Skepchick Quickies, 1.16


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. From the body myth article: “Myth 2: Calories Counting Is All That Matters for Weight Management and Health”

    “and Health”? Who’s ever promoted the idea that calories are all that counts when it comes to health?

    1. Well, I don’t suppose anyone really thinks that calorie counting will prevent all health problems, but unfortunately a huge proportion of the developed world has been promoting and believing that excess weight is a clear cause of many health problems (and not just a possible symptom), and that calorie control is the simple and only way to control weight.

  2. I really enjoyed the Body Myth Articles. I was hoping to find some mention in there about vaginal tightness. My friends and I have been discussing this at length for quite sometime now, and I can’t really find any reliable literature on the subject. Tis a polarizing topic rife with a lot of contradictory anecdotal evidence, it seems. :/ Does anyone know if it’s true that the more a vagina is penetrated, the looser it gets?

    1. This intrigued me enough to have a decent poke around to see if I could find anything. On the medical side all I could find was changes from childbirth and surgery/medical intervention and looking through sociological articles I found a lot about social perceptions of vaginal tightness/looseness and related practices but no actual data on the question.

      1. Lol, that’s basically what I found. I see a lot of posts about ask Surly Amy. Maybe we should submit this question to her? I don’t mind either of us doing it, I’m unsure of how/where to submit question though. :P

  3. I can’t get the audio from the Arfa Karim Randhawa article to play. I have tried three different browsers. :-(

  4. With regards to the body myths article, there is an unfortunate problem with trusting “experts” in debunking myths as these kind of pop-culture articles do not cite sources and instead rely on arguments from authority in most cases… unfortunately while many studies and reviews lie behind paywalls that I no longer have access to, I can find studies showing the exact opposite of what is claimed in the article.
    Perhaps these are not reflective of the entire body of literature, or there are issues relating to the quality/hierarchy of evidence involved, but these issues are never as cut and dried as portrayed in popular media.

    For example, with regards to the shaving and hair growth rate, this study is often cited showing no effect of shaving: http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v55/n3/abs/5618137a.html
    Yet we have this as a counter point (in mice, unfortunately): http://highwire.org/cgi/medline/pmid;6140129

    The dietary point as already mentioned above is almost a farce… energy balance is by far the biggest factor in body mass changes – well designed metabolic ward studies consistently show this. Appealing to poorly controlled ancient studies is merely a way to promote hype. With regards to health, well, of course dietary composition has a factor – again, this is consistently shown in the research.

    For more fun for those with patience, in the article “10 More Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science”, lifehacker decries the need for a high protein diet but fails to note that the protein recommendations of 1.4g/kg body mass is far in excess of what has been previously promoted by dietary associations – the guidelines given would have been classed as a high protein diet not so long ago… e.g. the RDA has been promoted inappropriately for years at 0.8g/kg as being all that’s necessary – whereas current research into sarcopoenia and other health issues have shown this to be inadequate… e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760315/

    This leads on to some nice studies indicating the superiority of proxies for animal (dairy) and plant (soy) protein (unfortunately without more data it cannot be further extrapolated; a mixed plant protein diet may be equivalent) for some (e.g. muscle synthesis for the elderly and exercising populations), but not other situations (e.g. general/bone/renal health) – which is contradicted by the article as well. A nice overview is available under the Quality of Protein heading: http://www.ajcn.org/content/87/5/1562S.full
    …and one of the more popular studies for exercise: http://jap.physiology.org/content/107/3/987.short
    ..and a review if you have the time: http://www.jacn.org/content/28/4/343.full

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