Use What We Know

by Dr Joe Kosterich

It emerged last week that over 50% of studies in psychology could not be reproduced. Previously it was found that over one third of significant medical trials (which influenced treatment and prescribing patterns) were also wring or not able to be reproduced. And the icing on the cake was the revelation that side effects were omitted from papers about a psychiatric drug.

There is so much research going on yet little new seems to emerge. Genuine breakthroughs are rare and the miracle cure you read about yesterday will not ever come to fruition.

Harvard Professor David Katz wants us to “use what we already know”. He makes the telling point that with the knowledge we already have about exercise, diet, sleep and stress, we could reduce the chronic disease burden (conditions like heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, Type two diabetes and osteoarthritis) by some 80%.

There is no guarantee that by following simple lifestyle measures that we can never get any of these conditions but we do know that our chances can be significantly reduced.

So what happens in the world of healthcare? More research is done to see whether 23 or 27 minutes exercise is best. Research is done to see whether cardiovascular or resistance exercise is better for memory.

As Katz observes it is the equivalent of the fire brigade being called to a burning house and arguing over which size hose to use whilst the house burns down. Rather than being used to more actively disseminate useful information, money is diverted into more research – much of it useless.

The basic pillars of good health have not changed in over 10,000 years. They remain fresh air, water, sensible diet, exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation, good relationships, fun and purpose.

They are neither difficult, nor expensive. They do not require government programs or more research.

We simply need to act on what we already know.


Dr Joe Kosterich M.B.B.S is an author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, who wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life. Dr Joe also gives practical, motivational health talks for the general public and organisations where he is known as “An independent doctor who talks about health”.

His latest book “60 minutes to Better Health” is available on Amazon.

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