July 21, 2012 7:59 AM Subscribe
Apparently the Chinese media just discovered the salutatory effect of a good health scare on subscriptions and viewership, and now my parents are finding one thing after another, either directly through newspapers and news broadcasts or indirectly through their friends back home. Most of these topics have very little evidence in either direction, so it's hard to put together a better counterargument than, "Well, it's clearly just wacky!
" Except, really, they are clearly just wacky and I'd like the hive mind's help disabusing my parents of them. Maybe there's a Chinese-language Snopes that addresses wacky health scares from the mainland?
posted by d. z. wang to science & nature (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think they see it much as they see traditional medicine. It doesn't bother them that Western practice doesn't include traditional medicine, because there also isn't much study of traditional medicine and usually what scant literature is available reports mixed results. In that sense, these new claims fall into the same category of having very little literature available, probably because nobody wants to fund a longitudinal study on the long-term health consequences of drinking old tea. But I err on the side of "these claims are clearly just wacky and I will dismiss them on my own authority" and they go more toward "better safe than sorry."
Here are a few examples I've heard over the last few months:
- cooked vegetables should be eaten immediately, because they develop something unhealthy during overnight storage at either room temperature or 4C
- all electronic devices, not just cell phones or power lines, emit harmful radiation