All The Woo That’s Fit To Print: An Open Letter To The New York Times Public Editor

Dear Public Editor, Why does the New York Times continue to allow fashion and style reporters to write stories that contain preposterous scientific and medical statements without providing any outside perspective from, say, real scientists or doctors? A recent and egregious case is “Sound Baths Move From Metaphysical to Mainstream” by Sophia Kercher  (August 15, 2015), which repeats a string of…

Click here to continue reading…

What Role Should Coca-Cola Play In Obesity Research?

The New York Times reports that Coca-Cola gives financial support to scientists and a new foundation to help promote the message that the obesity epidemic is fueled not by too many calories or too much sugar but by not enough physical activity. The Times piece is well worth a read but the issue it takes up is not new.  Last year I wrote a…

Click here to continue reading…

Fact Check: NY Times Heart Disease Series Gets It Right– Mostly

In my opinion Gina Kolata, who writes for the New York Times, is the most extravagantly talented and gifted  health and science reporter working today. Her virtues are abundantly evident in Mending Hearts, a four-part series about several major developments and controversies involving the treatment of heart disease. You should read it right away. You’ll learn a lot….

Click here to continue reading…

Is cancer “by far, the harder problem”?

Really? Does everyone seem to have cancer? Compared to heart disease is cancer “by far, the harder problem”? Half a century ago, the story goes, a person was far more likely to die from heart disease. Now cancer is on the verge of overtaking it as the No. 1 cause of death. Troubling as this…

Click here to continue reading…

Controversy Erupts Over Accuracy Of Cardiovascular Risk Calculator For Guidelines

In the face of a highly critical story in the New York Times by Gina Kolata about the new cardiovascular guidelines, authors of the guidelines and leaders of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology defended the value and integrity of the guidelines. The Times story claims that the cardiovascular risk calculator used to assess individual risk in the new guidelines is deeply flawed. “In…

Click here to continue reading…

Salt Report From IOM Sparks Much Heat, Only A Little Light

An Institute of Medicine report on salt earlier this week sparked a lot of controversy. The report concludes that there’s no evidence to support current efforts to lower salt consumption to less than 2,300 mg/day. Unfortunately, the press coverage offered little insight into the science behind the issue. On the Knight Science Journalism Tracker blog,…

Click here to continue reading…

Is Red Meat A Fish Story? Why You Should Never Believe Health Headlines

Don’t believe the the hype! That’s the cardinal rule to obey when reading health news. “Breakthroughs” and “cures” are rare, and should always be viewed with caution and skepticism. This week was a great example. Last Sunday, the New York Times, the major networks, and a host of other media outlets (including this one) reported on a paper…

Click here to continue reading…

400 Patients Sue Kentucky Hospital and 11 Cardiologists Over Unnecessary Procedures

After undergoing more than two dozen cardiac procedures over a period of twenty years at St. Joseph Hospital in London, Kentucky, a patient was told by an outside cardiologist in Lexington that a recent procedure had been performed unnecessarily on an artery that was barely blocked. “I would have not carried out this procedure,” the…

Click here to continue reading…