Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

Media: Friend or Foe in Progress on Obesity?

April 12, 2018 — If you skim headlines of health reporting on obesity, you might think fake news is creeping in. But what’s the bigger picture? How does media shape ideas about obesity? Fatima Cody Stanford, Zujaja Tauqeer, and Ted Kyle offer a new review in Current Obesity Reports. Body Positivity The subject of body positivity might be one area […]

Does the Netherlands Have Obesity Under Control?

April 5, 2018 — Headlines tell us that the Netherlands has obesity under control. The most recent dispatch comes from BBC. Earlier this week it ran a story telling us “How Amsterdam is reducing childhood obesity.” We wonder. Has the Netherlands found the secret sauce for reversing obesity trends? Objective Evidence Is Important This cycle of Mission Accomplished headlines […]

The Elusive Magic of Small Plates

March 29, 2018 — Do Smaller Plates Make You Eat Less? You may have seen Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped. The programme covers two topics of interest to me; portion sizes and plate sizes. Portion Distortion There is evidence that portion sizes of commercially provided foods have increased over time and the programme covered this story. One of the main reasons […]

Freeze a Nerve for Weight Loss? Not So Fast!

March 25, 2018 — Here’s a bit of hype that crossed many screens this week. The Society of Interventional Radiology wants you to know that an experimental procedure to freeze a nerve may “ignite weight loss.” Ignite sounds good, right? Naturally, health reporters had fun hyping this one. Our favorite: “Freezing the ‘hunger nerve’ could be key to more […]

The Breakfast-for-Weight-Loss Myth Strikes Again

March 21, 2018 — Some myths just won’t die. For example, consider the immortal myth of breakfast for weight loss. At ENDO 2018 in Chicago, researchers presented a small study and issued a press release. The study compared 39 patients with type 2 diabetes assigned to receive one of two different meal plans. One group ate just three meals […]

Why Falsehoods Fly While the Truth Limps to Catch Up

March 10, 2018 — More than three centuries ago, Jonathan Swift wrote that falsehoods fly while the truth limps far behind it. Today, we certainly see that in nutrition and obesity. Any number of myths stand firm despite clear evidence disproving them. More broadly, the news is full of reporting about Russia and ISIS using bots to spread misinformation […]

Low Carb, Low Fat, Null Result, Blank Check

February 21, 2018 — JAMA is out with a big, important study of low fat versus low carb dietary strategies. And the study has a null result on three hypotheses the researchers were testing. The results showed no differences in outcomes between the study groups. Low fat was no better than low carb. Also, neither genetic nor insulin secreting […]

A Bumper Crop of False Promises about Weight and Health

January 11, 2018 — We shouldn’t be surprised. In this season, both hucksters and health reporters are burying us in false promises about weight and health. The advertisements for dietary supplements are annoying enough. We keep our finger on the mute button. And we can filter tabloid headlines about Kerry Katona’s protein injections out of our news feed. But […]

Correlation, Causation, and Having a Gym Next Door

January 3, 2018 — “Having a gym nearby does help us to lose weight, suggests new research.” So says Medical News Today. This bit of classic click bait for weight loss season comes from Lancet Public Health. It’s an observational study of the correlation between a person’s risk of obesity and their home address. The authors found that people […]

Hucksterism, Nihilism, and Reality in Obesity

December 15, 2017 — The time is coming near. As this year draws to a close and the next year opens, people are lining up to sell you inspiring stories of weight loss. These stories are all about people who have changed their lives in dramatic ways. Sometimes they’re selling a product or a program. Sometimes it’s a book. […]