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Read Original Story

Study finds green tea helpful against strokes, not cancer

Rating

4 Star

Study finds green tea helpful against strokes, not cancer

Our Review Summary

This story reports on the results of a large, population-based study in Japan looking at green tea consumption and overall mortality, heart disease mortality and cancer mortality. The study found that those who drank five or more cups of green tea daily had a significantly lower risk of dying of heart disease, but not of dying from cancer.

The story does a good job of describing the latest study as well as other studies that have shown conflicting results. The story also provides needed balance by quoting multiple independent experts.

The major flaw of the story is in the quantification of benefits. The story quantifies the benefits in relative terms only. The story should have provided more context for these numbers. For example, the story does not explain that, in spite of the large number of participants in the study, the actual number of deaths was very small. The rate of heart disease mortality was only between 2 and 3% (depending on gender) among non-tea drinkers. Reducing this rate by 20 to 30% by drinking 5 or more cups of green tea daily is a better way to look at the same numbers.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Applicable

The story does not mention the costs of the tea, but we can assume that most people are aware of the range of costs of such products at the grocery store.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story provides quantification of benefits in relative terms only. So when the story says “31% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease,” it doesn’t explain “31% of what?” Absolute terms should be given. The story should have provided more context for these numbers. For example, the story does not explain that, in spite of the large number of participants in the study, the actual number of deaths was very small. The death rate among the participants was between 1 and 3% (depending on the subgroup) over the study period.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story does state that tea is generally harmless and has no calories.

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

Satisfactory

The story provides an adequate description of the Japanese study as well as the results of other studies that have had conflicting results.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not engage in disease mongering.

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

Satisfactory

The story quotes multiple indpendent experts.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention alternatives such as diet and exercise. This would have made the story much stronger.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

Green tea is clearly not new.

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

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes several independent experts, the reader can assume the story did not rely on a press release as the sole source of information

Total Score: 7 of 9 Satisfactory

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