Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

One Gene Cures Obesity? Nope

December 8, 2018 — The award for the most annoying obesity story of the week goes to the Flinders University communications office. They win for issuing a press release to hype some genuinely interesting research. But the angle they chose made a joke of the research, spawning headlines about a new gene to cure obesity. Their headline: Gene that lets […]

Blowing Up the Internet with “Starch Bombs”

December 6, 2018 — Bless his heart. No doubt Harvard epidemiology professor Eric Rimm meant well. But his casual comments about potatoes being “starch bombs” have blown up the internet. The New York Times published his starch bomb comment and quoted him as saying: I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French […]

What It Means When Scientists Say Results Are “Significant”

November 18, 2018 — Let’s face it, scientific papers aren’t exactly page turners. They are written by scientists, for scientists, and often in a language that seems to only vaguely resemble English. And perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of a scientific paper is the statistics (“stats”) section. But what do stats really mean in the real world? […]

Food Addiction: Science and Storytelling at OW2018

November 13, 2018 — Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Mark Twain understood this bit of wisdom. Thus we felt his influence at a session yesterday on food addiction at ObesityWeek 2018 in Nashville. Sandwiched between three scientists, we enjoyed an engaging presentation by a journalist with a good story to tell. It’s […]

Dunkin’ Thinkin’ in the News

September 27, 2018 — Honors for the best nutrition news fable of the week goes to Fox News. That’s because intrepid reporter Meredith Lepore made magic from a dense review article on energy requirements for cognitive work. From that humble starting material, she conjured up some great clickbait. Don’t think twice about grabbing an extra donut, she says. So […]

What Happens When PR Overtakes Science?

September 23, 2018 — Brian Wansink has a gift for conceiving research into eating behavior that has long been “catnip for the media.” Now, after a year of contesting accusations of misconduct, he’s resigned from Cornell University. Last week, JAMA retracted six of his papers in a single day. According to Retraction Watch, that makes a total of 13 […]

A Clean Connection to Childhood Obesity?

September 21, 2018 — Perhaps your mother told you cleanliness is next to godliness. That concept found its way into a 1778 sermon by John Wesley. But it’s even older than that. Ancient Babylonian and Hebrew religious texts have the earliest references. Now, CMAJ wants to put cleanliness next to obesity. Could there be a clean connection? An Association with […]

Bravely Fighting Childhood Obesity with Reality TV

August 25, 2018 — This week has been long and filled with serious news. So, we’re filled with gratitude for a hilariously absurd story from ITV and the British press. They’ve given us a load of comic relief to end the week. You might think of it as a load of something else, but we’re keeping it clean here. With […]

Making Sense of Headlines About Obesity and Health

August 6, 2018 — Every day, our news feeds fill up with sensational headlines about obesity and health. Somewhere in those headlines, important new truths are buried. But mostly, you’ll find hype. When we all have so many things competing for our attention, how can we filter through all this noise? Here are five clues for doing just that. […]

Does Meal Timing Really Matter for Health and Weight?

July 28, 2018 — It’s becoming a popular story. Maybe you shouldn’t worry so much about what you eat. Instead you should focus on when you eat. Meal timing is a hot concept among health writers right now. Professor Satchin is selling a new book, The Circadian Code, with a promise to “transform your health.” The New York Times ran […]