Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

The “Body” of Research About Scary Diet Drinks

October 27, 2020 — Just in time for Halloween, JACC has published another scary study about diet drinks. The study finds an association with cardiovascular disease. It’s great fuel for the health news machine, but not so helpful for informing people about real health risks. CNN says this is part of a “growing body of research” suggesting something scary […]

When the Ring of Truth Is Merely Confirmation Bias

October 22, 2020 — In the face of uncertainty, humans often rely on the ring of truth. Facing a pandemic and big changes to daily life, reports of depression and anxiety grow. Surely this will bring a spike in suicides, people say. Equally certain is the belief that childhood obesity will rise. But sometimes, the ring of truth is […]

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 […]

Boring Critical Details in a Flashy Intermittent Fast Study

October 12, 2020 — At first glance, it’s a fascinating study. An intermittent fast, gut microbiota, and an effect on the risk for heart disease – the title of this new study in JCEM pushes all the right buttons. But a look under the surface tells a different story. The primary outcome measures for this study were BMI and […]

Noteworthy Research: Does Twitter Make It So?

September 28, 2020 — Preliminary results from a fascinating study has us wondering. How often is it that Twitter makes research noteworthy? Ricardo Ladeiras-Lopes and colleagues randomized 534 research papers in journals of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to receive promotion on Twitter or not. In this analysis, Twitter produced a 43 percent bump in citations for articles […]

The Intersection of Wellness and Conspirituality

September 27, 2020 — The coronavirus pandemic has brought many surprising developments. Who knew that face masks could become a weird type of political brand? But even odder is the intersection of wellness, conspiracy theories, and new age spirituality – or conspirituality. You thought QAnon was a alt-right thing? Well, it’s time to catch up with current events. QAnon […]

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 […]

When Dietary Dogma Meets Inconvenient Facts

September 13, 2020 — In nutrition, we encounter a fair amount of dietary dogma. But dogma is not confined to nutrition. Obesity prevention, obesity treatment, and health promotion are all teeming with it. Asking questions and paying attention to inconvenient facts can be most unwelcome. However, if the goal is better health, it’s essential. Both public and individual health […]

Do We Follow the Science? Or Something Else?

August 31, 2020 — It’s a wildly popular catchphrase in this age of COVID-19. Follow the science. The video on the right is packed with cautionary tales by Rohin Francis. In short, he explains that when policy makers say they’re following the science, it’s often a fiction. Mangling the science might be a more apt description. Mangling the Science […]

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 […]