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Category: weight loss

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 article in the New England Journal of Medicine caught my eye immediately, even before I'd read any of the coverage. "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," was what it said, and I quickly clipped it and...

The article in the New England Journal of Medicine caught my eye immediately, even before I'd read any of the coverage. "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," was what it said, and I quickly clipped it and saved it. With all the recent controversy among science journalists over what does or what doesn't work regarding weight loss, this seemed like the answer to a prayer--a summary of the evidence on key points, and published in the reputable New England Journal.

Marilynn Marchione at The AP wrote it up this way:

Fact or fiction? Sex burns a...

In a 4,000-word cover story in the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of the Columbia Journalism ReviewDavid H. Freedman, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, offers us a...

In a 4,000-word cover story in the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of the Columbia Journalism ReviewDavid H. Freedman, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, offers us a comprehensive critique of what he calls "personal-health journalism"--what most of us would call medical writing. "Personal-health journalists have fallen into a trap," he writes, producing stories that "grossly mislead the public, often in ways that can lead to poor health decisions with catastrophic consequences."

The problem is not "the sloppiness of poorly trained science writers looking for sensational headlines," he writes. "Many of these articles were written by celebrated health-science journalists and published in respected magazines and newspapers; their arguments were backed up with what appears to be solid,...

New evidence that sugary soft drinks could contribute to obesity was presented at a conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. 

The AP's Marilynn Marchione wrote that new research "powerfully strengthens the case...

New evidence that sugary soft drinks could contribute to obesity was presented at a conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. 

The AP's Marilynn Marchione wrote that new research "powerfully strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic." Marchione's story nicely recaps the evidence in the new studies and adds thoughtful quotes from appropriate authorities. She took time to make the extra calls, and her lede was strong, but also cautious and appropriate. She followed that immediately by noting that sweet soft drinks interact with genes predisposing some people to obesity, according to the studies.

Kathleen Doheny at WebMD...

At the Well blog at The New York TimesGretchen Reynolds has a post on a Danish study that found that men who...

At the Well blog at The New York TimesGretchen Reynolds has a post on a Danish study that found that men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost more weight than those who exercised 60 minutes.

Before you decide not to do that Ironman, you might want to look at the considerable limitations of the study. The study lasted only 13 weeks, and although Reynolds doesn't say so, it involved only about 60 young men--about 20 each in the no-exercise, moderate-exercise, and high-exercise groups. And the men kept diaries of what they'd eaten--a way to track calories that is not entirely reliable.

Reynolds might have been more careful to note the study's small size and other limitations, but she concludes with a universal truth: the relationship between exercise and weight...