Examples of Health Advice Which Turned Out to Be Wrong

A lot of people are scared of doctors, or don’t have a lot of respect for them because they “keep changing their guidelines”. The reason that guidelines change so often is because quite often the health advice we’re given turns out to be wrong – or at least not optima. (1)That stuff about giving people mouth to mouth resuscitation, for example, has changed a lot over the years, with some experts saying that you should only do chest compressions, and some saying that you should do the breath techniques too.

Then there’s the health advice about eggs – for years, we were told that we should avoid eggs because they’re full of cholesterol, but then that changed and we were told that there’s no link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Fat, too, is something that confuses people – studies (that were sponsored by the farming and grain industry) tell us that if you eat fat you will get fat – but that’s not strictly correct. The truth is that if you eat too many calories of anything, you will get fat – the macronutrient makeup of the food that you eat doesn’t count, it’s just the calories that make a difference.

That doesn’t mean that you should just ignore doctors. The information that they share is put out there in good faith – yes, sometimes it might be overly simplified, but there is a reason for that – giving someone CPR, for example, could put your own health at risk if you give mouth to mouth to someone with an infectious disease. The chest compressions are the most important part of the process, and they are safe, too, while buying time for a medic with the right equipment for CPR to arrive.