Adding contextual information and independent expert viewpoints goes a long way.
News stories shouldn’t stir up excitement about therapies that haven’t been proven both safe and effective.
The story is strong and scores well because it discusses critical data from the study, offers comments from independent sources and provides information on limitations.
The story doesn’t convey that complexity or offer much information that readers can use to make decisions about the use of the recently-approved 23andMe test.
But do these programs have any downsides and what do they cost? Readers would have benefited from hearing those specifics, but the omissions are relatively minor considering the broad scope of the coverage.
We always want health stories to mention costs, and for this story on a new, relatively untested weight loss plan, cost seems especially important.
By combining the findings from two studies into one result, this AP story skims over important details of the two studies.
The story skimmed over risks, but did take pains to point out limitations to the research.
It’s not clear how a retinal scan would stack up compared to existing assessment methods, or how much it would cost.
This story also missed harms, evidence limitations, and a conflict of interest.