Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Pursuing Intellectual Honesty, Free of Bias and Conflicts

October 1, 2017 — In a letter to the editor of Obesity Reviews, a group of distinguished public health advocates call for a high standard of intellectual honesty in evaluating food policies. And it’s a good start. But this letter by Corinna Hawkes and colleagues has one gaping hole in it. It neglects a full consideration of conflicts of […]

Searching for Bias? Look in the Mirror

September 18, 2017 — “We need a safe space to rethink our assumptions.” This phrase came from a recent summary panel on food environments and obesity prevention. Later, the speaker explained. We need that safe space, she said, because a disproven assumption puts funding at risk. So people are reluctant to speak candidly. It was a stark reminder. The […]

Head Spinning Bias About Funding Bias

September 8, 2017 — “Don’t trust research funded by industry.” Suspicion runs deep about commercial funding for research, especially in nutrition. So, we imagine many heads were nodding recently when Justin Rankin and colleagues reported a signal of funding bias in obesity studies. Consistent with prevailing beliefs, their report suggested that industry-funded studies were the most likely to selectively report […]

Does Eating Breakfast Like a King Really Prevent Obesity?

August 26, 2017 — Celebrity nutritionist Adelle Davis preached it. She said we should be eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper in the mid 20th century. Despite little evidence behind her advice, it has incredible staying power. Popular and Controversial Between 1947 and 1965, Davis published four hugely popular books on […]

Seven Principles for Moderation and Respect

August 25, 2017 — Whether the subject is politics, nutrition, or obesity, moderation and respect seem rare. Instead we have bitter arguments between brittle ideologies. Some folks are rallying behind a belief that “sugar is toxic.” But others are raging against a “nanny state” that imposes sin taxes on soda. When the AMA joined many other health experts in […]

Fudging Conclusions About Childhood Obesity Prevention

August 2, 2017 — “We have a pretty good idea of how to curb childhood obesity.” Such convictions run deep. And because of those convictions, prevention is a frontline strategy for dealing with childhood obesity. So it’s especially dispiriting when we see the scientific literature stained by a paper fudging conclusions about childhood obesity prevention. No Significant Effect Morphs […]

What the Health: A Low-Fact Vegan Manifesto

July 31, 2017 — What the Health – a new documentary from the folks who brought you Cowspiracy – is generating quite a buzz for veganism. If you’re on board with the manifesto, you might be cheering and expecting a new wave of vegans to join you. But if you’re fussy about facts, this flick will make you fume. Wobbly Factoids Director and […]

Six Hard Questions to Ask About Obesity Cause and Effect

July 25, 2017 — Yesterday, Kevin Fontaine and David Allison opened their third conference on causality in obesity research at the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center. They explained the growing urgency to ask hard questions about cause and effect in obesity. Targeting Elusive Causes for Obesity For three decades, obesity prevalence has been growing relentlessly. And yet, we […]

Spinning for a Noble Purpose Defeats the Purpose

July 10, 2017 — “We know what to do to reduce obesity,” says public health professor Simon Chapman. It’s a common sentiment. But data don’t always line up with that sentiment. When that happens, spinning the data – putting negative results in a positive light – becomes tempting. The PR team at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health provides […]

Publishing Science: Impressive Profits from Intellectual Property

June 27, 2017 — Think of an industry reaping boundless profits from intellectual property. In the midst of constant change, a few strong competitors defy the odds and continue to dominate. You might be thinking of software or pharmaceuticals. But in fact, these words describe the business of publishing science. Perhaps you’ve noticed that things are a little pricey […]