It’s Even Funnier If You Think It’s About Vaccinations May 16, 2011

It’s Even Funnier If You Think It’s About Vaccinations

I loved one of the commercial parodies from Saturday Night Live over the weekend.

The setup is this (actual) commercial about high fructose corn syrup.

The parody features Kristen Wiig (Mom 1) and Nasim Pedrad (Mom 2). If you can, watch it before you read the transcript below:

Mom 1: Wow! You don’t care what the kids eat, huh?

Mom 2: Excuse me?

Mom 1: That has high fructose corn syrup in it.

Mom 2: And…?

Mom 1: Well, you know the things they say about high fructose corn syrup…

Mom 2: Like what?

Mom 1: Well… um…

Mom 2: That it’s made from corn, it’s natural enough, and, like sugar, it’s fine in moderation?

Mom 1: I guess—

Mom 2: You guess what? That you should’ve kept your mouth shut?

Mom 1: I never—

Mom 2: Never what? Never heard of science? You know, this is a real jam for me. Trust scientists or stay-at-home mom Sheila from down the street who’s having wine at 10:00 a.m.

Mom 1: I’m sorry. Let’s just—

Mom 2: Just what? Make a bigger deal out of the corn syrup? At this fun party that I’ve invited you to, even though I didn’t want to, because you say shit like this?

If only that was the response we all gave to mothers who refuse to vaccinate their kids because of some idiotic thing Jenny McCarthy said…

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  • The parody was calling out the stupidity of that commercial which is NOT scientific.
    High fructose corn syrup is terrible for you.

    As for the vaccinations, I haven’t read up as much as I should on the debate, but a close friends son was recently diagnosed with seizures and possible autism which they have directly linked with vaccinations.

    Science is good, but sometimes it comes back to bite us…
    Moderation. As far as food goes, and medicine, some of the stuff they have been finding lately should make us all consider more closer what we put in our bodies.

  • Jen

    Rebekah, there is no link between vaccinations and autism. None. At all. There is no debate. A quack faked the data and was funded by a lawyer who asked him to do exactly that so he could sue pharmaceutical companies in a huge way. I am a scientist. I work in autism. There is no link between vaccines and autism. Please stop spreading that word. It is harmful. Because there is a direct link between not getting vaccinations and dying from a preventable disease.

    HFCS is really bad for you. It is refined in such a way that our bodies don’t recognize.

    And the commercial is hilarious.

  • RTH

    At the risk of being a Sheila, I also have to point out that the pro-corn-syrup mom in this skit is the analog to Jenny McCarthy. She’s promoting bad science as if it were valid. That’s the point of the skit.

  • Rebekah, have you ever heard of “confirmation bias”?

  • e-man

    Everyone wins! Mom 1 is validated there at the end..

  • e-man

    The important thing to learn relates to the child at the end. It was obviously a full grown man. This raises serious questions about the effects of fructose on children.

  • Ben

    The vaccination/autism transcript:

    Mom 1: Wow! You don’t care if your kids get sick, huh?

    Mom 2: Excuse me?

    Mom 1: I hear you haven’t vaccinated your children.

    Mom 2: And…?

    Mom 1: Well, you know the things they say about vaccinating your children from potentially deadly diseases.

    Mom 2: Like what?

    Mom 1: Well… um…

    Mom 2: That it’s unnatural. That it causes Autism.

    Mom 1: I guess—

    Mom 2: You guess what? That you should’ve kept your mouth shut?

    Mom 1: I never—

    Mom 2: Never what? Never heard of science? You know, this is a real jam for me. Trust scientists not employed by Big Pharma™ or stay-at-home mom Sheila from down the street who’s brother died of measles?

    Mom 1: I’m sorry. Let’s just—

    Mom 2: Just what? Make a bigger deal out of vaccinations? At this fun party that I’ve invited you and your baby who’s too young to be vaccinated, even though I didn’t want to, because you say shit like this?

    *cue mom 2’s child who has whooping cough*

  • mthrnite

    Good Skeptoid on HFCS: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4157
    Basically, it’s about the same thing as sugar, good and bad. Also, either vaccinate your kids or homeschool ’em.. my kids will thank you for it.

  • anonymous

    “As for the vaccinations, I haven’t read up as much as I should on the debate, but a close friends son was recently diagnosed with seizures and possible autism which they have directly linked with vaccinations.”

    Your friends are being victims of a quack. If you really care about them, then you should call them to seriously study on the issue and see the science. Vaccines don’t cause autism, they are not even correlated with it. That some ‘doctors’ are fooling those parents into thinking that the seizures were caused by vaccines is a sign that the ‘doctors’ will proceed to perform dangerous, expensive ‘treatments’ on their child.

  • Maverick

    I know a little about HFC and sugar. IIRC:

    Good News: There appears to be no difference in scientific studies.

    Bad News: That means they are both equally bad (being linked with things like obesity and metabolic syndrome).

  • @mthrnite chemically both Sugar and HFCS are the same, other than maybe different ratios of the disaccharide in the HFCS (55% fructose, 45% glucose say, rather than 50%: 50% in sugar).

    But I think I’d characterize sugar as “bad and worse” rather than “good and bad” 🙂

  • Dr J

    Rebekah – your comment is painful! Yikes! Clearly you need to check out a reputable source – such as the CDC or American Academy of Pediatrics site.

    I’m a pediatrician. And unfortunately, here in MN, I’ve seen many children this winter with measles, many of them too young to be vaccinated and sick enough to be hospitalized. Vaccinations are safe and effective. Not vaccinating your children is selfish and is nearing child abuse in my book. So shame on you for spreading such nonsense!

    I agree with Jen, there is no debate and the clip was absolutely hilarious!

  • Michelle

    Atheism does not equal pro-vaccination. It’s healthy to have a touch of skepticism about everything, including the science of medicine. There are many areas where knowledge is incomplete, and errors can occur (such as vaccine hot lots that can cause adverse reactions, including death.) There are some people who had adverse reactions to the H1N1 vaccine that was paid for and pushed on the populace by the Cdn fed gov’t before completing safety trials. Those people suffered neuro damage that has affected their ability to work and perform routine tasks.

    I say we all need to think for ourselves, consider risk, and make choices that are best for our own families. If that means choosing a different vaccine schedule to space out the many vaccines a baby receives over so many short months (thus giving their bodies time to deal with each immunity in good time) choosing to vacc on schedule or to not vacc at all, that is for each individual to decide. It’s no business of anyone else and not open for the criticism of others.

    Now, if you want to discuss an issue that has firmly been shown to be quackery to separate fools from their money (like ear candling, detox foot baths, reading auras, etc) then have at it.

  • NotYou007

    That made me laugh. That is all.

  • keystothekid

    Is anyone else tired of the anti-vaccine crowd propping it up like it’s some right they have, not to vaccinate their children? “Leave us alone! It’s our right/freedom/duty to be skeptical! It’s none of your business!”

    WRONG. Look into herd immunity and then tell another parent that whether or not your kid is vaccinated is his/her business.

    As far as HFCS goes, I avoid it simply because it’s in everything. It’s tough to buy a cart full of groceries without getting HFCS, therefore I think that the normal person should try to avoid it simply so they don’t over consume it. Also, I mostly try to avoid it because it’s made from corn, a highly subsidized crop in the U.S. that is bleeding us dry.

  • Cortex

    @Michelle,

    Considering risk? Tell me, please, using numbers, how much difference in risk there is between getting the normal course of vaccines and getting the spaced-out course.

  • Mastema

    @Michelle

    “It’s no business of anyone else and not open for the criticism of others.”

    Bullshit. It is everyone’s business. Parents choosing not to vaccinate put peoples lives at risk who cannot get vaccinations for medical reasons or those too young to get them.

    On the subject of “too many, too soon”: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/05/24/peds.2009-2489.abstract

  • Drew M.

    Good Skeptoid on HFCS: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4157

    Great link, mthrnite. I have spent countless hours trying to explain to people that eating too much is causing these health problems, not HFCS itself.

    They never listen, though. It’s easier to demonize something else rather than take responsibility for their actions.

  • ff42

    Jen (or others),

    Can you point me to the very best (i.e. most convincing for you) double-blind long-term study (not funded by the pharm companies) published in a peer reviewed journal which definitely shows that ALL vaccines are safe and effective?

    Thanks,
    ff42

  • HFCS is just as bad for you as real sugar is. Why? Because they’re basically the exact same thing.

    Molecules are molecules. They don’t care how they’re created. HFCS is fructose and glucose. Sugar is fructose and glucose combined together into what’s called a disaccharide. This basically means that instead of the fructose and glucose being separate things, they have an extra oxygen atom linking them together.

    Now, your body can’t actually process disaccharides directly. so you have an enzyme to do that for you. In this case, you have one called sucrase, which removes that oxygen atom and changes normal table sugar into separate amounts of fructose and glucose. In other words, normal sugar actually becomes the same thing as HFCS as you digest it.

    So, bottom line: HFCS is no worse for you than sugar. The effects are basically the same. What’s more *science has proven this already*. Really. Next time you see some headline about HFCS being bad, go read the actual scientific paper they’re reporting about. Read past the title too, since scientific researchers often like to exaggerate their results somewhat in their titles (hey, researchers need funding too). So go to the actual data. The bottom line is invariably that the effects of the differences between HFCS and sugar are essentially unnoticable or beyond our ability to detect them, even on a statistical level.

    Yes, HFCS is bad for you. Sugar is bad for you too. They both make you fat. So stop drinking so much of either one of them and you won’t have any problems.

  • Tim

    The parody was great up until the end…I hate how mainstream comedy can’t even drive a point home without backpedaling at the end, because they don’t want to alienate anyone. SNL, Family Guy, all of them have great messages behind their comedy…up until they neuter it at the last second.

    The closest any comedy outfit comes to actually making a point and sticking with it is South Park, but even they do some of that.

    As far as HFCS, yes it’s bad for you. It’s no better than sugar, and more importantly, no worse. Sugar is bad for you too. Don’t consume a shitload of either and you’ll be fine, there’s no point in bickering about which is worse.

  • allison

    I have to admit to looking for and avoiding HFCS to a certain extent, largely because it hangs out in things you wouldn’t normally expect to contain sugar and I don’t want sugar in everything. A little HFCS ain’t gonna kill you.

    Yes, vaccination has its risks. So do the illnesses the vaccines are supposed to protect us from. Vaccines aren’t, of course, 100% effective but they are relatively safe compared to the risk widespread avoidance of vaccinating would have on our society. While I agree that the Cdn gov’t probably would’ve been better off completing the safety trials, one of my kids has what will very likely be a lifelong medical condition resulting from his bout with H1N1.

    It’s expensive for us to chase down the cases of these diseases that we do get before they reach too many people. Most estimates of cost are restricted to the direct cost of treating the patient, but that ignores all the other things that are often happening to ensure that others are safe. Here’s a nice article on the indirect public health costs of chasing down a case of measles to avoid epidemic. This is just one case study, but it gives an idea as to what’s involved.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    @ff42

    Setting up a straw man, I see. No medicine of any sort whatsoever is EVER 100% safe and effective, much less all of it (or all of any particular category). No one is claiming otherwise. It’s about the risk factors involved.

    Would you argue against wearing seat belts while driving or riding in a vehicle? They’re not all 100% safe and effective, you know. Their use can result in serious injury and even death, particularly when they fail.

    By the same token, vaccines are not 100% safe and effective. They can fail to prevent infection. They can have side effects too. But overall, the low frequency of side effects and infections for those who get immunized vindicate them as valid medicine. And don’t forget the near eradication of certain diseases (e.g., polio, measles, whooping cough) for countries having vigorous immunization programs.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

  • Michelle

    @allison

    My kids ended up contracting H1N1 before the whole vaccination fiasco started. The process for vaccination was such a gong show in Alberta, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the people who got vaccinated had already had the disease. The kid who passed it on to my kids got the vaccine after the fact (what a wast of fed $$!) Once my kids showed the symptoms of being sick, they stayed home to help prevent spreading the disease to others. While we are up to date with childhood vaccinations, we don’t vaccinate for the flu…and we wouldn’t have had a chance to get the vaccine before the kids got sick anyway. We were fortunate that H1N1 ended up being much milder for us than the media was reporting.

    @Mastema

    Your referenced study speaks specifically about vaccination spacing/timing and psychoneurological effects. When I spoke about vaccination selectively or choosing a different timing, I was not referencing autism or other neurological disorders. I am not in the anti-vac/Jenny McCarthy camp…scientific studies have shown there is no correlation between vacs and autism.

    I do believe that spacing out the number of vaccines for a 2 month old (and older) can be beneficial. Especially with a family history of multiple allergies, including to drugs and metals, I think it is worthwhile to take things slower and be mindful of potential reactions.

    It is also of value to be careful when jumping on the vaccine bandwagon for newer vaccines. Back when my first child was born (1998) the rotavirus vaccine was being administered in the US. A number of infants suffered bowel obstruction due to that vaccine, and it was quickly pulled from the market. I was thankful that Canada Health wasn’t offering the vaccine yet, so we didn’t have to worry about going through that health scenario. I feel for the families that did have to go through it. Making decisions about vaccinating can be a mine field. You have to educate yourself rather than blinding following the herd.

  • Charon

    For more info on what Otto said, see http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=6501 . The reason HFCS is a problem is because they put it in everything. Why do we need sugar in marinara sauce? I don’t know, but it’s there.

    But HFCS is nearly the same as sucrose (table sugar) and honey, and better for you (less fructose) than agave.

    I know people would love to find perfectly good and perfectly evil foods. But there’s no such thing. We need sugar. We need fat. We need salt. We also need to not get too much of anything.

  • Charon

    @Michelle: Unfortunately, “too many too soon” doesn’t actually make sense either.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=11408
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/05/no_difference_between_too_many_too_soon.php

    Specific allergic concerns, of course, should be brought up with the physician. Some things are different for different people. But by and large, “too many too soon” is an entirely unjustified position, typically promoted as back-door anti-vax (not by you, but by a lot of people).

  • Michelle

    @Charon

    Health decisions should be made in concert with a physician’s advice. The allergy issue was a big one for us, because of family history. And my children ended up being allergic to many things too (lucky kids 🙁 ) Regardless of what the physician says, though, you still have to do your homework.

    I remember when my eldest got his first prescription for penicillin for an ear infection at around 1 year old. I knew the medical advice about not overusing antibiotics, but I wasn’t sure enough as a parent to say “let’s wait a bit.” What I did do was ask “what should I watch for in case of allergic reaction?” The doctor said, “oh, you don’t have to worry about it with the first dose.”

    Well, guess what…first dose and a rash from head to toe! Called the dr, and was told to immediately stop giving the penicillin, and to avoid it until we confirm allergy with testing at age 5. The testing proved that my son is severely allergic, and was prescribe an Epi-Pen.

    A parent needs to do their homework and advocate for the health of their family. Doctors aren’t gods, they aren’t all-knowing and they can make mistakes. They can also be over-worked and under-trained on new technologies and current medical knowledge. Vaccine mistakes can happen too. And the big pharmaceutical companies don’t have all the answers either.

  • Richard P.

    fucking hulu.

  • ff42

    @J.C. Samuelson

    Okay, I settle for the very best (i.e. most convincing for you) double-blind long-term study (not funded by the pharm companies) published in a peer reviewed journal which shows that vaccines are GENERALLY safe and effective?

    Can you point me to one of these?

  • allison

    @Michelle, we contracted H1N1 before the vaccination programs kicked in as well, and the initial infection seemed mild enough…but for my son it turned into searing headaches and then daily, debilitating vertigo attacks that lasted for hours on end. From what I understand, for some people the flu itself was really bad, but the real kicker for many with other chronic medical conditions (my kid is one of those) was the secondary conditions associated with the disease.

    While most of the infectious period is after symptoms start to appear, people are infectious during the latter part of the incubation period as well. I can understand why public health officials were erring on the side of caution.

  • allison

    I should point out that I’m not saying we should go into vaccinating blindly, and I can understand worrying about things like allergic reactions if you have a history of such things in your family – in that case spacing things out can be helpful just so that you can figure out what’s being reacted to in the case that there is a reaction. I am saying that it’s a tough call for public health and safety people when it comes to things like a flu strain. Having people in my family who are in the “at risk” category…we’re helped if there’s less spread of the disease, and vaccination helps with that.

    For diseases such as measles, the advantages of vaccination to society pretty clearly outweigh the risks involved. I’m not denying that some people have adverse reactions, and the risk of adverse reactions increases significantly when an item is rushed to public consumption without adequate testing.

  • Michelle

    @allison

    Honestly, given how the gov’t was trying to spin their message, I think they were very concerned that they dole out as much vaccine as possible, because they’d already spent the money, and the vaccine would go bad if not used. I remember how much confusion there was about who should get the vaccine first and where pregnant women fit in. The seemingly random shutting down and reopening of clinics and lineups was a joke. By the time most people were finally getting the vaccine, the wave had mostly passed by.

    They weren’t terribly effective about getting the vaccine to those at highest risk (such as those with underlying respiratory issues and their immediate families.) Those who really needed it didn’t get it in time, and then there was continued mass vaccination of many who had already been sick with H1N1…which is beyond useless as contracting the disease will provide all the immunity you need to that particular strain.

  • Michelle

    @allison

    I do worry about whether vaccination provides a complete enough immunity to certain diseases. Varicella (chicken pox) being one. The effeciveness of the vaccine is still only about 75%, so some of those vaccinated will still contract the disease. And then we need to be concerned about reccurance of the virus through Shingles (worse than Chicken Pox…if not treated early, chronic pain can continue)…requiring further vaccination as an adult. My understanding in reading about the virus, is those that have developed natural immunity through contracting the disease as children need to have exposure (as would have happened as children naturally contracted the disease) to “boost” immunity throughout adulthood, reducing the risk of developing Shingles. What we have is a need for vaccination boosters instead…and how effective are the boosters? Still 75%? We haven’t been through a full lifecycle of the disease with vaccination in place.

    Is Measles vaccine more effective? What about Rubella? There were no vaccines for these when I was a child. I contracted both (in the same year) and developed a strong immunity naturally.

  • Catherine

    My first experience with HFCS was in a glass of lemonade I had when I was in the US last year. I practically spat out the first sip, it tasted awful! I quickly discovered that this was a recurring issue with everything containing HFCS. I don’t care if it has a similar chemical composition to cane sugar, it’s gross!
    I spent the next 3 months sulking every time I was in a bar because I couldn’t get my lemon, lime & bitters fix.
    For those interested, I know of one article in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health journal concerning mercury levels in HFCS (Dufault et al, 2009 – Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar). Another article from around the same time concerning the link between HFCS and obesity in rats is also interesting (Bocarsly et al, 2009 – “High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels”).

  • I find it hilarious when uber-skeptics like ff42 demand that we do their research for them. Do your own goddamn research. “Derp, show me one study that shows that global warming is real, durr-hurr.” Sorry, I never ONCE asked anybody to do any research for me. Whenever I was skeptical about something, I did my own damned research and it would be wise for you to do the same, ff42.

  • Dan

    THANK YOU, Yet Another Atheist. I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s just like all those inane “5 Questions Atheists Can’t Answer” or “4 Questions for Evolutionists” YouTube videos that claim to be honestly seeking answers, but are really trying to say “Gotcha! You don’t know everything, stupid heathen!”

    ff42, if what you’re looking for is a study comparing a group of vaccinated children to a group of unvaccinated children over time, you’re not going to find it. Such a study would be considered extremely dangerous and unethical. Vaccines are considered the standard of care because they are safe and effective, so it would be unethical for researchers to deliberately withhold them from any patient without a damn good reason.

  • Vaccinate: It’s better than a painful death.

    We in the west eat too much sugar. Try eating less.

    That is all.

  • Troglodyke

    Bullshit. It is everyone’s business. Parents choosing not to vaccinate put peoples lives at risk who cannot get vaccinations for medical reasons or those too young to get them.

    Agreed. I’m all for doing your research carefully, and I agree that one vaccination schedule MIGHT not be appropriate for EVERY child, but, like smoking in public, not vaccinating puts others at risk. It’s not a “mind your own business” thing.

    Next time you see some headline about HFCS being bad, go read the actual scientific paper they’re reporting about. Read past the title too, since scientific researchers often like to exaggerate their results somewhat in their titles (hey, researchers need funding too). So go to the actual data. The bottom line is invariably that the effects of the differences between HFCS and sugar are essentially unnoticable or beyond our ability to detect them, even on a statistical level.

    You want to get into the “scientific data can be misrepresented” debate? Take a look at this video. It’s long, but so worth it if you love science and hate the way journalists (and even scientists themselves) manipulate data. Not all scientific studies are created equal.

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/05/12/speech-science-for-smart-people/

  • stellaluna

    at the risk of sounding like a complete dick-one or two children having bad, even terminal, reactions to a vaccine is far better than a small pox epidemic or a measles outbreak.

  • Brittany

    Ah yes, let’s blindly follow the vaccine schedule regulated by the government which has almost QUADRUPLED in the last 30 years and just start pumping our kids full of chemicals and other harmful substances without actually thinking about it, doing the research, or weighing the risk factors first. Sounds about right.

    (By the way, aren’t a lot of medical schools funded by pharmaceutical companies? Just wondering…)

    Most parents who don’t vaccinate or who delay vaccinations do so because they’ve done a ton of research, none of which has anything to do with autism. But it DOES have to do with concern over the fact that once it goes into your child’s body, it can’t ever be taken out.

    Want a great non-biased view on vaccines? Pick up Dr. Sears’ “The Vaccination Book”.

  • Richard

    “Want a great non-biased view on vaccines? Pick up Dr. Sears’ “The Vaccination Book”.”

    Thank you. I needed a good laugh today. Sear’s is at best a warmer fuzzier version on any other anti-vaccine loon you can name.

    “Most parents who don’t vaccinate or who delay vaccinations do so because they’ve done a ton of research”

    Research is about quality not quantity. A gigantic pile of bad research does not suddenly make it valid.

  • @Brittany:

    Most parents who don’t vaccinate or who delay vaccinations do so because they’ve done a ton of research

    Not specifically about vaccinations, but when I came out to my mother this year, she told me that she’d “done a ton of research” into the gay lifestyle. She then promptly reiterated the typical anti-gay canards that have been floating around for years (gays get STDs, gays are promiscuous, gays are unhappy.)

    I imagine that a “ton of research” into matters of vaccination can turn out much the same. You get flooded by incorrect information, confirmation biases, and outright lies of opponents of vaccination and parents think that’s the right answer.

  • Brittany

    Who said anything about the quantity or quality of research being done? I mentioned ONE book. So you’re going to rudely comment back based off your assumption?

    You can laugh at me all you want for wanting to make the best choices possible for my child and for not wanting to inject her with chemicals before I know anything about the risks and benefits to them. But insulting and talking down to the people who actually like you and your blog (which I’m on the fence about now) probably isn’t the best way to maintain your readership.

  • Thegoodman

    HFCS is in fact worse for you than sugar.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

    All of the “HFCS is made of Corn! Corn is good! So HFCS must be good too!!” is propaganda put out there by mega companies that have a lot of money to lose when HFCS is shown to be what it is, awful for human consumption. ADM/Cargill/etc… spend millions of dollars lobbying in Washington to get corn subsidies that get them a very cheap product that they can sell to consumers. Every “study” that says Fructose is equal to Sucrose is bought and paid for by a major corporation that has a lot to gain from the results. Just like the studies that Phillip Morris did to prove cigarettes don’t cause cancer.

    This guy sums it up well.
    http://thundercloud.net/infoave/killer-on-the-cob-rant.htm

    P.S. All of you mothers who are not vaccinating your children are putting their lives at risk and risking the health of other children with whom they interact. Please vaccinate them asap before you kill them with your inaction. Every ‘study’ that linked Autism and vaccines has been proven multiple times to be at best incorrect and worst fraudulent.

  • Thegoodman

    ..aren’t a lot of medical schools funded by pharmaceutical companies? Just wondering.

    My wife finished medical school 1 year ago. I can assure it was funded by her loan company, which is now being funded by us. Her medical school was ~$50k a year, and her school was actually very cheap by comparison. Med students have little to no exposure to pharma reps while in school (at least not in Indiana).

  • Thomas

    HFCS is in fact worse for you than sugar.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

    Actually that’s not a very well done study and it doesn’t really show that HFCS is worse than sugar. If you read over the actual journal article instead of the news publications about it their data didn’t amount to much and they misrepresent it in their discussion. In their short term study the rats with 12h access to HFCS gained more weight than those with 12h access to sucrose, while the rats with 24h access to HFCS did not. Interestingly however they didn’t control for amounts consumed, so the sucrose rats ingested 50% more calories from sugar, while the HFCS rats made those calories up with rat chow. The long term male experiment didn’t include sucrose to compare results to. The long term female experiment showed no statistically significant difference in weight between the 12h sucrose and 12h HFCS groups. I’ve seen this article cited several times as evidence, but the actual results of that study didn’t amount to anything.

  • Indigo

    To every single parent who says, “I’m afraid of the risks of vaccines”:
    My mother grew up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. There’s a small cemetery about twenty kilometres away, which isn’t in use any more, but dates back to the first European settlers in that part of the province. Some of those graves are over a hundred years old. And you take a good look at the dates on those tombstones, you start to notice something downright unsettling. Namely, how many of those dates are measured, not in years, but in months. You might also notice that some years appeared to be particularly bad for childhood fatalities, and that some families seemed to suffer more than others. There’s one row of five graves, all with the same last name, with the same year of decease on them. I took a minor interest in local history and looked that year up. Events of note? An outbreak of diptheria.
    So being afraid of “pumping kids full of chemicals”? Fretting over some conspiracy between “big pharma” and your paediatrician? I don’t have a lot of time for that. Nothing is 100%. The best anybody can do is play the odds. And the odds have gotten one hell of a lot better since vaccines came along.

  • Baconsbud

    It seems to me that most of the people who speak out against vaccinations are under 40. I was born a few years before they finally got rid of small pox and when people remembered what polio did to someone within the community. I think that the people who feel it is their right to not have their children vaccinated, should go talk to people who lived with the real threat these and other diseases that destroy lives.

  • Demonhype

    The arguments about HCFS seem to go around in circles. Problem is, the pro-HCFS types like to cite the whole “but it’s no different from sugar” (occasionally allowing that sugar isn’t good for you either) as if that answers that problem, but it’s been pointed out that the problem with HCFS isn’t just how bad a small measured amount is for you compared to sugar but it’s omnipresence in our foods, ensuring that people consume massive amounts of it even when they think they’re eating healthy. I really don’t care if a teaspoonful of sugar is equally as bad as a teaspoonful of HCFS, because the actual amounts people consume are not the same, not to mention the reasons.

    Seems to me that HFCS is a cheap filler material that companies use to water down the food products they sell, maximizing profits at the expense of public health. Also, consider that there is more of an obesity problem among the less affluent–and when my mom and I started trying to avoid HCFS, we noticed that the less HCFS filler in a food the higher the price. Imagine living in poverty, having to eat cheap food with filler material that is in turn giving you major health problems like diabetes, which exacerbates the whole financial situation, sending your life into a downwards spiral or loop you’ll never escape….

    Yet more evidence that corporations need more regulation and not less. The decisions they make have major effects on the lives and health of all people, and it’s a fantasy to believe that they’ll do right by society if we just de-regulate them and let them do as they please in all things.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    @ff42 (again)

    Science does not work from single, double-blind studies regardless of quality. Science works by gathering data from multiple lines of evidence.

    If you’re interested, here is a brief list of some studies concerning MMR and autism, for starters: http://www.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/VaccineStudies.pdf. As for more, I suggest you start your own research by going first to Google Scholar and searching the specific phrases, “vaccine safety” (11,100 results) and “vaccine efficacy” (43,100 results).

    But I suspect you won’t…

  • ff42

    Wow, what interesting attacks. Did I ever deny vaccines were safe and effective? Did I ever “demand” that any of you do searches for me? Perhaps I didn’t make it clear, but the keywords (for me) were “most convincing for you” and except for J.C. Samuelson (thank you) none offered what convinced them, but rather went on the attack.

  • Casimir

    Brittany,

    Referring to vaccines as “a bunch of chemicals” is not going to help your case and will only telegraph immediately to others that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    A vaccine is a dead or weakened microbe suspended in a solution so as to be injected into the bloodstream more efficiently. It is not the same as a drug. It is also not the same as a drum of C6H6, otherwise known as Benzene, a highly flammable carcinogen used as an industrial solvent, which I’m sure you think of (or something like it) whenever you hear the term “chemical”.

    It would behoove you (and the rest of us) to learn the difference.

  • I’m a parent of a child with autism, and I have never once considered withholding vaccinations. I would, without a doubt, rather have a happy, healthy autistic child than a dead one. Vaccinations save our children’s lives, and I believe we owe it to society to continue the herd immunity to further protect the infants too young for immunizations.