Posts Tagged ‘correlations’

American Heart Updates Dietary Guidance – Almost

November 16, 2021 — Dietary bias can be very slow to fade. The American Heart Association updated its dietary guidance for the first time in more than a decade. The new guidance has a lot of good things in it. There’s less emphasis on individual good and bad foods. More emphasis on healthful patterns for eating. The guidance makes […]

Does Business Travel Bring More Obesity Risk?

July 14, 2021 — We’re traveling again. For business, for pleasure, or simply for sanity. People are getting out and around because getting the vaccine means it’s safe again. Confinement brought many people some extra weight. But a new study is telling us that more business travel means more risk of obesity. How can it be that this seems […]

Heartwarming Family Meals Prevent Obesity?

April 9, 2021 — Nostrums for overcoming obesity litter the landscape of health policy. “Obesity is preventable,” says the World Health Organization. We like the can-do spirit this reflects. Yet the how-to details are missing – or at least details with evidence to support them. Instead we have glittering generalities and beautiful metaphors. WHO recommends making healthy choices the […]

Vitamin D Helps with Respiratory Infections – But COVID?

March 31, 2021 — Public enthusiasm for vitamin D during the COVID pandemic has been impressive. An ardent fan base follows every twist and turn in this saga. Observational studies find lower risk in people who have higher vitamin D level. Then an RCT comes along to muddy the water by finding no benefit. Two new studies provide new […]

Factoids and Links: Deceiving with the Truth

March 28, 2021 — Are we entering a new golden age for obscurantism? Truth seems elusive at times in public discourse. But the pursuit of it is receiving a great deal of attention. So we have social media enterprises exploring ways they can slow the spread of misinformation. In response, folks who persist in spreading it are becoming more […]

The Rise of Plant-Based Ultra-Processed Food

March 7, 2021 — The collision of dietary dogmas is fascinating to watch. Especially in the early days of it. Right now, plant-based diets and ultra-processed foods are getting a whole lot of press. Plant-based is good. Ultra-processed is bad. So naturally, we see the meteoric rise of plant-based, ultra-processed food. Writing in the New York Times, Frank Bruni […]

Vitamin D: The Leap from Correlation to Effectiveness

January 16, 2021 — In a more innocent time, Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee famous, was also the beer with sunshine vitamin D. “A priceless source of vigor,” claimed the advertising. Similarly sunny claims are bubbling up for vitamin D in this time of COVID-19. These claims are based on observed correlations. But thinking that vitamin D might […]

Obesity and Coronavirus Infection Risk? Not So Fast

November 23, 2020 — For some time, it’s been clear enough that obesity increases the risk for severe symptoms with COVID-19. CDC warns that even mere overweight status might be a source of risk. But what about the risk of infection in the first place? Some studies suggest a link. However, we would advise caution in accepting that conclusion. […]

Eugenics: The Dark Side of Flawed Ideas About Fitness

November 2, 2020 — Lately, we’ve seen two scientific journals promoting idea that people with obesity are intellectually and morally inferior. This is not OK. Smart people come in all sizes. So do honest and dishonest people. These papers might seem innocent on the surface. But they are nothing but exercises in fishing for correlations. Humans have a history […]

The Ethics of Promoting a Stereotype in a Research Journal

October 31, 2020 — Lifestyle Medicine is a new open access journal from John Wiley & Sons. The journal claims to set a high standard, with rigorous peer review. But we are not so sure about its ethical standards. Because the journal is promoting a stereotype about people with obesity. A low IQ is a risk factor for obesity, […]