Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

What’s the Harm of Hanging On to Weak Dietary Advice?

December 18, 2018 — Two recent articles have us thinking about the harm that might come from hanging on to weak dietary advice. One is all about salt. The other is about dairy fat. But underneath it all is core problem. Some of the dietary advice taken as gospel is grounded in associations and suppositions. It never goes through […]

Who Cares About GWAS? Should We?

December 16, 2018 — GWAS is an acronym that’s hard to avoid if you read much about obesity research. It’s shorthand for genome-wide association studies. And for the last several months, some of the brightest people in obesity research have been debating the merits of hammering away at GWAS that focuses on BMI. Does GWAS research miss the mark […]

More Heat Than Light: Carbs and Insulin

December 7, 2018 — We have not heard the last of an intense and seemingly bitter debate about the role carbs and insulin play in promoting obesity. At ObesityWeek, David Ludwig and Kevin Hall sparred about a new publication by Ludwig and colleagues. Letters to the editor of the BMJ are keeping that hot debate going. At the core […]

Can Primary Care Take Care of Childhood Obesity?

November 28, 2018 — It sounds pretty easy. A pediatrics professor at the University of Gothenburg says primary care can do a fine job treating childhood obesity. In a press release to promote his new publication, Staffan Mårild says: There’s an attitude that obesity is so terribly difficult to get rid of that you have to send the child to […]

Sifting Data to Find Desired Results

November 24, 2018 — “Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.” Thus wrote Karl Popper in 1934. But these lofty words don’t protect us from the hazard of confirmation bias. It really hurts when a big, expensive trial does not confirm an important […]

Longitudinal Research: Missing Teaspoons

November 23, 2018 — The curious case of the missing workplace teaspoons Once upon a time, a group of disheartened scientists found their tearoom bereft of teaspoons. Despite dispatching a research assistant to go purchase more – so sugar could be stirred and coffee dispensed – the newly purchased teaspoons disappeared within a few short months. Exasperated by the […]

Searching for Obesity Prevention Strategies That Work

November 20, 2018 — ObesityWeek brings together diverse perspectives – scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals. We heard from all of them last week. “Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes work,” a number of public health folks told us. “For their intended purpose. To reduce unhealthy beverage consumption.” That last bit provides the important fine print. Taxes on SSBs are spreading all over […]

What It Means When Scientists Say Results Are “Significant”

November 18, 2018 — Let’s face it, scientific papers aren’t exactly page turners. They are written by scientists, for scientists, and often in a language that seems to only vaguely resemble English. And perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of a scientific paper is the statistics (“stats”) section. But what do stats really mean in the real world? […]

Headlines vs Science on Obesity and Nutrition at OW2018

November 15, 2018 — It’s a recurring frustration. Science is a difficult process of stepwise efforts to uncover the truth. We never get it all at once. And then – especially when the subject is obesity and nutrition – a battle of headlines vs science emerges. Yesterday, this frustration was on vivid display in a packed lecture hall at ObesityWeek. On […]

In OW2018 Keynote, Steven Nissen Was All Heart

November 14, 2018 — On Tuesday in Nashville, Steven Nissen delivered the opening keynote lecture. From beginning to end, he told us, obesity is all about the heart. “Heart disease is how obesity kills most of our patients,” he said. “It is still the leading cause of death, and we’re going to have to tackle this.” Halting Progress Against Heart […]