Saturday 18 June 2016

Jamie Vardy on caffeine and nicotine

From The Telegraph

England and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been photographed holding a can of Red Bull and a can of snus. Outrage has ensued at The Telegraph...

Just two days before scoring against Wales during a last-minute 2-1 victory, Vardy was pictured leaving the team's five star hotel in Chantilly holding a can of Red Bull, the energy drink, and a tin of Thunder "snus" tobacco - both of which, scientists warn, have dreadful health effects.

Laughing the face of this mortal threat to his health, the notoriously skinny Premier League winner was forced to defend himself...

"It’s just something I’ve always done and they’ve been checked with the medical team, and there’s nothing wrong with them,” said Vardy, in a frank interview after Thursday's match.

“I wouldn’t call it a diet, the Red Bull was just to wake me up in the morning. It’s just standard me, a bit of Red Bull. It’s not a regular thing whereby I have a Red Bull every morning. It’s just something I felt I needed that day.”

Naturally, the Telegraph's Sarah Knapton—for it is she—went through her phone book to get some outraged quotes from scientists...

Prof Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said "there has never been any evidence that energy drinks improve performance", adding also that "there is evidence tobacco used like this can trigger oral cavity cancer".
The professor said: "Jamie Vardy is a trained athlete so at the moment he can probably get away with the extra calories and caffeine that is in Red Bull. But he will have to be careful when he stops playing. Then it could start to have an impact."

There's the same amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee as there is in a can of Red Bull. Careful there, Jamie!

We have come across Naveed Sattar before. In January, he was busy denying the health benefits of moderate drinking and telling the press that "we need more teetotallers". When asked about Vardy's consumption of a can of Red Bull, he wasted no time in bringing alcohol up again...

"It's like George Best. He could handle drinking so much alcohol when he was playing but it was when he stopped that the problems began."

Occasional can of Red Bull and chronic alcoholism. It's all the same, innit?

Meanwhile, Prof Tom Sanders, Head of Nutritional Sciences Research Division at Kings College: "He may be a good footballer but snus gives you oral cancer and any sports related health claim for Red Bull is bulls****. I thought there was a ban on tobacco promotion in sport."

We've come across Tom Sanders before as well, talking sense about nutritional junk science. His claim that "snus gives you oral cancer" shows what happens when experts step outside their field of expertise because snus does not cause oral cancer. The fact that both Sanders and Sattar believe it does is probably a hangover from the great Skoal Bandits scare of the 1980s which I blogged about recently.

As for the insinuation that Vardy is breaking the law by "promoting" tobacco, where to begin? He was photographed by paparazzi coming out of his hotel and then interrogated by a nosy journalist. He wasn't doing a commercial for Red Bull and snus, although I'm sure Thunder snus are grateful for the free publicity the Telegraph has given them.

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