Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

Food as Medicine: Great Program, but Lacking a Medical Benefit

December 27, 2023 — Food as medicine programs can yield a fantastic medical benefit, say the promoters of this currently trendy concept in nutrition policy. If implemented broadly, they “would save lives and billions of dollars.” That’s the word from Tufts, where Dariush Mozaffarian is selling this concept with great enthusiasm. The whole idea behind these claims is that […]

Oops: A Retraction on UK Soft Drink Taxes

December 12, 2023 — An amicable discussion about evidence for the effectiveness of soft drink taxes can be, well, somewhat taxing. Scientists with genuine curiosity about this subject often seem harder to find than true believers. But disappointment has come for those true believers. Because some of the evidence to back their firm beliefs in soft drink taxes recently […]

Vegan Diet Cuts Risk of Heart Disease After Two Months?

December 1, 2023 — Enthusiastic promoters of vegan diets are quite happy with headlines coming out of Stanford today. The Times of London captured the aspirational promise with their headline quite well: “Vegan diet cuts risk of heart disease after two months.” The Stanford University PR department was a little more subtle. They merely said “a vegan diet improves […]

The Difference Between Measured and Imagined Life Expectancy

November 26, 2023 — As an article of faith, we like to believe that healthy habits will lead us to a longer life. So of course, it makes sense to develop healthy habits for eating, enjoy an active life, and get enough good sleep every night. But putting a number on the benefit of those habits is not so […]

“We Should Avoid Treating Published Research as Fact”

November 2, 2023 — Over the past 20 years or so, there has been growing concern that many research results published in scientific journals can’t be reproduced. Depending on the field of research, studies have found efforts to redo published studies lead to different results in between 23% and 89% of cases. To understand how different researchers might arrive […]

Loose Takes on a Study of Red Meat and Type 2 Diabetes

October 25, 2023 — It’s a popular cause. Red meat production is a problem for the climate. Add that to ethical concerns some people have about consuming meat, and the push to reduce red meat consumption makes total sense. But when people start spinning misleading narratives about observational research and using them to promote this otherwise worthy idea, they’re […]

Specks and Logs, Bias and Conflicts

October 22, 2023 — “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” It is an ancient but fair question. It comes to mind as we read mind-numbing headlines asserting that the scientific advisory committee for the 2025 dietary guidelines is “rife with” and “plagued” by conflict of […]

An Ultra-Processed Retraction – Still Processing

October 21, 2023 — “Swift and decisive” was the decision by the Editor-in-Chief of Nutrition and Health. This is how Luis-Enrique Becerra-Garcia described the response to errors in a publication on educating women with obesity about ultra-processed foods. The authors had claimed to find significant effects on weight, quality of life, pain, and metabolic syndrome. Becerra-Garcia and colleagues found […]

“Important” Findings in Child Obesity with No Significance

October 10, 2023 — “The findings have important implications for future intervention research in terms of the effectiveness of intervention components and characteristics … It is important that policy makers continue to recognise the school setting as a vehicle for tackling childhood obesity.” These conclusions from a systematic review and meta-analysis of effectiveness for school-based interventions  in child obesity […]

Early to Bed, Early to Rise … Has Links

September 25, 2023 — “Morning workouts turbocharge the benefits of exercise,” says Psychology Today. A litany of headlines like this have been crossing our screen for weeks now. They are insistent. “The early bird gets the worm – and sees better workout results,” said People magazine. “This is the best time of day to work out if you want […]