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Myths controversies and placebo effects.docx

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PSYC 180
Amir Raz

PSYC 180 March 29 – Placebos Myths, controversies and placebo effects in diet and food culture  Cory Harris  Seeing the label, carbonation, environment and personal experience with food has to do with it as well, not just the chemicals in the food.  CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) treatments = placebos.  Food and medicine are largely inseparable – they are both integral to health. o Heart disease, cancers and strokes; diet plays a part in all of them o But down syndrome, sickle-cell anemia do not have that much to do with diet (more to do with genetics)  Only two common lifestyle habits influence long-term health more than dietary choices: o Smoke and other tobacco use o Excessive alcohol consumption  Many factors contribute for food choices: convenience, advertising, availability, economy, emotional comfort, habit, etc. Nutritional value is usually least considered.  Placebo effects in food allergies and addictions.  Food aversions: bad experiences with food will make you not want to eat that food again.  Food taboos: nothing to do with personal experience; instead it has to do with what your culture tells you – whether you should eat bacon or not, etc.  Comfort, cultural, traditional, ceremonial foods.  Dieting and weight loss  Any drug effect is the sum of the patient and the care provider in the micro-context, which is in the macro-context. Adapting that model to food is to switch from drug to food; patient to consumer; care provider to source: the food/meal/diet is the sum of the consumer and the source.  Care provider-patient interactions: “doctor-patient relationship”. Central to clinical practice.  Source-consumer interactions: variable concept: who/what is the source? What is the relationship to the consumer and food? Regulated to some extent.  Practitioner attributes: words, attitudes, behaviours.  Source attributes (of food): could be mother, or big industry (e.g. McDonalds). For some people the source is the land itself – like the gods.  Family influences: o Food preferences, availability and accessibility o Parental preferences, beliefs and attitudes o Parents, siblings, peers and models o Mealtime structure: meals and snacking, TV, eating out o Resource constraints: time, education, income o Eating as a family regularly correlates with lower waist circumference and BMI later on in life  Commercial influences: habits when buying food.  Knowledge and expectation (drug) of practitioners can influence patient outcome (e.g. doctor knowing if there is a pain-relief drug in a pill or not)  Source actions o Food presentation (symbolic): labeling, packing, marketing o Food production methods (chemical): farming, processing, storage, cooking PSYC 180 March 29 – Placebos o Eating environment  Patient attributes: age, weight, health status, diet, genetics, and epigenetics, etc. o Experience, knowledge, expectations, cultural heritage, etc.  Hidden treatment is less effective. o Taste perception: genetics affects perception of bitter, sweet and umami tastes.  3 taster groups: supertasters, (medium) tasters, nontasters.  25 known bitter taste receptor genes o Beliefs: people who believe they are lactose intolerant (but are not) present the same symptoms as those who are actually la
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