Friday gems – in case you missed them

We can’t do a Five Star Friday feature today because we didn’t have any five-star reviews to shine a light on. In fact, this week, after publishing 128 systematic criteria-driven news story reviews so far this year, we gave our first zero-star score of the year to a Washington Post diet story.  We don’t like […]

4 6/25/2015

Vyvanse – A life cycle drug? Or disease mongering?

The following is a guest blog post by Dr. Susan Molchan, one of our independent expert editorial contributors. Could an article in the scientific journal Psychopharmacology, “New onset executive function difficulties at menopause: a possible role for lisdexamfetamine,” be the first shot across the graying marketplace for another “disease” for the brand name stimulant Vyvanse? Initially […]

9 6/24/2015

MD gets direct mail about screening – says she “can’t stand this anymore” a la Howard Beale

Hanna Bloomfield, MD, MPH, is Associate Chief of Staff, Research for the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System. She usually writes scholarly articles. But when she recently got a piece of direct mail urging her to pursue cardiovascular screening she felt she didn’t need, she decided to write a commentary in the local newspaper. The Star Tribune published her piece, “Don’t be […]

3 6/23/2015

Skinny jeans & nerve damage case studies have haunted me throughout my career

31 years ago, as a young medical news reporter for CNN, I was upset because a story I’d been working on was bumped from a newscast in favor of a story about a JAMA journal article of a single case study, “Tight-jeans meralgia: hot or cold,” about a woman experiencing nerve problems attributed to wearing jeans that were […]


Calling avocado a miracle food wasn’t enough; now a cancer buster?

The following is a guest blog post by Alan Cassels. With a large run on “avocados are good for you” news stories, including one we analyzed here at HealthNewsReview, one can expect a serious avocado shortage coming soon as people rush to their grocery stores to buy up this latest ticket to Fruitopia. Just a […]

4 6/19/2015

Coverage of FDA’s trans fat decision a high-water mark for health journalism

This is the first in a mutli-post series on the FDA’s trans fat decision by Bill Heisel, a former investigative reporter at the LA Times and a longtime contributor to HealthNewsReview.org.  News reports on the decision by the FDA to phase out artificially made trans fatty acids in food products represent what I would consider […]

10 6/18/2015

Questions about Mayo Clinic deal with Minneapolis TV station

The following guest blog post was submitted by Trudy Lieberman, a veteran health care journalist who, for years, has tracked the cracks in the wall between health care news and health care advertising/sponsorship arrangements. For months now, every night on the 10 pm newscast from KARE 11, the Twin Cities NBC affiliate, thousands of viewers […]

1 6/17/2015

Everybody’s talking at me, on health on Twitter

The following is a guest blog post from one of our contributors, Sally James of Seattle, an active observer of, and participant in, health/medicine/science-related social media. She tweets as @jamesian. Maybe you’ve heard about patients discussing breast cancer or other diseases on “chats” in social media. Whether you are fluent in the language of Twitter […]

4 6/17/2015

The dad bod: doughy ideal or dangerous health risk?

Guys, concerned that you may have let your body get a little soft over the years? There’s good news: your physique now matches what some see as the ideal of masculine sex appeal — the “dad bod.” The media has scrambled to cover this phenomenon sparked by Clemson University student Mackenzie Pearson. Although the term […]

4 6/12/2015

CDC, Sandman, and finding an “honest” appraisal of e-cigarettes

News releases on studies should put the evidence they report in context. But how do you judge a release when there isn’t enough… evidence, that is? In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced youth tobacco survey results with this headline and subhead: E-cigarette use triples among middle and high school […]


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