"The truth about sports products"

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Comments

  • It absolutely wasn't the case that Panorama had set off to prove that product X didn't work. You can read the research behind the programme. Oxford Uni had a predefined protocol for the study (as happens with science) that was to see what the science underpinning claims was. We had no idea what would happen before we started out.Given companies invest so much money into the science, it's disappointingly poor quality. I'm not convinced that some of these multi-billion dollar companies are unable to fund rigorous research.

    I agree that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence - but that's not what people are buying into. They're buying into stuff on the notion that it's backed up with good science. That's simply not the case.

    We have published the letter that went out to companies:

     

    Dear xxx,

     

     

     

    I am writing on behalf of a team of researchers from the BMJ (British Medical Journal) and the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University.

     

    In the run up to the 2012 Olympics we are undertaking a piece of research analysing the evidence for sports health products. This will appear in the BMJ. Since we are on a very tight deadline we would appreciate your answers by the end of the week (18th May).

     

    So far, we have used pieces of published research where possible. But we are aware that this might be the complete picture.

     

     

     

    On your website you have listed the following references to scientific articles as evidence for

     

     

     

    [Product names here]

     

     

     

    Because we are trying to evaluate the evidence base across a range of products fairly, we would like to be sure that this represents a complete list of scientific articles that you have used to demonstrate how these products work.

     

     

     

    [Found references here]

     

    Do you think you could tell us:

     

    If this is a complete list?

     

    If not, what other data you have used to support your claims?

     

    Is this published or unpublished?

     

    If the research is published could you provide us with the relevant references?

     

    If your research is unpublished, would you be willing to share it with us so we can fairly evaluate how your product works?

     

     

     

    Please note, we are aiming to capture everything as accurately and fairly as we can. If you are unable to provide us with further information we will also note this in our research.

     

    Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information, but we would appreciate a prompt response.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • "it didn't show that there isn't any evidence that they don't work, it just shows there isn't any evidence that they do" Sounds like the sort of argument the tobacco industry had for years.



    I don't think you can say Panorama was dumbed down. It was presented at a level where it could be understood by it's audience. People who do sports. It wasn't for people who do research. I hate that kind of snobbery. The BBC is for everyone.
  • "one bloke in Calgary saying buy whichever shoes you like doesn't make a fact" - no the programme did not rely simply on one anecdote. What message are you meant to give to consumers when there's a lack of good data for stability shoes or barefoot shoes?

  • My concern about the programme is the dissing of sports shoes and the representation of barefoot running in a positive light in the same programme - now I am pro barefoot and use minimilist shoes or none if I am sure of the surface.  But surely  some of the same people who have bought into the 'energy drinks are essential for any period of of exercise' could now - go out thinking shoes are bad and run their normal distances barefoot without any build up - a few physios could do very well out of such a reaction

  • Barefoot running wasn't shown in a postivie light. The point was made that you have to run in a different way if you are going to do it and it's not easy. Lieberman also said there's even less data to support barefoot running. Sports shoes weren't dissed - it was the bells and whistles that were questioned.

  • Tenjiso - good point. According to EFSA there were two claims on caffeine (increased attention and increased alertness) considered "proven" for people in general (not specifically people engaged in sports).

    The three claims considered "proven" for people engaged in sports were
    increased endurance performance, increased endurance capacity, and
    reduction in the rated perceived exertion/effort during exercise.

    However, the European Commission have not sanctioned the latter claim as yet because of the harms of caffeine and the effect on kids.

    It's worth pointing out that Oxford would dispute the quality of the science. You can read what they found about caffiene here:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4848

  • I thought it was a good programme, worth watching.  It reinforced my opinion that for the amount of running I do, sports drinks are not beneficial.  However, if I'm doing a 4 hour plus hike up a mountain, then they will be of some benefit.  Generally though I just drink water before or after a run.

    As for protein/recovery drinks - I get  the argument that milk is all you need and have seen the results my boyfriend (who does ultra distance) gets when he drinks milk after long runs.  That said, I hate milk, so I use a brand of drink called 'For goodness shakes' which you mix with water.  I only use this when I run 9 miles or more and I have to say that after my first half marathon I found it really helped, so I will continue to drink it, as I believe it works for me.

    With regard to shoes - not sure I agreed with that bit.  I struggled for about 2 years with shin splints and it's only when I got a pair of Brooks trainers and some orthotic insoles that my shin splints disappeared and made it possible for me to actually run more than once a week.  Now, I appreciate that some people's opinions that new runners are more gullible re shiny expensive trainers, but I say that the combination of orthotic and control shoe for over pronation has worked for me and if it isn't broken, then I'm not going to fix it just because someone is saying that expensive control shoes are pointless. 

  • Your'e happy spending lots of money on sports shoes. The manufacturers are happy to sell you it. Everybody's happy(in Harry Enfield's Charcter)





    The other Harry Enfield charcter would be the bloke in the Antiques shop(or sports shop in this case) called I Saw You Coming.
  • You have your opinion Sussex Runner (NLR) and I'll have mine - it's a free country.

    I have tried cheap trainers, neutral and control for over pronation and I had excruciating shin splints.  The dearer trainers (which I maybe buy once a year) may cost me more up front but if I run 3 times a week (or sometimes 4) then the cost per run over 52 weeks is £0.544 on an £85 pair of trainers.  I wouldn't say that is excessive.  Ultimately though, if I pay a bit more so that I can run pain free, then I am happy to, as is my choice, with my own money. 

  • When one of the experts used in a programme is seen running barefoot - that shows it in a positive light to some viewers.  The point about needing to run differently for barefoot will nto have been picked up in amongst the talk about unsubstantiated  claims about cushioning and stability/motion control shoes.  People are going to go out and try it without lookinginto it properly.

     

  • It does make me smile when I think about the shoe manufacturers marketing shoes to barefoot runners.  Genius.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Deb thanks for coming on here and providing your take on the programme - am I right in thinking you worked on the M-O-M hip replacement story too?

    (Not stalking, just work for an orthopaedics journal when not running!)

     

     

     

  • Thankyou for allowing me my opinion Bob Roberts. I don't believe I ever suggested you weren't entitled to yours. Just suggested you were dim. Nice..but Dim
  • The shoe manufactureres are protecting their market.  And its easy since there is alot of all the gear no idea tendancies - people WANT to beleive the hype.  I never pay alot of money but do have one pair of minimalist shoes (last years colour so £25ish quid).  I have also used £6 aqua shoes and would really like a funky collection of old style plimsols.

    They are plugging into the fear of glass and dog shite just like the antibacterial cleaning products people plug into our fear of disease.

    Sadly programmes like last nights although most of us could do with being shaken out of these crutches sometimes produce a backlash in some people which may cause other problems

  • Deb Cohen wrote (see)

    Barefoot running wasn't shown in a postivie light. The point was made that you have to run in a different way if you are going to do it and it's not easy. Lieberman also said there's even less data to support barefoot running. Sports shoes weren't dissed - it was the bells and whistles that were questioned.

    And not one mention of the very real possibility of cutting your foot if you accidentally step on sharp stones or broken glass.  I wouldn't even run barefoot on a beach personally.

  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭

    It was on the BBC, enough said.

  • I wouldn't want to run barefoot either - just not comfortable doing so. Having said that, the couple of pairs of racers I have are pretty minimalist, but very comfy. Like a previous poster, I tend to search out bargain running shoes online. Never had a duff pair that way, yet.

  • I nearly always do everything on the cheap as well is either that or not afford to be able to do anything. 

  • I think we were well aware it was on the BBC.



    I think someone on the forum did mention stones and glass. I have one pair of minmalist shoes and I have more than once grimaced in pain after running on a stone. The smug beardy guy running in bareeet may not have looked so smug on my trailruns.
  • Although on some products the 'buy cheap, buy twice' motto applies. (I'm thinking of almost anything I've ever got from Sports Direct)

  • I think the BBC have shown some great sports documentaries this week. This, Vicky P and the Usain Bolt one. Although they did balance it with the 50 Great Olympic moments on BBC3. Great sports moments with comments on how personalities had felt at the time, while watching it despite not having been born at the time!
  • Ach, the Vicky Pendleton one... now it did the one thing that really turns me off from this sort of documentary: it played music behind every shot. I hate being urged to feel a particular emotion at times that are emotive enough in themselves. So we go sad music when it all went a bit tits up with the team because she'd fallen in love with on the coaches, inspirational music when she was doing well, dramatic chords when she lost a major race to Anna Meares. When did this need for music to underpin everything come about. It's as if we don't know when something is amazing/sad/worrying. I have to admit, though I admire her sporting achievements immensely, she came across as a bit immature (a tendency for a lot of sports people these days who never seem to have contact with the real world) and touchy. No wonder she was difficult to deal with at times. I also, probably unfairly, learned to hate her pushy and seemingly unempathetic dad. Ms Pendleton is, of course, a stunner.

  • Is there even any solid science that milk is benefitial for recovery?  What about the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein?

    Programmes like this make you question lots of things you considered as facts.  That's probably a good thing, but can leave you more confused than when you started!

     

  • I’m pretty new to running and have been increasing my mileage over the last couple of months. I was all set to take a trip to my nearest running shop and have my gait measured for some new trainers. The programme has thrown me off a bit and I am wondering if I should bother. Runners World always stress the importance of proper running shoes. Surely this isn't because they have been bought by sports manufacturers??

  • Colmeister wrote (see)

    Is there even any solid science that milk is benefitial for recovery?  What about the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein?

    Programmes like this make you question lots of things you considered as facts.  That's probably a good thing, but can leave you more confused than when you started!

     

    I think that was one of the areas that annoyed me a bit on the program when Prof Lean said something along the lines of being better off drinking milk than a protein drink.  IMHO that's garbage and worthy of the era of milk at school (in the 1970s).  Had he said "you're better off just really spending time understanding your requirements and basing your balance diet to meet that" then that would have been fine - what he said was either for the Daily Mail or the BBC breakfast news to use...

     

  • Louise Walker 9 wrote (see)

    I’m pretty new to running and have been increasing my mileage over the last couple of months. I was all set to take a trip to my nearest running shop and have my gait measured for some new trainers. The programme has thrown me off a bit and I am wondering if I should bother. Runners World always stress the importance of proper runningshoes. Surely this isn't because they have been bought by sports manufacturers??

    This bit annoyed me - one of "the leading experts in the science of sports shoes", Dr Benno Nigg, advised the likes of Reebok, Nike, Adidas. As a result of science of the time, I find myself running in a support shoe. Now he has some new science, and he's telling me a comfortable neutral shoe will do - forget the gait analysis etc. Problem now is that I have trained myself to run in a support shoe, and can only see switching to neutral shoes as a whole new world of pain.

  • i think what they dont say is that, whilst a neutral shoe might be just as good as a stability shoe or cushion shoe for most people, what it doesnt point out is that wearing  the wrong shoes or one that is for the "opposite" of your gait will cause you injury,

    Getting a gait analysis and knowing how you run is important, but use that information to do your own research and buy shoes accordingly.

    for example, (i was far from a beginner) i made the mistake of buying kayano's (i was stupid, didnt do my reseach and just believed the sales girl when she said they were for under pronation) and i supinate, they gave me shin splints bad enough to take me out of action for some time after just 1 run,

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Are you sure it was the shoes that gave you shin splints, and not just overuse as per most beginners?

  • Man those shoes were shit. They gave you an overuse injury in just one run.
  • Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
    Hypothetical situation; Beginner runner starts to run. He gets shin splints because he's a beginner. Someone suggests that they should get some fancy trainers. Beginners recovers and gets used to running and they shin splints go away. Beginners conclusion " wow these fancy trainers really work"

     

    Or alternatively...

    Beginner is happily running 2 miles, twice a week in their Dunlop green Flash with no problems – because they’re not over stressing their body.

    Enters the London Marathon so decides they go get fitted for some "proper" running shoes.

    A few weeks in to their marathon training, starts suffering from shin splints – due to the sudden increase in mileage.

    Beginners conclusion "Ow, these fancy trainers have caused me to get injured!"

     

    I fully agree with the programs assertion that it’s the running (volume, intensity, lack of rest) that is the main cause of running injuries over anything that the shoe may or may not contribute to the equation. But I do think the shoes have slightly more of a role either way than the miniscule amount that they suggest.

     

    One more thought…

    Surely, if any detractors of modern running shoes agree with the program’s assertion that modern shoes have only a miniscule role in the prevention of running injuries, then doesn’t it follow that they must also therefore, play a miniscule role in the cause of them as well!

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