Tuesday, 23 July 2013


The newspapers are notorious for their abysmal reporting of medical matters, and the daily mail in particular is well known for it's failure to get anything right or in perspective. But the other papers are guilty too, as this article in the Independent today illustrates.
Quoting a Dr Cahill at Harvard it appears that skipping breakfast is potentially lethal. But one of the statements attributed to Dr Cahill caught my attention. "When your body is fasting it goes into a protective drive.................raising levels of insulin."
Now the first part of that statement is just pseudo scientific nonsense of the type used by quacks. The second part however is contrary to everything I was ever taught going right back to my days as a medical student. I'm pretty sure that if, in my final exam, I'd stated that insulin release increases  in response to starvation I'd have got a well deserved fail.
So has Dr Cahill been totally misquoted by the Indy or is he someone so ignorant of physiology that he should be sent back to resit his finals? Either way I think this is yet another newspaper health article that we can safely ignore.


  1. Especially when people like Michael Mosley, along with associated research, are saying that fasting is good.

  2. Didn't think your prestigious newspapers will be in the same boat as a thirdworld paper!