Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

Sensational Headlines, Trivializing Obesity

November 16, 2022 — It’s a fact. Media needs your attention. Thus, journalistic standards live in in tension with the temptation for sensational headlines that trivialize a subject like obesity. We’ve seen it before. Yet the current crop of sensational headlines offering a twisted understanding of serious new obesity treatments is especially disappointing. Here’s an example from the supposedly […]

Retractions Can’t Travel at the Speed of Hype

October 2, 2022 — From the Annals of Sad but True: “It is not only predatory journals that publish bullshit,” said Guillaume Cabanac. He was commenting of the news last year of hundreds of retractions from special issues in journals published by Springer Nature and Elsevier. This and other recent news suggests that scientific fraud is hardly negligible. But […]

Feeding Your Microbiome Dietary Pixie Dust

September 21, 2022 — According to Anahad O’Connor in the Washington Post, your microbiome can do amazing things for you. “These vast communities of microbes are the gateway to your health and well-being – and one of the simplest and most powerful ways to shape and nurture them is through your diet.” Because research sez so. So maybe feeding […]

Diverse Thinking About the Complexity of Obesity

July 27, 2022 — It’s a lot. Writing for USA Today, Karen Weintraub has produced a deep dive into diverse thinking about the complexity of obesity. If you thought USA Today was a place for McNuggets* of superficial reporting, think again. In six parts, with more than 18,000 words, Weintraub has done quite well in painting a picture of […]

In Headlines Versus Study, Science Loses

July 18, 2022 — Every week from the Obesity and Energetics Offerings, we get sharp reminders. Headlines about nutrition and obesity science very often don’t stand up to a careful look at what the study behind the headlines actually found. This charade, though, has a serious downside. As two studies in the last week show, it perpetuates a fiction […]

Caught Between Denial and Hyperbole on Obesity

July 11, 2022 — It seems like an endless struggle. On one hand we face strident voices from some corners of public health who want to catastrophize obesity. These are the voices of moral panic. But on the other hand, we have to contend with voices who seemingly deny that obesity is a health problem. That the only problems […]

“You Should” – When Guidelines Conflict with Reality

July 10, 2022 — “You oughta wanna do better.” That sums up the feelings evoked by a disturbing number of guidelines for health and wellness. This feeling comes when the guidelines conflict jarringly with the lived reality of many or most people. When guidelines become a prompt for finger wagging, they won’t move the needle on population health in […]

Unrestrained Puffery About Time-Restricted Feeding

July 7, 2022 — “Time-restricted feeding could be key to combat obesity,” says the headline. The press release from the University of California at San Diego is a little more restrained, though. “A rhythmic small intestinal microbiome prevents obesity and type 2 diabetes,” it says. Then finally we get down to reality in the paper. There we find that […]

Spotlight on Weight Stigma in Popular Media

June 29, 2022 — Today in New York, the Media Empathy Foundation is unveiling an unusual report and, hopefully, starting a conversation. Both the report and the conversation are all about weight stigma in popular media. Because popular media has a way of shaping popular culture and right now, weight stigma is pervasive in all media channels: news, entertainment, […]

Did Adult Obesity Spike in the Pandemic? Meh

April 7, 2022 — An appealing narrative is hard to resist. When it’s grounded in facts, it can be a powerful way to inform people. But it can just as easily be a tool for misinformation. All too often, a storyline forms around an anecdote or mere speculation. Such is the case with the one about a spike in […]