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Category: childhood obesity

The CDC announced in late February that many Americans are still too fat. Not much eyeball-grabbing news there, but in a clever move by the CDC press office, someone turned the focus on one small blip in the data. In the 2 to 5 year old category, obesity rate appeared to fall from about 14% to about 8.5%, which...

The CDC announced in late February that many Americans are still too fat. Not much eyeball-grabbing news there, but in a clever move by the CDC press office, someone turned the focus on one small blip in the data. In the 2 to 5 year old category, obesity rate appeared to fall from about 14% to about 8.5%, which still doesn’t sound exciting until someone turned it into a relative drop and declared that obesity rates fell by 43%.

That gave CDC’s press office a tempting morsel of reporter bait to dangle.

Many news organizations bit on it, though most included the more modest absolute percentage change too. That was the case with the New York Times, story, Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade, USA Today’s...

In the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, the medical and health-policy writer Trudy Lieberman is tossing a laurel to the legacy media--remember the legacy media?--for some nice reporting on childhood obesity.

The medium in question is a kids' magazine called...

In the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, the medical and health-policy writer Trudy Lieberman is tossing a laurel to the legacy media--remember the legacy media?--for some nice reporting on childhood obesity.

The medium in question is a kids' magazine called ChopChop, which aims to "get kids in the kitchen." Here is Lieberman:

ChopChop is beautiful, engaging, empowers kids to cook and eat healthy foods, offers recipes even adult foodies will love, and aims to help reduce childhood obesity—the coming scourge of the health care system. For doing all this, ChopChop deserves a CJR laurel.

Whether or not one would call this journalism is an arguable point, but Lieberman is correct to observe that the magazine is sending a message to children and families, which does make it journalism of a sort. The magazine's...

It's been fascinating to watch journalists wrestle with the latest risk study involving bisphenol-A (BPA) the controversial ingredient in plastics that, as Jon Hamilton at NPR, notes "environmental groups have blamed for everything from ADHD to prostate disease."

And that note...

It's been fascinating to watch journalists wrestle with the latest risk study involving bisphenol-A (BPA) the controversial ingredient in plastics that, as Jon Hamilton at NPR, notes "environmental groups have blamed for everything from ADHD to prostate disease."

And that note of skepticism is not meant to suggest that BPA - which is identified by multiple studies as a notable endocrine disruptor - is without human and environmental risks.  It is meant instead to point out a different kind of risk - the challenge for science writers covering a a well-promoted study about a high-profile compound in which even the researchers acknowledge that they aren't sure what their findings actually mean.

The study (paywall) was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, under the title "An Association Between Urinary Bisphenol...