Cot death: an illustration of the both the potential benefits and dangers of health promotion

Dr Geoff

Dr Geoff deals with the issue of cot death in this article that goes into more depth than his usual articles:

We are bombarded with advice about diet, lifestyle and health; much of it is based upon tenuous evidence and put forward in the mass media by people with no credible medical or scientific expertise. Health promotion that is not supported by convincing evidence of holistic benefit can be dangerous. If dietary and lifestyle changes have the potential to promote health then they must also have the potential to do harm.

Antioxidants are a good example of the effects of media frenzy. Several items a week appear in the media promoting the benefit of some supplement or food on the basis of its antioxidant content. This cumulative pressure has persuaded many people to take antioxidant supplements. Yet numerous clinical trials have yet to show that any antioxidant supplement has net…

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