Health News Review
  • Dec 31 2009

    10 trends in health care journalism going into 2010

    The good 1. This year we were treated to some terrific series and special projects, such as: • The New York Times “Evidence Gap” series – exploring medical treatments used despite scant proof they work and examining steps toward medicine based on evidence. • The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel “Side Effects” project – An occasional series examining [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 30 2009

    Critical coverage of fast-food chains’ weight loss marketing campaigns

    If you’ve had a TV on at all in the past week, you’ve probably seen the new Taco Bell commercial with the woman claiming to have lost 54 pounds on her Taco Bell “drive-thru diet.” An ABCNews.com story did a good job taking a critical look at campaigns like this one or its forerunner – [...]

    3 Comments
  • Dec 30 2009

    Bad nurses, bad doctors and bad seeds – more 2009 faves

    Part two of journalist William Heisel’s list of the year’s top health stories. Included was one of my own favorites – Newsweek’s deconstruction of health segments on “Oprah” under the headline: Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 29 2009

    Newspaper columns that evaluate the evidence in recent studies

    Does smaller fingertip size explain why women have a finer sense of touch than men? Are men diagnosed with prostate cancer more likely than other men to die of a heart attack during the following year? Can probiotics help prevent the onset of Crohn’s disease? Maybe, according to recent studies. But Jeremy Singer-Vine’s Research Report [...]

    No Comments
  • Dec 28 2009

    Wow, what a book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    In a stunning piece of science writing and literary journalism, author Rebecca Skloot tells a powerful story of medical ethics wrapped in the very personal human story of one African-American family over the past 50 years. It’s the story of Henrietta Lacks, a name few people recognize. But you can visit laboratories around the world [...]

    No Comments
  • Dec 26 2009

    Star Tribune reports on “perverse incentives” behind year-end rush to surgery

    Interesting story on consumer behavior with high-deductible health insurance plans – and how one surgeon said, “You could not design a less intelligent system.” Excerpt: “People with insurance deductibles tend to put off medical care early in the year because they have to pay out of pocket. Some then burn through their deductibles anyway because [...]

    No Comments
  • Dec 23 2009

    Celebrity health advice, continued

    Less than 24 hours after we blogged about USA Today’s story about some of the problems with celebrities’ health advice, the Associated Press reports that 71-year old Teresa Heinz, wife of Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, “says she is being treated for breast cancer discovered through mammography and argues that younger women should continue undergoing [...]

    4 Comments
  • Dec 22 2009

    Cautions about celebrity health advice

    USA Today’s Liz Szabo reports on the good and bad that can come from celebrity health crusades. Excerpt: “Experts say most of actress Suzanne Somers’ advice in her new book, Knockout, is wrongheaded or even risky. Doctors and patient advocates say they’re concerned that the actress champions alternative therapies over those with proven value.” But [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 22 2009

    WSJ “Research Report” column is a real gem

    Every two weeks, the Wall Street Journal publishes a terrific column by Jeremy Singer-Vine. Each column gives a brief synopsis of a recent research story and then gives readers caveats about or limitations in the study itself. It’s exactly the kind of breakdown that more journalists should do every day when they cover medical research [...]

    No Comments
  • Dec 21 2009

    Popsicles, popcorn and Premarin: one journo’s favorite 2009 health stories

    William Heisel, smart guy and good journalist, posts some of his health journalism faves of the past year.

    No Comments