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 […]


Five-star Friday – backs, brains, bedtime & more

Another of our attempts to shine a light on stories or news releases we reviewed that were highly-rated by our review team. We can’t review everything we see, but these were some we were able to assess using our 10 systematic criteria. News stories: 5-star score for the Wall Street Journal‘s “New Study Questions Use […]

1 6/11/2015

Proton beam therapy claims refuted by urologists on Twitter

On this website, we’ve tracked how proton beam therapy for cancer radiation treatment has been promoted, including in marketing efforts by medical centers that have made an expensive investment in the technology. Something posted on the website of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute sparked a mini-furor this week with a couple of urologists who […]

1 6/10/2015

A flawed news release, and the resulting coverage, of a study on breastfeeding and leukemia

Last week, we published a review of a JAMA Network news release about a study on breastfeeding and childhood leukemia risk. Our reviewers called the news release “incomplete” and “one-sided,” and said they were worried that the flawed presentation would lead to “a flurry of overblown media coverage.” The study was a meta-analysis of previous […]


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