This story reports on the publication of a study in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association comparing honey to cough syrup or no treatment for upper respiratory infections in children ages 2 to 18. The study found a modest benefit to honey over no treatment and no difference between honey and cough medicine. The study is timely because of recent news about the potential harms of over-the-counter cough and cold preparations for younger children. It is also "cold and flu season", and many parents are no doubt grappling with ways to provide symptom relief. The story does a fine job of outlining the study, main findings, potential mechanism, and potential harms. A bit more detail about how the study quantified the main findings (cough reduction) would be helpful to readers. By how much did the children cough less or sleep better? Did treatment result in a shorter duration of symptoms?
Other than to describe honey as "cheap" the story does not discuss costs. However, because honey is a food product, prices are dependent on the store and source.
The story does not quantify the benefits of honey. By how much did the children cough less and sleep better? Did this result in a shorter duration of symptoms?
The story explains that honey may cause an allergic reaction and that, rarely, it contains bacteria.
The story adequately describes the design of the current study.
The story does not exaggerate the prevalence of common colds.
The story does quote an independent expert in addition to the lead author of the study.
The story mentions cough medicine as the alternative.
Clearly honey and over-the-counter cough medicine are available.
The story mentions that using honey as a treatment is not a new idea.
There is no way to know if the story relied on a press release as the sole source of information.