Tag Archives: science

Hungry for weight loss: Challenges and hope in the battle against obesity #AHCJ16

Melinda Hemmelgarn

About Melinda Hemmelgarn

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., is an award-winning writer, speaker and radio host specializing in food, health and nutrition. She works to help consumers understand how daily food choices affect personal health and our global environment.

Photo: Melinda HemmelgarnCarolyn E. levers-Landis, Ph.D., and Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo: Melinda HemmelgarnCarolyn E. levers-Landis, Ph.D., and Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D.

As a registered dietitian who has studied obesity prevention and treatment for more than three decades, I was intrigued by the Health Journalism 2016 session titled: “Science: Breaking Down Obesity.”

The panel featured endocrinologist, Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D., director of obesity programs at the Cleveland Clinic, and licensed clinical psychologist, Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Abe Aboraya, health reporter with WMFE-Orlando, moderated. Continue reading

Be prepared to cover medical research claims during election season

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: FreeImages.com

Photo: Kristen Price via FreeImages.com

As the race toward the 2016 election gradually takes over more and more media coverage, Americans’ attention will be pulled toward the issues that dominate the election.

In some cases, unexpected issues will take center stage, if briefly, following a campaign trail speech or an organized debate. And sometimes, these issues will have a connection to medical research, so journalists need to be ready. Continue reading

Calorie restriction stories highlight best practices when writing about research

Judith Graham

About Judith Graham

Judith Graham (@judith_graham), is a freelance journalist based in Denver and former topic leader on aging for AHCJ. She haswritten for the New York Times, Kaiser Health News, the Washington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association, STAT News, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

Down crashed one of the great hopes of anti-aging medicine recently with the news that calorie restriction did not lift longevity in rhesus monkeys.

Core Topics
Health Reform
Aging
Oral Health
Other Topics

It was a surprising finding, as Sharon Begley of Reuters reported in an elegantly written, nicely balanced story.

In 2006, a separate study of starvation-level diets in close-but-you’re-not-quite-family primates had indicated that monkeys were less likely to get “heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases of aging” after abstaining from normal eating for 20 years.

As Begley notes:

“They also lived longer: By 2009, 80 percent of the free-eating Wisconsin monkeys had died of age-related illness, but only 50 percent of calorie-restricted monkeys had. Those findings, the scientists reported at the time, showed “that CR slows aging in a primate species.”

Also, earlier research had confirmed that lab rats, mice, yeast, fruit flies and round worms fed up to 40 percent less than normal lived 30 percent longer, and sometimes even more, Begley observes.

So, hopes were running high and negative findings from the new National Institute on Aging study were not expected.
Continue reading

Officials were a no-show for panel on government transparency, science news

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Six journalists and an empty chair gathered at the National Press Club yesterday for a discussion about whether the Obama administration has lived up to early promises of openness and transparency in science news.

empty-chair

Photo by epSos.de via Flickr

Despite multiple invitations from Curtis Brainard, science editor for the Columbia Journalism Review, the chair designated for a representative from the Obama administration remained empty. It was symbolic of the relationship reporters say they have with many public information officers in the government.

We are hoping for an archived version of the webcast but, in the meantime, this Storified collection of tweets hits the high points, with suggestions for journalists and those working in government to improve the relationship.

The panel, which included AHCJ board member Felice Freyer, was cosponsored by the National Press Club, Columbia Journalism Review, Society of Environmental Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.

Earlier: Panel of science, health journalists will discuss government transparency in webcast panel

Petit: Less variety seen in science news

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Poynter Insitute’s Mallary Jean Tenore writes about the disappearing science beat.

She talks to Natalie Angier, who writes about various science-related topics for The News York Times. Tenore writes that Angier is struggling with many of the questions that other reporters are asking, including how news organizations can continue to cover science with few resources.

Tenore also talks to Charles Petit of the Knight Science Journalism Tracker; NASW President Mariette DiChristina, editor of Scientific American; and David Perlman, the science editor at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Petit points to The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer as outlets that are “doing a good job of reporting on complicated scientific developments.”