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Category: Junk Food

Can The Atlantic and David H. Freedman really be serious when they publish a story under the headline "How junk food can end obesity"?

Of course...

Can The Atlantic and David H. Freedman really be serious when they publish a story under the headline "How junk food can end obesity"?

Of course not. The headline is a friendly little deception to get our attention. The problem for us is to tease out the story they are actually telling, because they have signaled that they are not going to be straight with us.

Freedman, as you might recall, was the author of a piece in the January/February issue of the Columbia Journalism Review that bemoaned the state of medical reporting. "Personal-health journalists have fallen into a trap," producing stories that "grossly mislead the public, often in ways that can lead to poor health decisions with...

The cover story on last Sunday's New York Times Magazine is the latest in a rather remarkable string of medical and psychology stories, including two covers, since the beginning of the year. I don't normally think of medical and science stories as regular fare for the Times magazine,...

The cover story on last Sunday's New York Times Magazine is the latest in a rather remarkable string of medical and psychology stories, including two covers, since the beginning of the year. I don't normally think of medical and science stories as regular fare for the Times magazine, but lately they have been. And that's not counting the columns by the food writer Mark Bittman, which often deal with science and nutrition.

Here's a quick review of recent stories:

Mar. 10: The Allergy Buster (cover).

Feb. 24: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (cover).

Feb. 10: Why...

The New York Times magazine does not have a good record lately with regard to medical stories. From its misguided profile of the man who falsely linked autism to vaccines, to its goofy claim that...

The New York Times magazine does not have a good record lately with regard to medical stories. From its misguided profile of the man who falsely linked autism to vaccines, to its goofy claim that jellyfish might hold the key to immortality, and a number of others, the Times magazine has appeared misinformed or naive. I went easy on a Times magazine story earlier this month about a boy with severe arthritis who appeared to improve on an alternative therapy, but Michelle M. Francl sharply criticized it in ...

The Science of Twinkies
Faye Flam
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This week the Gen. Petraeus scandal is being eclipsed by Twinkies. Even Paul Krugman’s New York Times column this morning lead off with the most famous of the Hostess products. I was sure someone would pick up a science angle on the endangered 20th century lunchbox staple and poster-cake for junk...

This week the Gen. Petraeus scandal is being eclipsed by Twinkies. Even Paul Krugman’s New York Times column this morning lead off with the most famous of the Hostess products. I was sure someone would pick up a science angle on the endangered 20th century lunchbox staple and poster-cake for junk food. A search revealed hundreds of stories and some amazing facts – the original Twinkie filling was banana flavored and became vanilla thanks to fruit rationing during World War II.

Most of the writing was just nostalgic waxing, but one scientifically-oriented piece showed up by Ed Grabianowski in HowStuffWork. In How Twinkies Work, you can learn that there’s only one preservative in a Twinkie, a mold-inhibitor. But the little cakes...