Ounce for ounce, vitamin D may be the most covered (over-covered?) health news topic in American news media.
Look at what we’ve seen just within the past week.
A New York Times column, “The Miracle of Vitamin D: Sound Science or Hype?” Excerpts:
“Imagine a treatment that could build bones, strengthen the immune system and lower the risks of illnesses like diabetes, heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
Some research suggests that such a wonder treatment already exists. It’s vitamin D, a nutrient that the body makes from sunlight and that is also found in fish and fortified milk.
But don’t start gobbling down vitamin D supplements just yet. The excitement about their health potential is still far ahead of the science.”
The Dallas Morning News had a headline, “Heart health: Is vitamin D the new superhero?”
And the Los Angeles Times blog proposed in its headline, “Let’s put Vitamin D in the water.”
These stories have become – and believe me, we’ve seen enough to back this up – formulaic and predictable. Headlines that scream MIRACLE…SUPERHERO. Followed by some caveats.
Most of what we’ve commented on before were network TV news stories including some that committed fear-mongering and disease-mongering.
But this week’s examples all came from newspapers. Is it in the water?