Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

Forgetting to Randomize a Randomized Study

February 10, 2019 — Sometimes things are not what they seem. That’s a problem when something slips into scientific literature that’s not exactly true. We offer a prime example today. Here we have two papers where an RCT – a randomized controlled study – is not properly randomized. Apparently, the investigators, reviewers, and editors for these papers weren’t too fussy about […]

Feasting on the Mythical Magic of Breakfast

February 8, 2019 — Give us our porridge bowl of steel cut oats. It may be “key to living longer,” the BBC tells us. WebMD reports “an abundance of data” to show a link between skipping breakfast and excess weight. But there’s one teensie problem with that assertion – it simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Better Weight Outcomes from […]

The Cluster Fuss Continues with Two New Studies

February 1, 2019 — We keep hoping that editors and reviewers of obesity, nutrition, and physical activity studies will use a sharper eye when a cluster randomized trial comes to them. But two new publications tell us we can’t count on it yet. In both papers, the researchers claim to have proven the effectiveness of their programs. Yet neither […]

A Cluster Fuss in Obesity Studies

January 29, 2019 — In obesity research, we have a bit of a cluster fuss on our hands. It’s all about a type of randomized study where the randomization is between clusters. This randomization method is important because it’s very useful for obesity prevention studies. For example, you might have children in different schools or different classrooms participating in […]

When an Impact Does Not Cause an Effect

January 26, 2019 — The language of cause cause and effect is slippery. That’s what we’ve learned this week from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “The Impact of U.S. Free Trade Agreements on Calorie Availability and Obesity: A Natural Experiment in Canada” appeared last May in that journal. This week, the authors of that article explained that “impact” is […]

Cutting Sugar Clears Up Liver Disease in Children?

January 25, 2019 — JAMA grabbed some headlines this week on a popular subject – cutting sugar consumption for kids. Fatty liver disease is a serious problem and the headlines point to a simple solution. “To fight fatty liver, avoid sugary foods and drinks,” said the New York Times. How did researchers prove that? All it took was a randomized […]

Can Food Formulation and Labeling Affect Health?

January 17, 2019 — Regulations are all around when it comes to food formulation and labeling. Some of the regulations are a simple matter of science and safety. Ingredients must be safe for human consumption. But some of it is a matter of principle. People have a right to know what’s in the food they’re buying. Even with all […]

An Angry Chef and a Vocal Neuroscientist

January 16, 2019 — Diets are out and healthy eating is in. Maybe we’re imagining it, but the deluge of miracle diets typical of January is a little subdued this year. Yes, there’s some buzz about keto diets and intermittent fasting. However, we are also seeing more interest in resisting all the diet hype. Giving voice to the resistance, […]

Missing the Mark in Gestational Diabetes?

January 11, 2019 — Gestational diabetes (GDM) is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. And it can be serious. As obesity rates are growing, so too is GDM’s prevalence. But new research suggests that we’re missing the mark with the first-line strategy for preventing GDM. A new study from Pennington Biomedical found that diet and exercise prescriptions […]

25 Years of Research on Viruses Causing Obesity

January 8, 2019 — In 1982, Michael Lyons published the first finding that a virus could cause obesity. More than a quarter century later, quite a pile of evidence has accumulated. And yet, the notion of viruses causing obesity seems far from the mainstream. Why is this so? The Long Road for a Counter-Intuitive Finding It’s been more than […]