How to confuse the media and public: Butter ’em up

A few months ago the rapturous reporting of a new study on saturated fat caught my eye. Sounded too good to be true, and, well, long story short, that's exactly what it turned out to be. Here's the opening, from the USC Annenberg/California Endowment's Reporting on Health site: Time to jump on the bandwagon ofContinue reading “How to confuse the media and public: Butter ’em up”

Coffee is good for you: New England Journal of Medicine

Unbelieveably unpuritanical but factual. Here's the first sentence of the conclusion of a study of 617k participants, published in our leading medical journal, and written in (of course) the driest possible prose:  In this large, prospective U.S. cohort study, we observed a dose-dependent inverse association between coffee drinking and total mortality, after adjusting for potentialContinue reading “Coffee is good for you: New England Journal of Medicine”

How Healthy are Our Oceans?

My cover story, this week in the VCReporter. I especially liked that both a commercial fisherman and a devout sports fisherman praised government regulators for maintaining the fisheries in SoCal:  Both commercial fishermen and sport fishermen agree [that the fisheries are in decent shape]. “I think it’s doing pretty good,” said Pete DuPuy, who hasContinue reading “How Healthy are Our Oceans?”

A New Way to Judge Others: High, Medium, or Low Fitness

A stupendous graph, part of an equally impressive health/lifestyle piece in the WSJ yesterday: The pitch convinces without pushing a single product: "No pill or nutritional supplement has the power of near-daily moderate activity in lowering the number of sick days people take," says David Nieman, director of Appalachian State University's Human Performance Lab inContinue reading “A New Way to Judge Others: High, Medium, or Low Fitness”

The Upside of the Economic Downslide

Less traffic. According to the WSJ: Rush-hour congestion — defined as moving slower than free-flowing traffic — in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan markets fell 29% in 2008 versus 2007, said Rick Schuman, a vice president at Inrix, a Washington company that measures traffic patterns. It fell an additional 7% in this year's first quarter.…TheContinue reading “The Upside of the Economic Downslide”