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Within public health, we have many victories to claim. Vaccinations – for example – have been and remain unmitigated successes. Yet, there are many public health interventions that have been instituted and promoted by public health advocates, medical doctors, and various pharmaceutical or medical device companies that have proven to be ineffective at improving health outcomes. Nevertheless, without thorough and regular review, many of these interventions remain a part of public health messaging and part of clinical practice despite subsequent evidence showing their futility.
This post deals with four areas of preventative health services that have been part of public health programming for some time, but which the scientific evidence has either turned against or seems to be in the process of turning against, and which we should probably stop – or at least modify – in 2014.
This post isn’t meant to change anyone’s individual behavior. Such decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor. What it’s meant to do is show that despite the very real concerns that exist relating to public health – particularly with diseases as terrifying and life destroying as cancer – doing something is always easier than doing nothing, but doing something isn’t always the correct approach either from an individual health perspective or from a public health perspective.
It’s far more critical that we be led by actual scientific evidence, rather than continue well-intended but ineffective programs simply because there’s not yet an alternative available./.../