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Olive Oil Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk


5 Star



Olive Oil Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk

Our Review Summary

An added nice touch was the discussion of the possible etiology of the olive oil effect (e.g., inflammation).

Overall, a solid summary.


Why This Matters

When an observational study points to a statistical association between one factor and one outcome, it is important to explain why that doesn’t necessarily mean that one factor caused that one outcome.  This story did a better job of that than its LA Times competition.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Applicable

Not applicable.  The cost of olive oil is not in question.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story only cited a 41% lower risk of stroke but didn’t give the actual numbers of how many versus how many in the different groups. That may give an inflated sense of benefit or risk reduction.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


Unlike the LA Times piece, WebMD rurns to an editorial writer and two other independent experts to evaluate the evidence. It mentioned that this was an observational study but didn’t explicitly define that or why that’s a potential limitation.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


No disease-mongering of stroke in the story.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?


Great sourcing – with 3 independent voices besides the study authors.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


The story ends, appropriately, with this: “Keeping blood pressure controlled, not smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet that is low in salt and rich in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce stroke risk.”

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Applicable

Not applicable.  The availability of olive oil is not in question.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The relative novelty of the study’s focus was clear in the story.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


It’s clear that the story did not rely on a news release.

Total Score: 6 of 7 Satisfactory


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