A New York Times column on Monday bemoaned the sorry state of much nutrition research, saying it’s too often poorly designed and riddled with conflicts of interest. The headline: Confused by Nutrition Research? Sloppy Science May Be to Blame Written by longtime “Personal Health” columnist Jane Brody, the piece is based on a new book, […]
A British breast cancer awareness group made news by announcing it developed a free app for Amazon’s Alexa virtual voice assistant called “Taking care of your breasts.” A description of the app, available in the U.K., states: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. The lifetime risk of a woman developing breast […]
As health care information flows from its source to the general public there are several opportunities for contamination.
Who is doing this? How? And what can be done to clean it up?
The University of California at Davis (UC Davis) has partnered with the Washington Post (WaPo) to publish an article in which a significant conflict of interest is not disclosed, and where claims of major health benefits aren’t supported by adequate evidence. The article — ‘Moringa, the next superfood‘ — was published earlier this month. It’s […]
Effective clickbait doesn’t just happen. It’s carefully crafted. Take this wildly misleading article from CNN: Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals. It’s one example — among many generated daily by various news outlets — of how a mundane observational study can be transformed into viral internet gold. […]1
We’ve written extensively about the dark side of medical crowdfunding — how donations meant to help desperate patients may perversely promote useless and dangerous interventions. We’ve also looked at the news industry’s complicity with these misguided campaigns — how the crowdfunding stories journalists latch onto often aren’t appropriately vetted and can perpetuate harmful health disparities. […]10
“Increases life expectancy,” announced Newsweek. “Helped slow an aggressive type of breast cancer,” reported Reuters. “Expected to change the standard of care,” crowed The New York Times. Judging by news reports last weekend, women with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer had reason to cheer results of a clinical trial of an immunotherapy drug called atezolizumab, which […]1
It took the Joslin Diabetes Center four paragraphs and three mentions of fathers – as in, “how a father’s exercise regimen would affect his offspring’s metabolic health” – to finally mention that its research news release was about mouse fathers. Ohio State Medical Center – home to the study’s co-author – led with this in […]
Throughout the summer, I saw tweet after tweet calling for an end to surprise medical bills, an issue that’s rising in public importance: Do you know how patients like you get hit with #surprisebills? It's the surprise insurance gap — when your plan doesn't cover care you need. In an #emergency, you need your insurance to […]1
Here’s another example in our occasional series documenting how the New York Times’ ‘Well’ section is often unwell. This time it’s a brief story claiming that “Coffee may tame the redness of rosacea.” Let’s start with the fact that this study was observational and had many limitations, which we’ll explain below. (Read our primer on observational […]
Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims