Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

Magical Measures from BMJ to Prevent COVID-19

April 22, 2021 — Call us quaint. But we believe medical journals should publish research grounded in facts and evidence. Not speculation. Especially in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than three million people around the world. BMJ, though, has a different approach. This week the BMJ group has a paper promoting magical […]

More Active, Less Risk for Severe COVID-19?

April 19, 2021 — Does staying active reduce the risk of severe outcomes with COVID-19? A new study suggests this possibility. In fact, the authors of this study found that being inactive was a top risk factor for landing in the hospital or dying from COVID-19. Only advanced age or an organ transplant had higher risks. This makes sense. […]

Eat More Chocolate, Lose More Fat?

April 18, 2021 — Penn State earns an award this week for Most Fanciful Research Press Release. It was all about how chocolate might help with the health effects of excess fat. Of course, it was based on a study in mice. But the press release tells us that this research is relevant for humans because the dose used […]

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 […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]

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 […]

Sensational, Misleading COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting

March 1, 2021 — This is a classic headline versus study problem. Except the problem goes beyond the headline. It starts with a preprint of a study. The study has not yet gone through peer review. It goes deep into the weeds of the immune response to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. But the Guardian doesn’t want to lose its readers […]

Killer Croissants in the PURE Study?

February 23, 2021 — SF Eater tells us that 13 bakeries in San Francisco have “killer croissants.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution tells us that croissants, along with white bread, tie us to an early death. Their source for this epidemiological wisdom is the BMJ. That treasure trove of epidemiology – the PURE study – has yielded another publication. This […]

Putting the Mess in Messaging on COVID-19 Vaccines

February 17, 2021 — Misinformation about COVID-19 spreads so fast that real information has a hard time keeping up. But what we face now is extra hard, because two other difficult subjects are in the mix – obesity and vaccines. So naturally, we’re seeing a mess in messaging about COVID-19 vaccines and obesity. As a matter of fact, the […]