Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Professional Critic Blows a Gasket

Reader, wake me. I'm having a nightmare. The twitching, flailing kind, featuring big pharma, dollar signs twinkling in their eyes and agribusiness lobbying for increased corn subsidies, steamrolling over sick kids.

Sadly, this is reality. I read in the NY Times today that the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending putting children as young as eight on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. My disbelief was shared by many, as the comments piled up along these lines:

1. This is insane.
2. These drugs aren't even safe for adults
3. There is no evidence that these drugs actually do anything for most people: healthy men, women or people over 70
4. Why aren't we focusing on the real problems: we're drowning in processed food, high fructose corn syrup, we cut "non-essential" school services like PE, and don't subsidize healthy food and health care for all people
5. Are you you kidding me?

Even doctors agreed. From today's Time's article:

“To be frank, I’m embarrassed for the A.A.P. today,” said Dr. Lawrence Rosen of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, vice chairman of an academy panel on traditional and alternative medicine. He added: “Treatment with medications in the absence of any clear data? I hope they’re ready for the public backlash.”

But will the backlash get us to the conversations that need to be had? I flashed back to a clip I heard on NPR the other morning, about a school in France battling obesity by championing fresh, local, cooked (as opposed to frozen microwaved) meals prepared by a chef. Does this not make way more sense that allowing fast food in schools then putting all those now obese and diabetic kids on statins? I mean. COME. ON. PEOPLE.


batwinger said...

I am lying down with the smelling salts.

Professional Critic said...

For seriously! I think the only thing that will revive me is lunch at that school in France.