Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

The Phantom Paradox of Obesity and Brain Function

May 27, 2021 — Two serious health concerns – obesity and loss of brain function – intersect in curious ways. Good evidence suggests that obesity in early and mid life can have a negative effect on cognition. But later in life, the story is a bit fuzzier. In fact, some researchers have suggested the opposite might be true for […]

Grasping Partial Truth About Carbs, Insulin, and Obesity

May 24, 2021 — Few subjects rouse more passion than the role of carbs in obesity. Legions of tweeters on Twitter will swarm when the subject comes up. They’re eager to prevail when anyone questions the universal effectiveness of low carb diets. A more nuanced but equally passionate (both pro and con) version of this struggle swirls around the […]

Mindfulness: Past the Peak or Just Getting Started?

May 17, 2021 — At the height of the pandemic in 2020, mindfulness had quite a moment. In some corners of the world, the peak of the pandemic may have passed. Has the peak of interest in mindfulness passed, too? If our searches on Google are any indication, this may be the case. Perhaps people are more interested in […]

ECO2021: Exposing Thin Science of Herbals for Weight

May 10, 2021 — As the European Congress on Obesity starts this morning, a pair of analyses are casting a harsh light on herbals and dietary supplements for weight loss. In fact, the science for these products is thin. The lead author of this work, Erica Bessell, explains: “Very few high-quality studies have been done on some supplements, with […]

Magical Measures from BMJ to Prevent COVID-19

April 22, 2021 — Call us quaint. But we believe medical journals should publish research grounded in facts and evidence. Not speculation. Especially in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than three million people around the world. BMJ, though, has a different approach. This week the BMJ group has a paper promoting magical […]

USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Vitamin D Screening

April 14, 2021 — To prevent health problems across the population, what should we do? Answering that question is the job of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It’s been seven years since the USPSTF looked at screening for vitamin D levels. Since vitamin D has been a hot topic in the COVID-19 pandemic, a new update in JAMA […]

Heartwarming Family Meals Prevent Obesity?

April 9, 2021 — Nostrums for overcoming obesity litter the landscape of health policy. “Obesity is preventable,” says the World Health Organization. We like the can-do spirit this reflects. Yet the how-to details are missing – or at least details with evidence to support them. Instead we have glittering generalities and beautiful metaphors. WHO recommends making healthy choices the […]

An Odd Case Shows the Need to Register a Protocol

April 7, 2021 — As Alice discovered in Wonderland, it helps to have a plan. For clinical research it’s especially important to know where one is going with research. This is precisely why medical journals require that clinical researchers register a protocol for their studies before they start. If a study lacks that, a reputable journal will not publish […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]

Vitamin D Helps with Respiratory Infections – But COVID?

March 31, 2021 — Public enthusiasm for vitamin D during the COVID pandemic has been impressive. An ardent fan base follows every twist and turn in this saga. Observational studies find lower risk in people who have higher vitamin D level. Then an RCT comes along to muddy the water by finding no benefit. Two new studies provide new […]