Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

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 […]

Factoids and Links: Deceiving with the Truth

March 28, 2021 — Are we entering a new golden age for obscurantism? Truth seems elusive at times in public discourse. But the pursuit of it is receiving a great deal of attention. So we have social media enterprises exploring ways they can slow the spread of misinformation. In response, folks who persist in spreading it are becoming more […]

Obesity Screening in School: Can We Please Stop Now?

March 27, 2021 — In the new issue of Childhood Obesity, Sarah Armstrong and Ted Kyle tell us the time has come to stop screening for obesity in school. The reason is simple. This screening harms children, but offers them no benefit. Telling a child or the child’s parent they are fat doesn’t help. It does nothing for their […]

Do Retractions Shake the Cult of Vitamin D?

March 9, 2021 — We are learning in so many ways that it’s hard to shake a cult. It might be a cult of personality or a cult around a theory. Right now, one that seems unshakable is the cult of vitamin D. With a frequency that seems daily, we see new studies proclaiming that vitamin D levels predict […]

The Rise of Plant-Based Ultra-Processed Food

March 7, 2021 — The collision of dietary dogmas is fascinating to watch. Especially in the early days of it. Right now, plant-based diets and ultra-processed foods are getting a whole lot of press. Plant-based is good. Ultra-processed is bad. So naturally, we see the meteoric rise of plant-based, ultra-processed food. Writing in the New York Times, Frank Bruni […]