I've not read this particular article, though. Their final word on vegetarianism is actually neutral, if not downright respectful:

"Vegetarianism based on sound nutrition principles can be a healthful choice, but neither vegetarians nor omnivores have a monopoly on healthful eating. Vegetarians are just as diverse in their health status as are nonvegetarians. Similar health benefits can be gained from both well-selected omnivorous and vegetarian diets."

I checked the bio for Stephen Barnett, MD who runs the site (see homepage) at http://www.quackwatch.org/10Bio/bio.html
and there's also an article on actions by those who want to discredit Dr. Barnett http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/bolen.html

On the whole, I find the site credible. Did you?
"The 80% is percentage of calories, by the way, and is not a volume measure. McDougallers are supposed to be eating lots of vegetables." - Pumpkin
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Postby Lacey » Fri May 02, 2008 3:07 pm

As of last February he still lists John McDougall's newsletter as "nonrecommended."
http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEdu ... icals.html

Dr. McDougall's newsletter is listed as one that is "untrustworthy because they promote misinformation, espouse unscientific theories, contain unsubstantiated advice, are insufficently skeptical, and/or fail to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of advice. "
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Postby tiranda » Fri May 02, 2008 3:17 pm

Lacey wrote:As of last February he still lists John McDougall's newsletter as "nonrecommended."
http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEdu ... icals.html

Dr. McDougall's newsletter is listed as one that is "untrustworthy because they promote misinformation, espouse unscientific theories, contain unsubstantiated advice, are insufficently skeptical, and/or fail to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of advice. "


Hmm. One in the eye for me! 8)

O my gosh, they "delist" bottomline's daily health news too!

And DAILY TIP from Dr.Weil.com!

well, very eyeopening for me! I was "insufficiently skeptical!"
"The 80% is percentage of calories, by the way, and is not a volume measure. McDougallers are supposed to be eating lots of vegetables." - Pumpkin
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Postby karin_kiwi » Sat May 03, 2008 4:48 am

I just don't get how sincere and educated medical professionals could say that kind of thing about McDougall and the other doctors and researchers (e.g. those in PCRM) who say basically the same thing. "Espouse unscientific theories?" "Promote misinformation?" My god, have they spent any time at all reading the literature?

Sigh.
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Testing "watches" by their positive recommendation

Postby Burgess » Sat May 03, 2008 6:32 am

Organizations devoted to watching specific organizations (such as a government agency that has power over our lives) or a particular situation (such as discrimination against black Christians by the City government of London) definitely have value. Their specialized focus can bring problems to our attention, if their methods are objective. ("Objective" means all conclusions are drawn logically from facts of reality.)

While pointing out the negative is helpful, far more helpful is pointing out the positive. Whenever I encounter a "watch" organization, I ask myself what positive they offer as an alternative.

In this case, my question to Quack Watch is: What health program do you recommend for people in general and for me in particular?

If they have no answer, then I wonder why they have not applied their supposed critical skills to the main problem in their field? Do they not have confidence in their own methods? Or are they reductionist, that is, have they become so focused on minute individual issues that they don't believe an overall program is even possible and that instead one must treat every issue in isolation?

If their knowledge and techniques do not lead them to a positive, integrated approach to the main problem in their field, then I generally lose interest.

QuackWatch may have value in alerting readers to potential problems for some claims made by supposed healthcare specialists, but I would not select or reject a health program from their comments alone.

When I first encountered the McDougall Program, I did exam Quack Watch for its comments. I was not impressed. (At that time, the site did not even have a coherent, objective definition of "quack," though it does have a plausible one now.) What I saw was indeed reductionist, a focus on individual pieces with little or no understanding of the McDougall Program as a whole.
Last edited by Burgess on Sat May 03, 2008 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Burgess Laughlin, Star McDougaller
My books: http://www.reasonversusmysticism.com
My health weblog: http://anti-itisdiet.blogspot.com
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An Unanswered Challenge to Dr. Barrett

Postby John McDougall » Sat May 03, 2008 7:56 am

In response to his comments on my newsletter, on March 19, 2008 I sent this note to Dr. Barrett, founder of Quackwatch - it remains unanswered.

In case you would like to write to him, here is his personal e-mail address: sbinfo@quackwatch.org.

Dear Dr. Barrett:

I appreciate your interest in saving the public from quacks, unfortunately your own biases show through with your generalizations.

I would be happy to meet you on any forum to discuss any topic that you consider worthy of debate.

This gesture would be one huge step above your usual approach of name calling.

But you may be too old and out of touch with the scientific literature to engage in such a confrontation, and are more comfortable hiding behind the quackwatch organization.


Best Wishes,

John McDougall, MD
drmcdougall@drmcdougall.com
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Postby Rita » Sat May 03, 2008 9:41 am

Good for you, Dr. McDougall. Not that I think you'll recreive a response, but, if so, I'm assuming you'll share it with us.
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Re: An Unanswered Challenge to Dr. Barrett

Postby tiranda » Sat May 03, 2008 10:25 am

John McDougall wrote:In response to his comments on my newsletter, on March 19, 2008 I sent this note to Dr. Barrett, founder of Quackwatch - it remains unanswered.


I think it will remain unanswered since he probably doesn't know just exactly what qualification got The McDougall Newsletter on his list. I expect it is because of selling videos and such at a website, not because you don't cite scientific studies to back up your theories. Because you do, and because you've said you started the whole plan after reading scientific studies that conventional (Barretine, shall we say) medicine overlooked or outright ignored.

You also gotta notice, in his picture, he's got that "gray-haired eminence" thing goin' on.
"The 80% is percentage of calories, by the way, and is not a volume measure. McDougallers are supposed to be eating lots of vegetables." - Pumpkin
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Postby bluestocking » Wed May 07, 2008 1:17 pm

Dr. Barrett considers Dr. McDougall a "quack" because Dr. McDougall argues that dairy products are hazardous to health.

I guess it's just another case of "sacred cows"!
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