Anyone who has covered medical research for a while knows how fraught it can be to report on vitamin supplements and “wonder” foods with antioxidants and other substances aside from FDA-regulated drugs.
Since the FDA does not regulate these products with the same guidelines and stringency as it does pharmaceuticals and medical devices, it can be harder to find solid data about them. Further, studies on them are frequently funded by supplement companies or food organizations with a vested interest in their effectiveness or benefits. In an additional complication, there’s a mythology surrounding vitamins that promotes two main ideas: the supplements almost always are beneficial, and even if they aren’t, can’t hurt anyway. Continue reading
New paradigms are needed to address our growing understanding of the physiology of aging and how it affects the nutrient needs for older adults. That’s the conclusion of a recent report from the Institute of Medicine.
“Meeting the Dietary Needs of Older Adults” highlights key takeaways from a workshop that included a who’s-who of nutrition experts. The presentation summaries provide critical insights into the dietary and nutritional needs of the elderly. Continue reading
Every five years, the federal government comes out with a new edition of its dietary guidelines. The official nutritional recommendations help shape America’s school lunch menus, influence grocery shopping trends, and of course, generate a flurry of news coverage.
The big question for reporters – and their readers, listeners and viewers is always “what’s new?” Continue reading
Calling obesity an “epidemic” is almost a cliche in health reporting, but there is no question that obesity is linked to many serious health issues and quality of life, and obesity incidence has been increasing.
That reality has led to even more medical research into its causes, its treatment and management and the conditions obesity increases the risk of experiencing.
In a Jan. 13 webcast, obesity expert and physician Yoni Freedhoff will provide an overview of the state of obesity research and explain what reporters need to know and look for in medical research about obesity.
With Tara Haelle, AHCJ’s core topic leader on medical studies, Freedhoff will explain what we know, how to cut through hype, how to spot less evidence-based claims, and how to talk about the issue in a respectful way. Find out how to participate.
“When you pry the bacon from my cold, dead, cancerous hands …”
Some days it seems the press loves nothing more than a new agent that causes cancer. The more common or beloved that agent is, the better. And so the only way I can think to describe the way the media reported on the news that processed meats cause cancer is “gleefully.” The force of hyperbole was strong on Monday as the bytes and airwaves filled with horror at the prospect that bacon … might not actually be good for us. Continue reading