Journalist Larry Husten reacted quickly today, posting, “No, Too Much Jogging Probably Won’t Kill You.” Excerpt:
Once again lazy health journalists have fallen down on the job and performed a disservice to the public. The new outrage: a multitude of media reports about a small study on the effect of jogging on mortality. Here are just a few headlines, published minutes after the study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology:
- Fast running is as deadly as sitting on couch, scientists find (The Telegraph, UK)
- New study shows casual joggers outlast ironmen over long term (Chicago Tribune)
- When Exercise Does More Harm than Good (Time)
But a careful reading of the paper shows that this small study provides nowhere near enough evidence to support these headlines.
Husten hurled this line at us deeper in the piece:
The mean age of the non-joggers in the study was 61.3 years while the mean age of all the joggers in the study ranged from the late 30s to the mid 40s. So this isn’t just comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing a young juicy apple with a shriveled old lemon.
It’s certainly out of Husten’s control, but it’s noteworthy that the huge Forbes blogging empire allowed another blogger to post just the kind of thing Husten was criticizing: “Why Jogging May Be Better For Your Health Than Running.”
Also this week, Kristina Fiore wrote on MedPage Today, “Kidney Docs Salty Over JFK Cruise Flub: Nephrologists fact-check a Super Bowl commercial.”
It was an attention-grabbing SuperBowl ad, one that I intended to follow up on, but Fiore beat me to it, and did a nice job.
Remember, we’re now trying to pay more attention to health-related public relations, advertising, and marketing messages in our blog.
And, behind the scenes, we’re well down the road in our practice dry runs, reviewing health care news releases by journals, medical centers, industry, etc. We will launch that new feature when our new site redesign is unveiled – hopefully by early April.
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