Eat Shit, Lose Weight.
The internet serves a wholesome purpose in sharing a lot of vital and hard to get information to us in real time. Careful use of the net helps us to gain a lot of knowledge. But there are some real bloopers floating around the net in the name of science and it is actually hard to identify what’s real and what’s just plain old bull shit.
Talking of shit, reminds me of a rat shit thing I read just yesterday- a breaking news scientific paper on Science magazine which was being amped all over the internet- about how good bacteria from a thin persons stomach would cure obesity if given to a fat person. Intrigued, I went beyond the title and read the full article (as befitting my training as a BS deductor) only to see that it was a rat study and not a human study like the headlines subtly implied. The researchers had taken the fecal droppings (in plain words- rat shit) of a thin rat and fed it to a fat rat, an obese rat as they call it in the paper. This wholesome diet seems to have disagreed with the fat rat for on eating it he seems to have dropped a whole lot of weight which result the researchers immediately attributed to the beneficial effects of the shit, errr the bacteria in the shit from the thin rats stomach which must have shown the fat rats stomach bacteria how to digest the, errrr fat.
Anyway that’s what the researchers say inside the main body of the article unlike in the headlines where they scream in a bold font “New cure found for obesity”. But personally I feel that though the result of the study is borderline believable, the reason for the weight loss might be something else entirely when you think about it. The fat rat that was being fed the fecal droppings of the thin rat must have developed an aversion to food and starved like our size zero models who just sniff at food when hungry. If you are a foodie of any sort, you can’t help but sympathize with that fat rat cant you? I mean, made to eat something like that daily, is it any wonder he lost weight? And now as a follow up to the study, the researchers are planning to do human trials too. Oh yeah, Eat shit (someone else’s) and lose weight must be a very popular slogan to recruit people for the study. I can’t imagine a whole lot of people lining up to take that cure. Not even our desperate size zero models. They would rather starve wouldn’t they?
Anyway the point of this post is to stress the point that medical news on the Internet is often highly hyped but factually incorrect. But a lot of people who see those screaming headlines go onto believe that the damn thing actually works. Very few take the time to read through the whole article to find out what it really says. Even if they do, they can’t understand the scientific jargon and the statistical magic tricks to make sense of the truth beyond the headlines. Besides most medical journals are pay-per-view only and never allow you to read the full thing- they just show you the sensational headlines and leave you to make your own interpretations. Often there is a very vast difference between what the title of an article says and what the real conclusion hidden inside the article says. And even doctors find it difficult to interpret the real truth from the raw data included in the tables section like an afterthought- which is the only way to check whether a thing really works or the authors are just Bull S’ing you.
So even if the Shit food theory actually works, I don’t see much of a future for any shit-cure pills. What about you dear reader? Care to share your views? That is if you are still reading this post after all those shitty idioms I used above.