Second annual Dumb, Dumber and Dumberest Awards


Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 11, 2010 at 4:44 p.m.

Dear Readers,

After I presented last year's dumbest healthcare "awards," I received your e-mails and chuckles for months afterwards. Sometimes, ridiculous things happen in the medical industry, so at this time, I'd like to present my second annual Dumb Awards in Medicine:

Dumb Award:The first ones goes to the Federal Communications Commission for allowing both pharmaceutical and fast-food commercials to blast our airwaves. Just chill out, squeeze some Cheez Whiz on your foot-long sub and watch "The Simpsons." During commercial breaks, you first will notice lots of junk food commercials, which promote disease, followed by drug commercials and attorneys offering their services to people injured by drugs. Eventually, the news comes on so you can learn about the newest approved drug.

Dumber Award: We have a tie between anti-depressant drugs and the doctors who prescribe them for every woman who is tired or tearful. Of the various "happy" chemicals naturally produced in our body, serotonin is the one most likely to be raised by anti-depressant drugs. But research shows that depression may be caused by elevated stress hormones, low vitamin D levels, diabetes or insulin-resistance, low progesterone hormone, niacin or folate deficiency or exposure to plastics. So what's up with all the drugs? Their side effects are depressing if you think about it: problems achieving orgasm, low sex drive, insomnia, suicidal thoughts and heart palpitations.

Dumberest Award: Yes I spelled "dumberest" that way on purpose. The Centers for Disease Control who in September 2009 recommended that "all people with suspected or confirmed influenza who require hospitalization be treated with Tamiflu or Relenza." By December 2009, scientists concluded that the benefits of this anti-viral treatment were grossly overestimated because it could only shorten the length of illness by approximately one day. Potential side effects include: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, arrhythmias, nightmares, dizziness, headache, fatigue, delusions, hallucinations, altered level of consciousness and seizures.

Honorable Mention: To Kellogg's for making packaging claims last May to the effect that Cocoa Krispies can boost your child's immune system. They timed their campaign around the swine flu outbreak. I agree with Kellogg's that increasing the amounts of vitamins in food can promote health, but even the FDA viewed the Kellogg's claim as ridiculous and made them stop.

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