Baloney

I’ve been thinking about my good fortune today. I have a doctor that is smart, capable, cares about me, and been with me for decades. I have remained fairly isolated from the commercial world. We haven’t had a TV for 40 years, almost never listen to commercial radio, don’t get the newspaper or any magazines, so don’t see many ads. Yes, I do spend time on the internet and am exposed to more ads there than I care for. Also, I feel fortunate that I have a pretty good education.

What made me think about these things? Last Tuesday I was in line at Walmart waiting to pay for my weekly purchases. There are all manner of tempting tidbits displayed all around as you’re waiting your turn to check out. One magazine on display had an important looking doctor-type person on the cover, staring straight at the camera with a sympathetic and helpful look on his face. The headline above his picture said, “Detox Your Thyroid!”

I suppose if I mistrusted my doctor, felt the medical profession was out to take me for all the money it could while making me sicker for the effort, and I was attracted to the so-called alternative medicines, that I’d have found that headline so interesting that I might have picked the thing up and put it in my cart. As it was, I honestly felt sorry that this sort of thing is out in public view, and that folks actually spend their money on the magazine so they can read the article.

How many of us know what a thyroid is? Where it is located? What it does for us? How susceptible it is to being “toxed,” and whether detoxing it is possible or even desirable?

One way I pick out these things is the “skin in the game” test. If the author of the article had an incentive to make people well, and a disincentive for publishing false and/or misleading information, then I suspect we’d see fewer such articles. If my doctor (who has skin in the game) provided me with a medication, diet plan, or exercise plan because of a malady I’d come to him about, I’d expect some results if I stuck to the program. The magazine author’s motivation is likely magazine sales; in catchy headlines that have enough medical sounding terminology to make them seem credible, but whose results are vague. How does the toxed thyroid in your body act, and how much better will it feel when it is finally detoxed? I suspect the article is short on such important data.

Many of us are frightened about the world, and for good reason. We’re looking for reassurance because we want to feel secure. We look around for answers because that is how we’re programmed. And we tend to judge authority from cues, like how the person is dressed, how direct their gaze, etc.

So let me spiff up my suit, look you in the eye, and give you Dr. Ted’s prescription for detoxing your (fill in the blank.) Eat right. Avoid sugar and simple carbs. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. Exercise regularly. Discover your passion, and do something every day that helps you achieve it. Spend part of your day thinking about and helping someone other than yourself. Become part of your community.

There you have it. Dr. Ted’s detox paragraph. And it didn’t cost you a dime.

And if your interested in one of the best primers I know of on how to tell baloney from fact, check out this youtube video: The Baloney Detection Kit

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