And then there are the health care claims that are made within the pages of Parade each week.
This week’s edition earned the ire of Erick Turner, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He reacted to a column, “11 Sneaky Hacks for Better Health,” including this:
Another section of the column:
On Twitter, Turner wrote:
— Erick Turner (@eturnermd1) May 1, 2016
There was the almost-obligatory “Grab a cup of joe” advice to “enhance your performance.”
And the piece explained that “We’re in a sleep recession – the CDC says it’s an epidemic.”
I asked Dr. Turner to tell me more about what bugged him. He wrote to me:
“Each of these ‘hacks’ cited ‘studies’ or ‘experts’. With so much new data coming out every day, you struggle to keep your head above water. A lot of this is of very high quality, but at the same time, the sea of information is contaminated with so much low-quality flotsam and jetsam. It’s especially baffling that there’s a willingness to keep funding this firehose of low-quality information. How often does society need a study touting the benefits of coffee? The consumer of information, unfamiliar with the concept of levels of evidence, arguably sees the word ‘research’ and figures it must be gospel. It seems there should be a believability score included at the front end of each article.”
Why does this matter? Because, as Parade reminds us:
Rather than feed all of those readers fluffy health news pablum, you could actually help them by biting off truly meaningful health care topics – more meaningful than “cutest kitty” videos.