Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

Persistent Magical Thinking About Fruits and Veggies

July 15, 2018 — What’s the #1 way Americans are fighting obesity? You guessed it. We’re eating less and moving more. What’s #2? We’re eating more fruits and veggies and salads. Sadly though, these efforts aren’t paying off. Despite putting those great ideas into action, the prevalence of obesity keeps rising. It’s now at an all time high of […]

Beware the Hazards of Moral Certitude

July 8, 2018 — Obesity, nutrition, and health bring out feelings of moral certitude with surprising frequency. But that means speculation about conspiracies, moral issues, and conflicts of interest crowds out reason and facts way too often. A Moral Issue with Dietary Advice? Reading up on debates about the relationship between carbs, insulin, and obesity, we found some harsh […]

Are More People Exercising Even As Obesity Rates Climb?

July 2, 2018 — How can this be? Reporters tell us that Americans are exercising more while obesity rates are increasing. It was the latest National Health Interview Survey data that prompted reporters to write such headlines. Between 2006 and 2017, the percentage of adults who say they meet aerobic exercise guidelines went from 41% to 53%. The numbers […]

Discovering Anew the Flaws in Self-Reports

June 19, 2018 — Sad but true, we often have to learn the same things over and over again. So it is with a basic fact of obesity prevalence. State health officials get comfortable with relying upon self-reports. Often, that’s all they have. It’s easier to do a telephone or online survey than to actually collect measurements of height […]

Myth-Busting, Confusion, and Deception

June 18, 2018 — Myth-busting is a popular approach for tackling controversial or misunderstood subjects. Certainly you’ll find a bit of that here at ConscienHealth. We’re not shy about dispelling myths. But Derek Powell and colleagues conclude that myth-busting can become deceptive. If the question at hand is subtle – not starkly true or false – then myth-busting can leave readers […]

Linking Nutrition to Health Part 1: The Mediterranean Diet

June 14, 2018 — What are we supposed to think now about our precious Mediterranean diet? Somebody took the randomized out of our favorite randomized controlled trial. Yesterday, authors of the landmark 2013 PREDIMED study retracted it from the New England Journal of Medicine. They did this because of problems with the randomization. In its place, they published a new […]

Beliefs, Facts, and Truth

June 9, 2018 — In their recent book, Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael Rich tell us that we’re suffering from truth decay. Public discourse now brings more disagreement about facts and their interpretation. They say the line separating facts from personal beliefs and opinions has become blurry. And thus, we have increasing difficulty with civil discourse and policymaking. Certainly, we […]

Fat and Happy and Fuzzy About Causality

June 1, 2018 — In 1886, JAMA advised its readers that, with proper feeding, an infant grows fat and happy. Many cultures for many years have linked fatness with happiness. Now, in Social Science & Medicine, Shuanglong Lia and colleagues tell us they have empirical evidence. Among urban Chinese adults, they claim that happiness brings a higher BMI. Causality […]

Is Ad Hominem Logic Creeping into Scholarly Discourse?

May 13, 2018 — Ad hominem logic seem to be ruling the day. International diplomacy features name calling between a little rocket man and a dotard. And now, people are starting to call for the dotard to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. So is it really surprising to see ad hominem logic creeping into scholarly discourse? Ad Hominem Logic […]

Sugar Consumption, Cognition, Correlation, and Causality

April 24, 2018 — Late last week, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a correlation study of sugar and diet soda consumption in mothers during pregnancy and soon after childbirth. The researchers found that mothers who consumed more sugar during pregnancy and after childbirth tended to have children with lower cognition scores. But the researchers note correctly: As […]