We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: Discover Magazine declares tanning-addiction study ‘Worst Study of the Week’

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Discover Magazine this week blew the whistle on recent studies attempting to make the questionable case that suntanning — like drugs — can be addictive, calling the latest-such study the Worst Study of the Week.

2008-09-05-revealed-copy.jpg“Do one in four college students really have a tanning dependency? This sound more like a scare tactic than good science,” Discover health and science writer Andrew Moseman said in a column this week.

He was commenting on a Virginia Commonwealth University survey that asked students about their tanning habits. According to Moseman, forty percent said they’d used tanning booths, and the researchers classified 27 percent as tanning dependent.

“This conclusion seems a little suspect,” Moseman continued. “First, the questionnaire the researchers used was adapted from one used to survey people for symptoms of substance abuse and dependence. While that at first seems like a clever way to do a study, we have to wonder: Isn’t it a self-fulfilling prophecy to ask questions that presuppose tanning to be an addiction, and then declare that tanning is a widespread addiction?”

Smart Tan has written extensively that humans are designed to be attracted to sunlight – just as we are attracted to food, water and air. “Confusing a biological attraction with an addiction is more political science than it is legitimate science,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “We’re glad Discover can see through this.”

To read the full Discover article click here.