Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

A Silly New Horse Race: Surgery Versus Drugs for Obesity

June 17, 2024 — The annual meeting of the ASMBS wrapped up last week in San Diego after producing a steady flow of new insights and headlines. Robotic surgery, long-term outcomes, and diabetes prevention figured prominently in the news. But one of the less enlightening threads of news from the meeting was a horse-race narrative about metabolic surgery versus […]

Good, Bad, Ugly: Planetary Health and Ultra-Processed Foods

June 11, 2024 — Keeping up with virtues and vices in food just keeps getting harder. Planetary health is a virtue to pursue, but ultra-processed food is a vice, and plant-based foods are virtuous unless they are ultra-processed. Then perhaps they become virtuous vices. So confusing. A series of publications this week adds to the confusion. In the American […]

Can’t, Won’t, Don’t: Why People Stop Taking Obesity Medicines

May 30, 2024 — In a world that systematically denies people access to obesity medicines, the rush of reports that people frequently stop taking them makes us wonder. How does this qualify as news? Why do reporters repeatedly paint a misleading picture of non-compliant patients? Yet, health reporters keep offering up this narrative. The latest prompt for this is […]

Medical Spa Baloney

May 7, 2024 — We thought it would be hard to top the vacuous absurdity of juice cleanses. But it turns out that the Washington Post was up for the challenge. So the paper assigned an intrepid travel reporter and even hired a model to make the medical spa baloney of intravenous infusions for hangover therapy sound and look […]

More Avocados Equal Less Diabetes? Not Really

May 1, 2024 — If you pay attention to nutrition headlines in consumer media, avocados sound pretty amazing. “Eating more avocados could help women stave off type 2 diabetes,” says one report. “Avocado a day may keep diabetes at bay,” says another. The only problem is that neither of the studies that prompted those stories actually support the claims […]

Sex, Alcohol, and GLP-1 Clickbait

April 24, 2024 — Clickbait is a new spin on an old thing. Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll used to be the formula for drawing eyes to advertising. Now the hottest clickbait is sex, alcohol, and GLP-1 drugs. People magazine tells us this month that GLP-1 agonists “may impact the desire to drink alcohol or have sex.” Oh […]

Study Says Taxing Unhealthy Food Cuts Obesity? Nope

April 23, 2024 — “Taxing unhealthy food helps cut obesity, says global study. Mexico is leading the way in implementing taxes on unhealthy food options, successfully helping to tackle obesity and related health issues.” This is the start of a breathtaking press release from Imperial College London. But those opening lines are more fiction than fact. First, the publication […]

Who Knew? HAES Messaging Is a Conspiracy of Big Food!

April 5, 2024 — If we didn’t know better, we might think Anahad O’Connor and the Washington Post are deliciously clever satirists. They have a new contribution to the catalog of conspiracy theories. In short, O’Connor explains that the reach of HAES (Health at Every Size) messaging comes from a Big Food conspiracy. This plot involves registered dietitians aiding […]

Exercise Self-Reports Predict Less Benefit for Men Than Women?

February 29, 2024 — What could explain the observation that self-reports of exercise predict less of a benefit for men than women? In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology researchers nimbly leap to a conclusion that women get greater gains in mortality risk reduction from “equivalent doses” of physical activity. But would men exaggerate their self-reports? When […]

Kimchi for the Win in Obesity? Not Really

February 10, 2024 — The setup has been great. Kimchi lands near the top of the list of “must-eat fermented foods for a healthy gut.” On top of that, nutrition gurus advise us “food is medicine” and a fermented food diet “increases microbiome diversity and decreases inflammatory proteins.” So we should be ready to believe when a study tells […]