Critical Thinking in the fitness industry, as rare as tits on a bull!

A guest post from Austin Lawrence. 

As fit pro’s we’re always saying “I wish the medical profession would take us more seriously.”

Yet this past couple of weeks showed us exactly why they don’t and won’t for a long time and highlights that our profession really is in still its infancy!!

In the past couple weeks I’ve been greatly entertained by the comedy I’ve seen on Face Book but at the same time I’ve though “geez, why the heck do people believe this crap?”

Now I’m not singling any person out in particular, I’m generalising and I understand that as fit pro’s we’re passionate about what we do and over all we mean well, but the problem is that we have lost (if we ever had it in the first place) the ability to critically think!

Take the Oreo’s More Addictive Than Crack headlines that hit the news recently.

Snorting Oreos

You may view one of the articles in question here.

Within hours it was all over Facebook by the orthorexic “clean” eaters as proof  that their way is indeed THE correct way. Rather than actually reading the article and think it over critically, they read the head line, it confirmed their existing bias and they hit “share” in a nanosecond!

Now if anyone had read the article fully they would have seen that in researchers at Connecticut College designed a rat maze with Oreo’s on one side and rice cakes on the other. The researchers found the rats preferred Oreo’s over rice cakes. No shit!! Rice cakes taste like cardboard Oreo’s are yummy.

In another experiment the researchers measured which side of the maze the rats preferred when on one side they were offered saline injections and on the other side they were offered injections of cocaine and morphine.  The rats spent just as much time on the cocaine and morphine side of the maze as they did on the Oreo side in the other experiment.

Did anyone actually realize this experiment DID NOT compare Oreo’s with morphine and cocaine??!!

They didn’t have Oreo’s on one side of the maze and morphine and cocaine injections on the other!!

The researchers monitored brain activity in the rats in both experiments and they found that “Oreos activated significantly more neurons”

Big deal we know that high reward foods stimulate the pleasure centre of the brain.

All that happened was that the Oreo’s lit up more neurons in the pleasure centre of the brain. This in no way shape or form means Oreo’s are more addictive than class A drugs. You know what else lights up the pleasure centre of your brain? Sex, video games, stroking your pet cat or dog or your favourite sports team winning!!

Now there’s a few things wrong with this thinking.

The most obvious being the study was performed on rats. Now last time I checked I’m a human and all my clients are humans as well. What applies to rats may or may not apply to humans.

There was no experiment that compared Oreo’s to Cocaine and morphine.

The study was a press release. It was not presented in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. We have no knowledge of the study design, the methodology etc, all we know of is the researchers conclusions. Most of all though is that it’s an absolute insult comparing Oreo addiction to class A drug addiction!!

Pictures like this crack me up..............see what I did there?
Pictures like this crack me up… see what I did there?

As soon as the Oreo’s More Addictive Than Crack BS went viral pictures like the one above started popping over all over Face Book by people who possess the ability to critically think. I loved these pictures as it showed the absolute stupidity of comparing Oreo’s to cocaine.

To compare Oreo’s to class A drugs is an absolute insult to anyone addicted to hard drugs. I worked in a pharmacy for over 6 years. In that time I saw countless addicts come in for their Methadone. Some were probably never going to kick their addiction but a lot of these addicts were genuinely working hard to kick their addiction.

Imagine having the audacity to tell an addict “hey you know what else is addictive as class A drugs? Oreo’s-true story” You would quite deservedly receive a slap.

I wish common sense would prevail, but common sense really aint so common!

If you would rather your clients not have Oreo’s because you would prefer them to eat less rewarding foods meaning they’re less likely to over eat then that’s cool.

If you would prefer them to eat foods containing more vitamins and minerals and fewer calories per serving, then again cool. Just don’t make crap up that is ultimately nothing more than sensationalism and scare mongering!

On the subject of sensationalism and scare mongering, if you missed my article about sugar addiction making you fat you might like to go check that out next.

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Author: davehpt

I'm DaveHPT, Maybe you've heard of me? Musician, rock star and recording artist. Published author. Former security industry professional. Personal Trainer and Weight Management Architect Of Awesomeness. Problem Solver.

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