Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Try Not to Have a Stroke About Sweeteners

April 21, 2017 — “That stuff can’t be good for you.” Diet soda is a fizzy elixir that people love to hate. And so this week, we have yet another round of studies and pseudo-scientific PR pitching “links” as evidence of cause and effect. The scare theme this week is artificial sweeteners will give you a stroke. The Study […]

Magic Technology Cures for Diabetes and Obesity

April 18, 2017 — When people are desperate, magical thinking abounds. Even at the New York Times. Right now, you can read about how Silicon Valley technology is going to “tackle weight loss and diabetes with video chats.” With the help of mock apple cobbler and veggie omelets, an accountant and her husband have lost 120 pounds and avoided taking insulin. […]

Biostatisticians Are Frustrating When Data Are Weak

April 2, 2017 — Biostatisticians can be very helpful when they save someone from an embarrassing mistake. They can be frustrating when a person has already made the mistake. The frustration scenario comes out loud and clear in a case that Retraction Watch investigated this week. Claiming Efficacy Without Proving It Back in February, ConscienHealth reported on the mysterious […]

Confessing to the Truth of Complexity in Obesity Policy

March 17, 2017 — Complexity makes lousy sound bites. That basic fact of political life makes good health policy for obesity maddeningly difficult. We start with the fact that obesity is a complex, chronic disease. And then that complexity is multiplied by a complex environment. Health policies to reduce obesity must influence that environment. To make good policy for obesity, confessing to […]

A Sticky Mess of Mindless Media-Savvy Research

March 4, 2017 — It started with a blog post. Brian Wansink wrote an entry for his blog and called it “The Grad Student Who Never Said No.” It quickly turned into a sticky mess. The essay described an unpaid grad student from Turkey with energy and enthusiasm for exploring data in Wansink’s lab. Wansink is famous for clever research […]

Maybe Sitting Isn’t Really the New Smoking

March 2, 2017 — The idea that sitting is the new smoking has taken off. This compelling narrative – that your desk chair is killing you – is so titillating that you’ll find 33 million results on Google. We have an ample supply of infographics, books, TED Talks, and more. Just one tiny problem is cropping up: hyperbole. Reviewing the Evidence […]

The Mystery of a Retracted Study That Came Back to Life

February 13, 2017 — A new paper in the February issue of Pediatric Obesity probes an important question. Can a gardening, cooking, and nutrition program exert an effect on obesity risk for Latino youth? At first glance, the results are encouraging. Right there in the title, the authors answer the question. The LA Sprouts program “reduces obesity and metabolic […]

Fakin’ It: News, Research, Publications, Conferences

January 2, 2017 — All that attention directed at fake news might be a blip on the viewscreen of popular culture. Or it might be an ongoing concern for years to come. One thing is clear, though. Interest in what is fake and what is genuine has been growing for most of a decade. Fakin’ it on social media […]

Data on Bias That Defies an Investigator’s Bias

November 7, 2016 — When does a hypothesis become a bias? One answer can be found in a recent publication about nutrition research in JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors – Nicholas Chartres, Alice Fabbri, and Lisa Bero – surmised that food industry sponsorship of research might generate outcomes that favor the sponsors. They conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis and found “insufficient evidence” […]

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 […]