Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rats are not people

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

Christ, The Daily Telegraph usually waits until the end of the week to publish this kind of trash...
Junk food 'as addictive as heroin and smoking'

Here we go then...
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida found laboratory rats became addicted on a bad diet just like people who became dependent on cocaine and heroin.

Did they really? Well, here's some news: rats are not people, so fuck off.
While the findings cannot be directly transferred to human obesity, it found that overconsumption of high-calorie food triggered addiction-like responses in the brain.

But the study, published online in Nature Neuroscience, suggests for the first time that our brains may react in the same way to junk food as it does to drugs.

For the first time? I don't think so, sunshine. That's dopamine you're talking about there. It's a neurotransmitter that rewards pleasure and we've known that it gets released naturally by eating food for many, many years. 
Dr Paul Kenny, a neuroscientist who led the research, said the study, which took nearly three years to complete [the experiment lasted 40 days - TFS], confirmed the "addictive" properties of junk food.

"Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating,” he said.

What the hell does that mean? Obesity is a physical characteristic. Compulsive eating is an activity. Compulsive eating may lead to obesity. It's not a form of obesity.
"The new study explains what happens in the brain of these animals when they have easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food.”

You are, are you not, the same Dr Paul Kenny who was banging on about this last year in the, er, Daily Telegraph? Alright then, you publicity hungry rat-fucker, let's hear about your little experiment.
In the study, the research team divided the animals into three groups.

One got normal amounts of healthy food to eat, another was given restricted amounts of junk food and the third had unlimited amounts of cheesecake, fatty meat products, cheap sponge cakes and chocolate snacks.

There were no adverse effects on the first two groups. But the rats which ate as much junk food as they wanted quickly became very fat and started bingeing.

You don't say. You gave unlimited tasty, high calorie food to a bunch of stupid rodents and they ate it and got fat. Thank God for scientists.

Since you can't believe a word ill-informed Telegraph hacks say about scientific research, it's necessary to read the actual study. In it, you'll find that the first group was given nothing but standard, unappetizing laboratory chow pellets to eat. The other two groups were given what the researchers tellingly describe as "palatable food"—or the "cafeteria diet"—which consisted of "bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, frosting and chocolate." One of these groups had 1 hour's access a day, the other group had 18 to 23 hours access.
When researchers electronically stimulated the part of the brain that feels pleasure, they found the rats on unlimited junk food needed even more stimulation to register the same level of pleasure as the animals on healthier diets.

Yeah, after 40 days of feeding them sugary puddings that have no place being in a rodent's diet and would never be in a human's diet at anything approaching that level. But they also found (not mentioned in any news reports)...
Consistent with previous reports, there was a tendency for consumption of the cafeteria diet to decrease over time in the extended-access rats. This may reflect the development of tolerance to the palatability of the food items provided as part of the cafeteria diet over time.

In other words, the rats got bored of eating nothing but bacon and high-fat desserts, got less pleasure from doing so and—despite unrestricted access—ate less of them. Hardly "as addictive as heroin" that, is it?
"They always went for the worst types of food and as a result, they took in twice the calories as the control rats,” said Dr Kenny.

The worst food being the "palatable" food, yes? You'd be eating the laboratory chow, I presume, Dr Kenny?
"When we removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet – what we called the 'salad bar option' [laboratory chow - TFS] – they simply refused to eat."

"The change in their diet preference was so great that they basically starved themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food."

This statement is—there is no other word for it—a complete lie, unless the good doctor chose not to mention it in his study, where it merely states that...
After 40 days, rats were no longer permitted access to the palatable diet but continued to have ad libitum access to standard laboratory chow... There was a marked decrease in caloric intake and a gradual decrease in body weight in extended access rats.

Nothing there about the rats "simply refusing to eat" or "basically starving themselves". If the scientist can't describe what happened in his own experiment, what chance has some twat from The Telegraph got?
The scientists fed the rats a diet modelled after the type that contributes to human obesity: easy to obtain high-calorie, high-fat foods. Soon after the experiments began, the animals began to bloat.

Let's say it one more time. Rats are not human beings. Rats might be intelligent by the pitiful standard of other rodents but, let's face it, they're still incredibly fucking stupid. If you give unlimited cocaine to a rat it will be dead within days because it will forget to eat, drink or sleep. Even the worst coke-heads don't do that, because they belong to the most intelligent and self-aware species on earth.

Unlike rats, we know that over-eating will make us fat and unattractive. We know that eating nothing but chocolate is unhealthy. Unlike rats, we have to pay for our food. Unlike rats, our dietary choices are more sophisticated than a toss up between chocolate cake and chow pellets. 

Above all, we have free will. The trouble with neuroscientists is that they spend so much time dicking around with mice and rats that they start to think that human behaviour is as easy to predict and manipulate as that of pea-brained vermin. The same mentality has infected the medical establishment, who view the population as rats and themselves as scientists in control of a giant experiment. Restrict access here, provide incentives there and, bingo, behaviour can be manipulated in whichever way they wish. Idiots.

All this experiment shows, for the umpteenth time, is that pleasurable activities produce dopamine. Or as Leg-Iron puts it:
The results prove only that rats have a sense of taste and smell, and don't like the crap they are routinely fed. It's junk science.

The frequent references to cocaine and heroin are there purely to allow excitable journalists to declare that tasty palatable 'junk' food is as addictive as hard drugs which—and this fact that has not gone unnoticed by the obesity crusaders—are illegal. It is the same line used by cranks like John Banzhaf and David Kessler (both former anti-smoking campaigners, incidentally. Enjoying that slippery-slope yet, nonsmokers?) 

Similarly, references to "easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food" are there only to encourage scum-bag politicians to clamp down on what and when we can eat, as if giving rats endless high calorie snacks for 40 days and 40 nights is comparable to having a McDonalds down the road. 

From the study itself:
Ease of access and consequent overeating of cafeteria-style diets in humans is considered an important environmental contributor to the current obesity epidemic in Western societies.

Geddit? Sentences like that don't appear in scientific journals by accident. And how well the media have responded, with much more to come later in the day, I'm sure...
The stage is set. By now, you should know what to expect.


Atlas shrugged said...

Yes my friend agree whole heartedly.

However it would be good if you spent a little less effort on the devilish details and more on the whole picture.

Ask yourself questions like.

Has the scientific establishment been taken over by the government?


Has the government been taken over by the scientific establishment?


Is there a different, and far more worrying explanation?

I think there is. For surly we know that science and scientists do not have our interests at heart any more then our governments ever have. Atom Bombs, Chemical and Biological Weapons, two perfectly horrendous WW's, Bullshit AGW, life destroying deliberately caused economic booms and busts, need I go on?

Therefore what apart from the grant cash, is in it for the scientist?

IMO more then extra money. In many cases scientists depend on the establishment for their very survival as scientists, and as the only way they can pay the bills, and provide for their children.

The establishment being many things but ultimately it is a small collection of very rich individuals that control just about every that goes on in the entire world. Which is also headed up by one single individual.

They control science for their own ultimate interests using a variety of means. Either by forcing tax payers through their selected governments, to provide finance.

Or by direct grants to our top research institutes and universities.

Or by straight cash bribes.

Or by controlling the people that actually educated and gave the highly dubious PHD in the first place.

Or by actually employing many scientists in their own massively all encompassing and highly departmentalized multi-national corporations.

Science was indeed long since taken over by the British and later also American military, banking and industrial complex. Which of course long since took over our governments. Very possibly as far back as the so called Glorious revolution. More surly since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. However most certainly by 1913.

Understand that or understand nothing worth knowing as far as the true Common Purpose of government in general is concerned.

Now naturally if I had that amount of power over this country and most of the world, I would be most understandably keen to carry on keeping my position as secret as possible. Otherwise some people may start asking some rather embarrassing questions.

Like for example. What was the Ist and 2nd world wars really all about, and who really financed and profited from both of them?

Why did you not make the slightest effort to stop, what was most surly within your power to stop.

Which of course would inevitably result in ever more highly embarrassing questions like.

Who really provided the cash for Hitler's bunch of murderous crooks, and for the creating of Nuclear Bombs and other weapons of mass destruction that finally ended the show.

Oh and not forgetting.

What made Communist Russia suddenly become our sworn enemies when we have been such close allies. Closer indeed then we ever were to the French?

It is clear that some one as rich powerful and influential as the person who basically owns or controls the entire worlds establishments, would not like the public in general to become over smart, or indeed start getting delusions of being over free or somehow important in any way.

Which would I believe go a long way in explaining why science is progressively being used to find ever more excuses for ever more authoritarianism and of course taxation.

As well as the ever more self-apparent fact that nothing makes any logical sense any more. Especially if you base your understanding of this planet entirely on the establishments highly censored information handed down from high above, to the entirety of our private and public educational establishments over the last several hundred years.

Call it all crap if you like. I am just happy to know that you have at least read it.

Anonymous said...

The question I ask as a "filthy smoker" myself and now hardened to this sort of Junk Science.
I suspect the Telegraph were paid to run this story.
So why did the vested interest who paid to print this story just not take out a full page advertisement instead.
I believe it is because propaganda has to appear to be real to give it that edge of credibility.
Hence the paid column inch type of advert.

Kevin Monk said...


A group of libertarian scientists proved for the hundredth time today that lazy journalists will gorge themselves on pseudo scientific waffle.

A group of control journalists called 'bloggers' were fed on a diet of raw information and dull research papers whilst MSM journalists were fed preformed biased and unscientific press releases from a marketing company keen to peddle the latest quasi health drug.

The results showed that the MSM journalists gulped down the information until there fat little fingers could barely type out 'Thank you. It'll be in tomorrows paper if we have a slow news day.'

Vicola said...

That would be a fiver my brother owes me because he reckoned that after smokers and drinkers it would be drivers next but I went for fat people. I will expect his cheque in the post and a tax on anything over 40 calories before christmas.

Letters From A Tory said...

"Rats are not human beings."

True, but some human beings are rats - as evidenced by the expenses scandal in Parliament.

steward said...

Look and see what the NHS says about this study

Anon 00:32 said...

junk science promoted by junk journalism ... Anthropogenic Global Stupidity?

Lola said...

That was a much more interetsing read than the Telegrpah bit. I wonder? Would the DT's circulatoon improved if it wrote like you? O'COURSE IT FUCKING WOULD!

berenike said...

off-topic, but has anyone else noticed the grounds given for "Alice in Wonderland"'s PG rating?

(PG), for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar

Chalcedon said...

Nice one. It is indeed junk science. These chaps are the ultimate control freaks. Dead easy to manipulate rats, poor little bastards. You can definitely see the junk food solution coming; let's slap a big tax on it, just like fags. I really am surprised that these boys don't make heroin, morphine et al legal and slap a big tax on them too.

jonathan said...

"Tasty Food Preferable To Disgusting Crap Shock". A new study by Scienticians in Lab Coats today proved that MPs, given a choice between unlimited expense account lunches at Michelin-starred restaurants, and crap from the cafeteria, were more likely to eat at the Michelin-starred establishments.
"This proves conclusively that delicious food is as addictive as Crack and should be banned immediately", said Professor Ian Ffargle of the Institute for Studies.

John A said...

A question not answered, even at the NHS summary.

What happened with the rats who had access to both types of food, which is certainly closer to the human norm? Much is made of the "junk-only" rats gaining more weight than either of the other two groups, and there the matter is dropped. Which makes me suspicious that the "both" group did not wait until the "junk" was available and then gorge on it, which is an addictive behaviour.

Nor have I ever heard of a drug addict cutting down voluntarily, as did the "junk-food-only" group: rather, as the pleasure decreases per dose, they seek out ever more.

Anonymous said...

"What happened with the rats who had access to both types of food, which is certainly closer to the human norm? Much is made of the "junk-only" rats gaining more weight than either of the other two groups, and there the matter is dropped. Which makes me suspicious that the "both" group did not wait until the "junk" was available and then gorge on it, which is an addictive behaviour. "

Having had pet rats, i feel pretty confident in saying that they would not wait, and that yogurt drops certainly made them act like addicts needing their hit.

"True, but some human beings are rats - as evidenced by the expenses scandal in Parliament."

Rats have many more fine qualities than some of those buggers thank you very much!

Uncle Marvo said...


Very well dismantled.

Any newspaper will run any story if they think it will sell a paper. That's why I don't read them.

[added to my blogroll]

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a story that Nature ran a few weeks ago pointing that not only are rats not humans, but the rats that sit about all day in labs aren't the fittest or slenderest of specimens at the best of times.

I can't help wondering if there mightn't be a connection between the rise in human obesity and the fact that the research behind nearly every development in healthcare over the last half century has been designed for chubby rodents.

There again, the closest animal model to the human organism is reputedly the pig.

Uncle Marvo said...

And, I understand, we share more of our genes with the hare than any other creature. But that might be something I think I remember, happens often.

And this experiment (http://tiomarvo.blogspot.com/2010/04/yowza.html) was done on mice.

I hope mice and men are VERY similar.

Research Papers said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.