Posts Tagged ‘causality’

Pre-Op Weight Loss and Mortality, Cause and Effect

May 15, 2020 — It’s fascinating how readily people agree with the truth that correlation does not prove causation. Talk is cheap. But throw a study of correlation at them and poof! Caution evaporates. People leap from correlation to causality. So it is with a new study of pre-op weight loss and mortality after bariatric surgery. In JAMA Network […]

What Do Late Bedtimes for Toddlers Tell Us About Obesity?

February 19, 2020 — A new study this week in Pediatrics for the first time shows that children with late bedtimes have a higher risk of obesity. That association is even stronger if a child has parents with obesity. It’s not totally clear what this tells us – if anything – about cause and effect. But it’s reasonably clear […]

One More Round: How Much Shall We Fear Meat?

February 4, 2020 — A red meat issue is inflammatory and political. This particular definition doesn’t have a separate entry in Merriam-Webster yet, though they are thinking about it. But on the subject of red meat, medical journals just can’t let it go. So today we have a new paper in JAMA Internal Medicine to revisit the question – […]

Can We Quit the Angst About Dietary Recommendations?

January 29, 2020 — It seems we can’t quit bickering about dietary recommendations. Especially about red meat. The squabbling continues this week as Frank Hu and colleagues fire back on the subject, publishing a new commentary in Diabetes Care. With appreciation to the Fred Hutch News Service for sharing, we offer the following perspective on where we’ve gone wrong, […]

Relentlessly Chasing Macronutrient Magic

January 25, 2020 — Some people call it the macronutrient wars. We call it a relentless pursuit of macronutrient magic. Consumers want to eat healthy, whatever that is. In the 1980s and 90s, it was low fat. In this millennium, that’s shifted to low-carb and keto approaches. But a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine offers a clue that […]

What About the Link Between Antibiotics and Childhood Obesity?

January 23, 2020 — People with a cause like to hook it up with childhood obesity. Breastfeeding is good for both mother and child. But it doesn’t magically prevent childhood obesity – no matter how many times advocates try to suggest it does. Likewise, overusing antibiotics is a huge problem – mainly because it leads to huge problems with […]

Can’t Get Enough of Those Correlations

December 24, 2019 — We see a pattern. Take a look at the list of the top attention-getting stories on the JAMA network for 2019. Because if you do, you will see that most of them are about correlations. Or associations. Or links. In other words, they’re not about experimental evidence of causality or effects. It seems that we […]

Raising Blood Pressure with Sugar

December 22, 2019 — We’ve seen people get quite red in the face when they expound on the how toxic sugar is. Or on the necessity of taxing sugar sweetened beverages. So perhaps arguments about the subject of sugar are raising blood pressure. But no, contrary to a press release from the University of Toronto, sugar itself does not […]

Sizzling Headlines About Brain Damage

November 29, 2019 — The PR team at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) hit a home run this week. They were playing in the ongoing contest to create the most misinformative but sizzling headlines about scientific research. Their winning headline was doozy: MRI reveals brain damage in obese teens. Of course, that misleading press release was only […]

Heart Disease, Stroke, and Vegetarian Diets

September 7, 2019 — Do vegetarian diets pose little more risk of strokes and a little less risk of heart disease? That’s the possibility researchers are raising in the BMJ this week. So what’s a committed vegetarian supposed to do with this information? Advice in an editorial from Mark Lawrence and Sarah McNaughton seems solid to us. Keep this […]