Staying beautiful is easy to do

May 1st, 2003 by Ben Goldacre in alternative medicine, bad science, cosmetics, nutritionists | 7 Comments »

Staying beautiful is easy to do

Ben Goldacre
Thursday May 1, 2003
The Guardian

New: Talk about Bad science

· It’s been a great week for Bad Science spotters. Bob Conklin writes in about Seasilver. Kirlian photography of your aura will demonstrate an “increase in energy” after taking it, and just one capful will deliver “EVERY [sic] vitamin, macro mineral, trace mineral, amino acid, enzyme, and bio-element known to man” straight to your system. As Bob says: “I’m not sure I want every enzyme and bio-element known to man in my mouth.”

Seasilver

· Dr Victoria Kaziewicz sends us even more preposterous pseudo-science: “In a book called How to be Beautiful, by Kathleen Baird Murray, you can read that beauty products containing natural ingredients are preferable because naturally occurring substances are irregularly shaped like the substances making up your own body, while manufactured chemicals are perfect spheres.”

“How to stay beautiful” at Amazon

· Dr Cicely Marston writes about an even easier way to stay beautiful. A team from Harvard School of Public Health took six years to find that watching television for an extra two hours a day increased the rate of obesity by 25% in 50,000 women. Magnificently obvious – but possibly less obvious is why they were only looking at women.

· Picky Bad Science Spotter of the Week Award goes to Jennifer Leech, who has been bothered for decades by an issue in The Lord of the Flies. “In the book it says that Piggy has myopia.” “So,” she continues: “how can the children marooned on that island have used his glasses to start a fire?”

· There’s hope on the horizon for the so-called Sars epidemic (versus malaria which kills a million a year, and tuberculosis which kills three million). Richard Spacek sent us a full page ad from Canada’s Saturday National Post from the Dr Rath Health Foundation: “It is a scientific fact that all viruses that have been scientifically investigated can be blocked by specific natural essential nutrients.” The fact that life-saving information “is being withheld from the people of the world is irresponsible and must be stopped immediately”. Never let it be said that I am part of any global conspiracy to suppress this vital information.

Dr Rath health foundation

· And finally thank God that in this cynical world, in Wales, Dewi ap Ifan is still managing to feel optimistic: “Aren’t we all lucky that Sars has arisen in China? Traditional Chinese medicine, herbalism, and acupuncture will have it under holistic control in no time _” Keep the Bad Science coming: you are not alone.

Dr Goldacre will be back next week. Please send your favourite Bad Science to: mailto:bad.science@guardian.co.uk


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