A Lady Writing

The Top Ten of 2020 from ConscienHealth

What’s been on your mind this year? One way to answer that question is to look at what grabbed your attention here on ConscienHealth. It’s been a year of keen interest in what we’re writing about. Almost half a million of you have taken time to read what we’ve written so far this year – a 264% increase over last year. It’s humbling and a little scary. So what was it that captured your attention? To answer that question, we offer you this list of the top ten most read topics of 2020 on ConscienHealth.

Click on any of the items below and you can open up the original post.

1. Serious Concerns About Multiple Vitamin D Studies

Both President Trump and Tony Fauci were taking vitamin D this year, so it got a little COVID cachet. Two other posts about vitamin D (here and here) also landed in the top 10 as a result. We did our best to try to tame some of the hyperbole about this humble vitamin. But it is important to make sure you’re not deficient.

2. The Odd Case of Tobacco, Nicotine, and COVID-19

This one surprised us. A guest post by our friend Joe Gitchel examined the odd case of smokers being less likely to be hospitalized with the coronavirus. Clearly, smoking is not helpful, but some scientists are wondering if nicotine might be helpful in preventing infections. Thus, an RCT is underway.

3. Cabbage Crowned, Lettuce Loses in Nutrition Correlation

This was a big year for preprints of studies related to COVID-19. Everyone was hungry for new data, but sometimes it led to some sloppy science being promoted without peer review. This was the case when a study of correlations between cabbage, lettuce, and COVID-19 mortality grabbed headlines.

4. Looking for a Keto Veto in a 4-Week Study

Kevin Hall has a knack for studies that intrigue our readers. So it’s no surprise that his study comparing a low-fat plant-based diet to an animal-based ketogenic diet commanded a lot of attention this year.

5. Really? Low-Carb Fights the Pandemic?

Wacky nutrition ideas were a great way for folks to get clicks during the pandemic. But it came with a cost of spreading misinformation and confusion. Nina Teicholz didn’t miss the chance to tell folks in the Wall Street Journal that low-carb diets might be a great strategy for fighting the pandemic. Sheesh!

6. BMI Is Racist and Sexist? Yes, Just as Numbers Lie

People love to hate BMI. Movement to end racism was big this year. Put them together and what do you get? A theory that BMI is a racist construct. But the logic doesn’t hold up too well.

7. Combining the Risks of Coronavirus with Obesity

This goes back to the early days of the pandemic and reports that our friends in Italy were seeing a pattern of correlation between COVID-19 severity and obesity. As the pandemic progressed, it became obvious that this was an important observation.

8. From Pelosi or Trump, Fat Shaming Is Never Cool

Implicit bias pops up with politicians start hurling insults and use someone’s size as an insult. Nancy Pelosi was the offender this time.

9. Lilly Decides to Advance Tirzepatide for Obesity

This turns out to be an important decision, because results just emerged from phase 3 and they are impressive. The funny thing about this post is that it went up in 2019. But this was the year when the most people read it. Go figure. Perhaps we were prescient.

10. Calories, Carbs, Quality, and Obesity

Is it the quality of food that matters for health and obesity? Or is it the macronutrients? Kevin Hall’s ideas on this important question once again really captured the attention of our readers.

Thank You

We’ve all had a lot on our minds this year. The world has changed in dramatic ways. And yet, 471 thousand of you found time to read what we write here. This top ten for 2020 gives us a clue to what brings you here. Thanks for coming. Please come back.

A Lady Writing, painting by Johannes Vermeer / WikiArt

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December 18, 2020

3 Responses to “The Top Ten of 2020 from ConscienHealth”

  1. December 18, 2020 at 10:59 am, Adam Gilden Tsai said:

    Ted, thank you for keeping so many people informed of important clinical and policy developments for another year! We are all grateful to you.

    • December 18, 2020 at 11:09 am, Ted said:

      Adam, I do it mainly because it helps me stay connected to good and smart people like you. Thank you!

  2. December 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm, Linda Gigliotti said:

    Thank you, Ted. I start my day with coffee and you. It gets my brain going!