Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

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. […]

Proving an Important Point with a Lousy Study

June 24, 2020 — “In your heart, you know he’s right.” That political tagline was a loser in 1964 and it ranks as one of ten worst of all time. But it’s even worse if such thinking is applied to science. A study seems to prove an important point at a critical moment. So it’s rushed into publication. Then […]

What If the Traffic Light Doesn’t Work?

June 20, 2020 — The concept of a traffic light diet is a mainstay for clinics that treat childhood obesity. It seems to be useful for shaping healthy childhood eating behaviors. In its Evidence Analysis Library, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says it’s effective. In fact, it even says the evidence is strong for it. But if you […]

Dietary Guidelines 2020: Plenty of Heat, Less Light

June 18, 2020 — In ordinary times, yesterday’s meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee would have been big news. They were supposed to unveil their draft report. But instead, the meeting came and went with a small thud. That’s because everyone has already staked out a position and they’re digging in. Also, it’s fair to say that […]

Eat Healthier, Move More, Prevent COVID-19 Problems?

June 13, 2020 — So simple. Dariush Mozaffarian has the answer for preventing problems with COVID-19. Eat healthier and move more. That’s it. According to him, the response to COVID-19, as impressive as it’s been, has been inadequate. He wants to know why governors aren’t telling everybody to exercise more every day and “eat a little bit healthier.” It […]

Correlation, Causality, Breastfeeding, and Obesity

June 12, 2020 — The distinction between correlation and causality is basic to any serious scientist. But in PLOS Genetics yesterday, scientists toss it out the window. Yanyan Wu et al found an association between breastfeeding and obesity. Then they lept to claim cause and effect. Right up front in their title, they make the bold claim. “Exclusive breastfeeding […]

Stumbling Toward a Rumble on Dietary Guidelines

June 9, 2020 — The expectations are low, so it’s not getting much attention. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is trying to wrap up its work on a report. That report goes into a black box at FDA and USDA. Then sometime around the end of the year, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will pop out from […]

Speculating About COVID-19 and Childhood Obesity

June 8, 2020 — The headlines are pretty direct about it. “COVID-19 lockdowns make childhood obesity worse,” says a headline from the University of Buffalo. Another report tells us that school closures will drive childhood obesity rates up by 2.4 percentage points. All this sounds very precise and matter of fact. But what it really amounts to is speculation. […]

The Debate on Saturated Fat: Great or Tiresome?

June 4, 2020 — Should dietary guidelines tell the public to eat as little saturated fat as possible? This is definitely a hot debate. But we’re not so sure it’s a great one. Perhaps it’s just becoming tiresome. Regardless, what’s clear is that when top experts presented this debate at Nutrition Live Online, it was a great event. In […]

Helping People Fear Bad Food and Beverages

June 2, 2020 — Nutrition Live Online 2020 opened with NIH Director Francis Collins and the Presidential Symposium on the ethics of eating. We had expected to be wowed by Director Collins. And of course, he is impressive. However, Harvard’s Anna Grummond impressed us even more. She explained that it’s ethically OK to put warnings on food that might […]