Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

A Damned Lie: COVID-19 Impact Is Like the Flu

March 30, 2020 — This one falls into the category of a damned lie. We occasionally hear from people that COVID-19 doesn’t seem so bad if you consider that the seasonal flu kills tens of thousands of people every year. This lie also a go-to strategy for politicians who want to deny the seriousness of the problem we face. […]

Bright Red Lines: Fact, Speculation, and Misinformation

March 27, 2020 — There’s nothing like the high stakes of a pandemic to remind us of danger from blurring the bright red lines separating fact, speculation, and misinformation. This is because an emerging pandemic presents us with ambiguity. But our human nature detests ambiguity. We crave certainty. Without facts to lean upon, we speculate about what might be […]

Are Cow Farts Really Killing the Planet?

March 10, 2020 — Frank Mitloehner wants you to know that it’s not cow farts that are killing the planet. The big bovine brouhaha, he says, is a bit overblown. Really, we need to pay attention to the carbon released from carbon fuels. Of course, this line of thinking doesn’t go down well with angry vegan activists. “Let dairy […]

A Bright Red Line Between Research and Proving a Point

March 8, 2020 — We occupy an interesting dwelling place at the intersection of advocacy and science. By doing so, we have the gift of constant reminders to pay attention to a bright red line. That line marks the very important distinction between research and proving a point. Too often in obesity and nutrition, we have lost sight of […]

Exercise and Weight: It’s Complicated

February 29, 2020 — What is the first thing people do when they resolve to shed some excess weight? Often they head to the gym. Self-help articles are full of suggestions for the best way to exercise for weight loss. Unfortunately, that stuff is mostly misleading. The relationship between exercise and weight is complicated. As we’ve written before, exercise […]

Obesity Prevalence: Up, Up, and Away

February 28, 2020 — Here we go again. New data from CDC on obesity prevalence gives us more of the same bad news we’ve been getting for decades. More rising prevalence. The rate of adult obesity in the U.S. rose above 40 percent for the first time ever, reaching 42.4 percent in 2018. For severe obesity, the prevalence is […]

A Little Nudge to Treat Childhood Obesity

February 24, 2020 — Bless their hearts. Really. We know they mean well. Three health policy gurus have a new viewpoint in JAMA Pediatrics on childhood obesity treatment. They explain “how children and families make daily obesity-related decisions.” Because they’re “not rational.” So you have to “keep it simple” for them. Thus, behavioral economics can provide a wonderful little […]

Study Versus Headlines at Breakfast

February 21, 2020 — Most often, when the media mangles science, the blame goes to the health reporter. Reporters either misinterpret the research or don’t think critically about how PR is spinning the results. But this week, we have an exceptional case of a top-tier journal publishing conclusions to a study that the data simply do not support. The […]

Milk: Love It, Hate It, or Whatever?

February 20, 2020 — Just in case you’ve grown tired of fighting about meat, Walter Willett and David Ludwig would like to have a word with you about milk. With a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, they tell us we don’t need so much of it: In our opinion, the current recommendation to greatly increase consumption […]

The Nonexistent Evidence for Herbal Weight Loss

February 18, 2020 — The strongest defense of a scammer often comes from the people who fall for the scam. For inexplicable reasons, people sometimes like sweet little lies and insist that liars are dispensing truth. So it is with herbal supplements for weight loss. People desperate for help in overcoming issues with obesity latch onto these scams. They […]