Health News Review

5-Hour Energy, Red Bull and Cranergy pack in the vitamins, but they don’t enhance the power of the already caffeine-laden beverages.

Our Review Summary

This is a another very informative column in the continuing excellent “Healthy Skeptic” series in the Los Angeles Times. This column examines  health claims made about certain energy drinks.  It provided some insight about the grain of truth that could possibly be said to underlie the claims made about thes products and then provides a clear explanation as to why the asserted claim is not relevant in the context of the product making the claim.  This was a real strength of the story.  Perhaps readers will take away a more generalizable message about how they should think about product claims.

Kudos to the writer for making the informational points in an engaging fashion – and to the paper for finding time and space for such work.


Criteria

Satisfactory

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story included prices for several of the products described.

Satisfactory

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story debunked the company claims of benefit about vitamin B supplementation of energy drinks.

Satisfactory

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story provided accurate information about a potential harm of excess consumption of vitamin B-6.

Satisfactory

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

The story debunked product information propagated by the companies with information from an individual with relevant expertise.

The story included anecdotal information about the ‘research’ findings of the writer.  It couched this appropriately.

Satisfactory

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.

Satisfactory

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story utilized product claims from advertisements and comments from an individual with relevant expertise in the field.

Satisfactory

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story mentioned means, other than the featured products, for obtaining recommended levels of vitamin B-6 and B-12.

Satisfactory

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story mentioned the availability of the products discussed.

Satisfactory

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story mentioned that highlighted inclusion of B vitamins in energy drinks is a relatively new phenomena.

Satisfactory

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

There is no evidence that this article relied on a news release.

Total Score: 10 of 10 Satisfactory


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