Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Serious Concerns About Multiple Vitamin D Studies

November 16, 2020 — The term of art for this is an expression of concern. It sounds very restrained, but it is quite serious. Four papers about the effects of Vitamin D in the Journal of Nutrition recently earned this dubious distinction. Add that to a paper in PLOS ONE that is getting the same sort of scrutiny. In […]

What Do We Do When Lies Are Quite Appealing?

November 15, 2020 — Perhaps you have noticed that people will believe what they want. Objective truth often seems to be a scarce commodity. Right now, arguments about misinformation and disinformation are dominating much of our political discourse. So this seems like a good time to consider that sometimes lies are quite appealing. Because we face daily decisions about […]

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 […]

Fishing for Associations, Promoting Weight Stigma

October 21, 2020 — The human impulse for bigotry is strong. Lifestyle Medicine, an open access journal, offered up a potent illustration of this yesterday. The journal published a dubious study of a weak association between a poor measure of intelligence and obesity. It’s hard to know why, but scientific merit doesn’t explain it. Nor can any excuse justify […]

Critical Thinking: Trust and Verify

October 10, 2020 — We’re having trust issues. The world is facing a pandemic, but the solutions are not obvious. Headlines are full of reasons to mistrust governments that should be leading us through this crisis. Science offers a promising beacon for some. But others are dismissive. Make no mistake about it, all over the world, people are having […]

The Long Road to Retraction in Childhood Obesity

September 23, 2020 — The scientific literature on childhood obesity is a bit dodgy in places. Lots of well-meaning people do studies to prove a point rather than discover hard truths. Obesity evokes emotion and stigma, especially for children. Because stigma is in play, scientific rigor can take second place. In scientific journals, papers about childhood obesity can appear […]

An Enduring Link: COVID-19 and Cardiometabolic Health

September 18, 2020 — More experience with COVID-19 tells us that the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiometabolic health is more than a passing thing. It starts with the risk that obesity confers for worse outcomes with COVID-19. That was the first clue. But that’s not the end of it. Because people are learning that the effects of COVID-19 can […]

Scientific Literacy: Teach Questions, Not Answers

August 29, 2020 — It seems today the mistrust of official health advice and spread of “alternative” treatments for COVID-19 are as frightening as the virus itself. How is it that so many people are ill-informed (and seemingly choose to be so) about the pandemic, despite decades of compulsory science education? Of course we are entering a post-truth era […]

Eliminating Scientific Error by Banning the Word

August 8, 2020 — Correcting errors is such a nuisance. People feel bad about it. Some people simply can’t admit errors, so it can get messy. But errors are inevitable. Thus it’s really important to correct errors when they are discovered. Especially in scientific research. Nonetheless, one journal seems to have a different solution. Nutrients – an open-access nutrition […]

True, False, and Shades of Gray

August 6, 2020 — How are we doing these days on quizzes of true and false? In public affairs, it’s become quite a challenge. In nutrition and obesity science, the challenge is nothing new. Some things are clearly true. Obesity is a highly heritable condition, for one example. Other things are clearly false. For example, to lose one pound […]