Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

A False Claim About Dishonesty and Causality

August 1, 2020 — Dishonesty is in the news a lot lately. So naturally, when a study of dishonesty, hunger, and obesity pops up, it garners our attention. The study is an interesting cognitive science experiment. Ironically though, the paper leads with a false claim about dishonesty and causality. The misleading claim is right there, in the paper’s title: […]

Sugar in Your Food, Your Blood, and Your Exercise

July 31, 2020 — Nature Metabolism scored big this week with PR for a study on blood sugar and exercise. The study looked at hyperglycemia and exercise training. With lots of attention on Twitter and in the news media, it scored in the 98th percentile for commanding public attention. But the attention it got didn’t line up very well […]

Cabbage Crowned, Lettuce Loses in Nutrition Correlation

July 25, 2020 — Is nutritional epidemiology suffering from overexposure? A study of veggies and COVID-19 mortality prompts this question. This exercise in nutrition correlation comes from a pre-print. So we can’t blame lax peer reviewers for this one. But the manuscript does make some remarkable claims: For each g/day increase in the average national consumption of some of […]

Dietary Dark Matter: What Are We Eating?

July 23, 2020 — Do you know what you’re having for lunch? You might think so. But in fact, the food that we are consuming is so complex, that we only have a vague idea of what’s in it. Through a project called FooDB, scientists have cataloged more than 70,000 biologically active chemicals that may be present in our […]

BMI Is Racist and Sexist? Yes, Just as Numbers Lie

July 22, 2020 — Oh my, we do love to hate BMI. Monday on Huffpost, Christine Byrne dispensed the latest argument against this villainous measure. BMI is racist. What’s more, she tells us it’s sexist, too. Definitely, this sounds bad, this composite index of height and weight. Is this a case of an innocent little number worming its way […]

Policy-Based Evidence for School Nutrition

July 8, 2020 — If you work with the numbers long enough, you can get the answer you want. In Health Affairs, researchers claim to have found “a 47 percent reduction in obesity prevalence” due to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Now that’s impressive evidence for the value of school nutrition! Reducing childhood obesity prevalence is indeed an impressive […]

Is Reviewer 2 the Source of All Our Woes?

July 7, 2020 — Welcome to the world of peer review. This is the vital tool for bringing you science that you can trust. Legions of earnest experts look over research papers for strengths and weaknesses and overall merit before they appears in press. But urban legend holds that there’s a villain lurking in the process – Reviewer 2. […]

Urban Legends of Obesity Prevention

June 29, 2020 — For the last four decades, obesity prevention has been quite a challenge. We’ve heard much talk about bold programs. We’ve seen more than a few victory celebrations. And yet, the prevalence of obesity keeps climbing. So recently, when Tamar Haspel wrote about “jaw-dropping” success in Huntington, WV, she caught our attention. She described a drop […]

What’s Up with Vitamin D and the Coronavirus?

June 28, 2020 — The pandemic has been tough on many businesses, but it’s been a boon to others. Dietary supplement sales, for example, are feeding quite nicely on our fears. At the top of the list is vitamin D, getting a boost from speculation that deficiencies could make a person more vulnerable to the coronavirus. However, the bottom […]

Will Opening Gyms Spread COVID-19? An RCT

June 26, 2020 — People are dying to get back to normal right now. Or at least, judging by news reports, some are certainly willing to take risks. Gyms are a particular sore spot. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been in court to prevent gyms from opening and spreading COVID-19 in her state. Other states are opening their gyms. […]