Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

Mangled Messages about Saturated Fats

October 19, 2016 — Depending on what you read, you might be firm in your faith that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats is a good strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Or your might wonder about sensational ideas advanced by health reporters like Sandy Hingston and Nina Teicholz. Hingston says “USDA screwed up the American diet – and […]

Sweet Tweets about Nutrition and Health (or Not)

October 18, 2016 — How much scientific rigor can you pack into a seminar about nutrition tweets? At the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Boston yesterday, Cheryl Toner and Heather Mangieri proved you can pack quite a bit. All in the context of nutrition in popular culture. The video on the right – gently poking […]

Blowing Off Steam Will Give You a Heart Attack?

October 12, 2016 — Here’s a clue for reading health news. When you see “linked,” “associated,” or “increased risk,” your antennae should go up. The report you’re reading might be science fiction. Case in point: sloppy reports about an observational study of self-reported emotions recalled after a heart attack. Circulation published the study yesterday. In this study, people who […]

Sowing Anxiety and Confusion about Food

October 8, 2016 — “Sandwiches are wrecking your diet.” “The sugar you can’t resist is killing you sweetly.” These headlines from consumer media represent an anxious theme easily found in reports about nutrition research. Writing in Appetite, Antonia Dodds and Kerry Chamberlain analyze messaging to consumers about food and conclude that at least some nutrition advice may be sowing […]

Stress Can Thwart a Healthful Diet

October 3, 2016 — A casual reading of consumer health advice provides a mountain of tips about “stress-busting” diets. Health.com, for instance, offers up “12 superfoods for stress relief.” But a new study suggests that we might have this concept reversed. In a randomized controlled trial, investigators observed that stressors might blunt the benefits of a healthful meal. The researchers randomized their subjects between […]

Hope for Understanding Obesity?

September 27, 2016 — Getting discouraged about deep public misunderstanding of obesity is way too easy. So waking up to two thoughtful reports in top tier news media – the New York Times and The New Yorker – was a pleasant surprise yesterday. Good reporting can lead to better understanding obesity. First, Gina Kolata wrote a lengthy article in the Times […]

Getting a Better Picture of Obesity

September 10, 2016 — The Obesity Action Coalition stepped forward this week to provide a better picture of living with obesity, free from bias and stigma. The OAC Image Gallery launched with 500 respectful images that can be used freely in news, social media, and educational media. By 2017, the gallery will expand to more than 4,000 images, making […]

The Problem with Obesity Scorecards

September 6, 2016 — For many years, the Trust for America’s Health has been cranking out obesity scorecards. In concert with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, they’ve just rolled out the 2016 edition of The State of Obesity. More a media tool than an objective analysis, this report generates an impressive volume of headlines: Do You Live in One […]

No, Water Is Not “The New Secret to Losing Weight”

July 14, 2016 — Repeating a pattern that is all too common, researchers at the University of Michigan have trolled through NHANES data and found a correlation between hydration and obesity. They published it in the Annals of Family Practice. They handed out a press release. And voilà! CNN and others are reporting on a “new secret to losing weight.” Never […]

Where Does the Blame Lie for Nutrition Myths?

July 8, 2016 — Nutrition myths are a pesky plague, difficult to dispel. One of them – skipping breakfast will make you fat – might well be on the way out. In two different articles this year (here and here), the New York Times has made its status as a myth completely clear. On the other hand, WebMD is […]