Talk:Weston Price

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Is this on mission? Wikipedia has an article about this ground breaking dentist. Weston Price disproved previous dental techniques which look like bad science rather than pseudoscience. If the bad science that Weston Price criticised still happens even in the Third World we certainly need the article, RationalWikians with medical knowledge please comment. Proxima Centauri (talk) 05:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I've looked further and this is definitely on mission, Wikipedia writes,

Price's legacy has been taken on by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which bears his name, and the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. Both of these organizations, along with many in the growing natural health and holistic dentistry movement, continue to cite Price as the forefather of their alternative approach, which often includes opposition to root-canals. Skeptical commentators consider these approaches "dubious" and "pseudoscientific", and the research behind them "unsuccessful". [1]

I don't know who's right and who's wrong in this but if the Weston A. Price Foundation is considered pseudoscientific we are on mission to investigate and support or refute any claims. Proxima Centauri (talk) 06:08, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Meanwhile, the article needs to be cleaned up and the content that has been lifted from Wikipedia removed. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Part of the problem over on Wikipedia is one editor keeps removing the relevant material as to why Weston Price is important today as well as the quotes by Price himself that shows a possible abandonment of focal infection theory. If there was a poster child of pseudoscience on both sides of the issue it is Weston Price. It seems only Hasselgren in a relatively obscure New York Academy of Dentistry article took the time to separate what Price said from Meinig's use (or rather given Hasselgren's comment at the end of that article that should be misuse) of Price's work. Everybody else slams on Price based on what Meinig says Price's work says and that would fall under "Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media."
Normally reliable Ingle's Endodontics in 2002 stated "(i)n the 1930s, editorials and research refuted the theory of focal infection" despite peer reviewed articles pointing out its merits clear into the 1950s, the revival beginning in the 1980s, and another textbook published the same year by the same publisher that stated "Additionally, recent evidence associating dental infections with atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases has also helped resurrect the focal infection theory. The detrimental effect of focal infection on general health has been known for decades. Prophylactic antibiotics are routinely prescribed before some dental procedures to immunosuppressed and other at-risk patients, to combat the spread of oral bacteria into the blood stream." (Silverman, Sol; Lewis R. Eversole, Edmond L. Truelove (2002) "Essentials of oral medicine" pg 159) because they wanted to dump on Meinig. It's bad enough when a skeptic on his self publisher blog does this something like this but when a textbook makes an easily disproven statement like this it is face-palmingly bad.
The modern material on Price and his views in the skeptic camp are a train wreck--ignoring possible abandonment of his conclusions in the 1923 work in 1939 and the that was then this is now problems with his 1939 work. As a historical anthropologist I find the situation with Weston Price's views on both sides of the issue to be cringe worthy bad rather than the arguments of professionals against pseudoscientific misuse of outdated theories that it should be.--BruceGrubb (talk) 07:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
And the problem here is that this article is awful. It's about an early 20th century dentist no one has heard of and doesn't get around to explaining why he might be an issue as far as I could tell, tl;dr. I think it should be deleted. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:27, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
"An early 20th century dentist no one has heard of"? Human, Weston Price has been presented as evidence by the anti-root canal brigade since 1994 ie for over 17 years! How does one miss that?!?--BruceGrubb (talk) 15:14, 7 July 2011 (UTC)


I've looked further and this is definitely on mission, Wikipedia writes,

Price's legacy has been taken on by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which bears his name, and the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. Both of these organizations, along with many in the growing natural health and holistic dentistry movement, continue to cite Price as the forefather of their alternative approach, which often includes opposition to root-canals. Skeptical commentators consider these approaches "dubious" and "pseudoscientific", and the research behind them "unsuccessful". [2]

I don't know who's right and who's wrong in this but if the Weston A. Price Foundation is considered pseudoscientific we are on mission to investigate and support or refute any claims. Proxima Centauri (talk) 06:08, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Why Weston Price article is relevant[edit]

I've put this on again because Human seems to have missed it. Wikipedia says there could be something dubious and pseudoscientific. Further we know Wikipedia and sometimes special interest groups take over Wikipedia articles so I'm quite prepared to accept that might be happening here. I think it's well written, stuff that's copied from Wikipedia usually is well written. I suggest we keep the article with a reference to Wikipedia and research whether there is pseudoscience. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:31, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

PC, copying WP is really crappy practice. Keep that in mind. Eh, but it's probably better than your prose. ħumanUser talk:Human 11:58, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
According to Quackwatch, he's the grandaddy of dental woo. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:19, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
By Price's own words in this case Quackwatch doesn't know its head from a hole it the ground:
Barrett: "While extolling their health, he ignored their short life expectancy and high rates of infant mortality, endemic diseases, and malnutrition."
Price: "since 1870 the average length of life has been increased by fifteen years, that marked reduction has occurred during this period in infant mortality and in mortality due to tuberculosis, typhoid, smallpox and many other diseases." ((1923) Dental Infections, Oral and Systemic)
Price: "This physician stated that there were about 800 whites living in the town and about 400 Indians, and that notwithstanding this difference in numbers there were twice as many Indian children born as white children, but that by the time these children reached six years of age there were more white children living than Indian and half-breed children. This he stated was largely due to the very high child mortality rate, of which the most frequent cause is tuberculosis." ((1939) Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects Paul B. Hoeber, Inc; Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers; Chapter 6)
"The changes in facial and dental arch form, which I have described at length in this volume, develop in this age period also, not as a result of faulty nutrition of the individual but as the result of distortions in the architectural design in the very early part of the formative period. Apparently, they are directly related to qualities in the germ plasm of one or both parents, which result from nutritional defects in the parent before the conception took place, or deficient nutrition of the mother in the early part of the formative period." (Chapter 19)
"It is important to keep in mind that morbidity and mortality data for many diseases follow a relatively regular course from year to year, with large increases in the late winter and spring and a marked decrease in summer and early autumn. [...] I have obtained the figures for the levels of morbidity for several diseases in several countries, including the United States and Canada." (Chapter 20)
"Dr. Vaughan in her reference to the data on the annual report of the chief medical officer, the Minister of Health, states as follows: Our infant mortality returns show that over half the number of infants dying before they are a year old die before they have lived a month..." (Chapter 21)
Short life expectancy, high rates of infant mortality, and endemic diseases being eliminated by modern culture were addressed by Price and he even referenced his 1923 work in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (Chapters 2 and 18). Despite all this Quackwatch claims Price ignored the very things Price himself talks about. I don't know if face-palming or slamming my head on to my desk is more appropriate regarding the total NON-research regarding Price demonstrated in that article.
Yes, Price's work is being used to support highly questionable theories but to claim he didn't do things that he clearly did do is sloppy skepticism bordering on psudoscience. Contrary to the picture Quackwatch paints Price wasn't a lone nut in the 1920s or 1930s--his views were MAINSTREAM FOR HIS TIME!
In fact, at the time Price did part of his research for Nutrition and Physical Degeneration there was already a lot of research going on or done regarding the idea of a connection between nutrition and tooth decay that showed there was something there:
Agnew, M. C.; Agnew, R. G.; Tisdall, F. F. (1933) The production and prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association, JADA 20; 193-212.
Anderson, P. G.; Williams, C. H. M.; Halderson, H.; Summerfeldt, C.; Agnew, R. (1934) Influence of vitamin D in the prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association 21; 1349-66.
Bennett, N. G.; et al. (1931) The influence of diet on caries in children's teeth. Special Report Series - Medical Research Council, UK No. 159, 19.
Day, C. D.; Sedwick, H. J. (1934) Fat-soluble vitamins and dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition 8; 309-28.
East, B. R. (1938) Nutrition and dental caries. American Journal of Public Health. 28; 72-6.
His Majesty's Stationery Office, London. (1936) "The influence of diet on caries in children's teeth. Report of the Committee for the Investigation of Dental Disease".
McBeath, E.C. (1938) Nutrition and diet in relation to preventive dentistry. New York Journal of Dentistry Dentistry 8; 17-21.
McBeath, E.C.; Zucker, T.F. (1938) Role of vitamin D in the control of dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition 15; 547-64.
McBeath, F.C. (1934) Vitamin D studies, 1933-1934. American Journal of Public Health , 24 1028-30.
Mellanby, Edward (1930) The relation of Diet to Death and Disease; Some new investigations BMJ Apr 12, 1930 pg 354 ((Edward Mellanby was the discover of Vitamin D)
Mellanby, May C. Lee Pattison and C. W. Proud, (1924) "The Effect of Diet on the Development and extension of caries in the the teeth of children" BMJ Aug 1924 pg 254
Mellanby, M. (1937) The role of nutrition as a factor in resistance to dental caries. British Dental Journal, 62; 241-52.
Tisdall, F.F. (1937) The effect of nutrition on the primary teeth. Child Development 8(1), 102-4.
If all that wasn't enough here is a quote for you form the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery 1933:
"The findings of the Agnews, Boyd and Drain, Eddy, Percy Howe, Hanke, Martha Jones, Marshall, McBeath, Klein and McCollum, May Mellanby, Price, and others show that dental disorders may be greatly reduced by a proper adjustment of the diet. Some of these investigators maintain that a lack of vitamin C is principally responsible for the activity of dental caries (Howe, Hanke). Weston Price regards vitamin B and mineral salts as the important elements in a caries free diet. Some believe that the lack of vitamin D is the offending factor (Mellanby). Finally, a disturbance in the calcium-phosphorus balance (which includes vitamin D) is the factor to which most recent investigators point as being responsible for the high activity of dental caries"("Metabolic Disturbance in Relation to the Teeth" by Charles F. Bodecker, D.D.S. from the laboratory of Histo-pathology, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, New York Delivered November 3. 1933)
Good grief, did anyone at Quackwatch do anything even remotely resembling research in that article with regards to Weston Price?!?
"Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media." applies as well as psudoscience in regards to the Weston Price article; both of which are on topic for Rational Wiki--BruceGrubb (talk) 15:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi Bruce. Glad to see you have a serious issue with this guy. Shouldn't he be labelled as a DDS? ħumanUser talk:Human 11:58, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not so much Weston Price himself I have an issue with but the total garbage way he is being handled by both sides. There is a lot wrong with Weston Price's work from a modern perspective but to portray him as some sort of crusader or lone nut when neither is true does not help either side. Weston Price in reality was totally mainstream for his time a point both sides like ignoring.--BruceGrubb (talk) 05:07, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I might add that Nebuchadnezzar is removing the quotes that prove Quackwatch's claims regarding Weston Price are false from the Quackwatch article. I have to ask what are they afraid of?--BruceGrubb (talk) 08:10, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Move to essay space?[edit]

This page reads more like a technical paper in dentistry than a RationalWiki article. I think we should consider moving it to essay space and then writing a new article here summarizing its essential points (pioneering dentist/noble savage booster whose work gets misconstrued by later cranks, the Quackwatch people trusting the cranks about what he said...) Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:41, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Well my skill is in technical writing so that is the way I tend to write--even here. I really don't see the logic of breaking the points of the article from the article itself. Also it is not just Quackwatch people trusting the cranks--even otherwise scholarly textbooks (such as Ingle's Endodontic) buy into the nonsense the cranks spout rather than actually doing a bit of actual research.--BruceGrubb (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The editing is needed, firstly, to make the article more accessible to the average reader of the Wiki (we are not an encyclopedia), and secondly, to make it less of a quote-mine. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:38, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
My big problem is that the article reads like a response to criticisms rather than, well, an article. As in, it was made solely to defend Price, and not to actually inform the reader of anything about him. The only thing I came away from this article "knowing" was that Price apparently gets attacked unfairly. (And yes, I know we have other pages that are mostly responses, but their titles or subject tend to incline themselves towards response over content). ThunderkatzHo! 05:46, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The article reflects the fact that if not for the anti-root canal and paleo-diet advocates and their equally sloppy detractors Weston Price would likely be on par with how Ephraim McDowell is regarded in surgery--important only to specialists in the field. Price was not a pioneer in either focal infection or the relationship nutrition-dental decay and given how mainstream his work was for his time he wasn't a main deciding factor either. His real achievements (the relationship between x-ray and cancer, the invention and improvement of a pyrometer dental furnace, and the development of radiological techniques expanded on in the 1940s) have gotten lost in the shuffle over his later mainstream for the time works.--BruceGrubb (talk) 04:22, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah... that didn't really address either ListenerX's or my point. ThunderkatzHo! 21:41, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how it doesn't address either of your points--Weston Price was so mainstream for his time that he quickly became an also ran after his dead and if not for the anti-root canal and paleo-diet advocates from 1994 he would still just be a paragraph in a handful of dentistry textbooks that didn't even talk about his focal infection or nutritional work.--BruceGrubb (talk) 11:35, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah... I'm not sure you even read our comments. ListenerX's comments were that it needs to be more accessible and not just a quote-mine, my points were that the article currently teaches very little and seems more like a knee-jerk reaction to criticisms then a fully thought-out work. You just keep commenting on how he's totally relevant. I'm sure he is. That's not the point. ThunderkatzHo! 03:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

(remove indent) I'm not sure either of you are reading my comments as your comments ignore what I and the article are actually saying

1) You talk about the article needing to be more accessible and less a quote mine--well if the skeptics were doing their freaking job and actually researched stuff we wouldn't have to throw buckets of quotes up now would we. The quotes from Price show the amount of fail Quackwatch did in researching what Weston Price himself actually wrote or what was going on at that time. Even normally reliable sources like Ingels flub this because they did really bad research.

2) As for more information about Price himself, remember this is Rational wiki. Weston Price was about as mainstream as you could be for his times and for that reason largely drifted into obscurity until Meinig used (or rather misused) his work to support his own theories.

3) Given User:ListenerX slapped a [citation needed] tag at the end of "As for the "the fact that malnourished people don't usually get many cavities" claim, that is challenged by the foreword written by then Harvard University physical anthropologist Earnest A. Hooron for Nutrition and Physical Degeneration which states "(a) quantity of excellent evidence has been amassed which indicates that dental caries is, to a great extent, connected with malnutrition and with deficient diets." I would say that neither of you are taking the time to actually read the article as the sentence itself states where the reference is. Basically User:ListenerX is saying despite the sentence itself stating where the statement came from we need a reference to tell us where the statement came from. WHAT?!? How does that make any blasted sense?--BruceGrubb (talk) 03:24, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Carp on about the poor research skills of skeptics all you want, but the article is still a quote-mine. I put the fact-tag there for the same reason I made my other remarks, viz., this is a Wiki, not an academic paper; in this format it is preferable to put references in footnotes, indicating exact page numbers. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:18, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

On the Quackwatch section[edit]

I believe we should add back the Quackwatch section, including the Weston Price quotes that were on the section about Quackwatch. Even if it's for someone or a website we defend, I believe we should still have them back since they expose the distortions in Price's thought holistic dentists make and skeptics fall to. In fact, the section noted (and still notes) that this tiny mistake might be taken advantage of by alt medders. Faunas (talk) 12:03, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

We don't need to defend Holistic Dentistry. The section removed was basically a quote-mine. If you feel the need to include something, write it yourself. Hipocrite (talk) 12:45, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
No one is defending holistic dentistry. I, however, am proposing that this article's section on Quackwatch be brought back (as I'm also making a related change in the Quackwatch article) to point out flaws in Quackwatch's argument against Weston Price as well as holistic dentists' distortions of Price's thought - these ones are the ones who are really quote-mining Price. According to what I read in that now deleted section, Price would be no defender of holistic dentistry. Faunas (talk) 18:27, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I have restored the Quackwatch information both here and in its own article. The FACT is that Quackwatch is misrepresenting what Price did raises questions about everything they say. There were plenty of things they could have pointed to (such as Price did his research before food fortification took off (see "The History and Future of Food Fortification in the United States: A Public Health Perspective." Backstrand, J. R. Nutrition Reviews 2002;60 (1): 15-26. IDPAS# 1494) but instead they presented falsehoods as facts. I'm sorry if you have to resort to those kind of tactics your position must be really shaky. --BruceGrubb (talk) 05:12, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
And I removed it. If there's something interesting about Price, by all means, say it. Don't use this as a method to attack quackwatch, and certainly stop the quotemine. Hipocrite 17:30, 27 December 2013 (UTC)