People aren’t dumb. Even if — or maybe especially if — news stories don’t point out the limitations of observational studies and the fact that they can’t establish cause-and-effect, many readers seem to get it.
Here are some of the online user comments in response to a CNN.com story that is headlined, “Coffee may cut risk for some cancers“:
* “I love how an article starts with something positive and then slowly becomes a little gloomy. So is it good or not? I’m still where I was with coffee, it’s all in moderation, it ain’t gonna solve your health woes.”
* “The statistics book in a class I’m taking uses coffee as an example of statistics run amuck. It seems coffee has caused all the cancers and cures them at the same time.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
Last November, the National Football League devoted the entire month to breast cancer awareness. Players like Reggie Bush wore pink gloves, armbands, even shoes, to promote efforts to fight the disease.
There were some heartwarming moments. Players brought their mothers, grandmothers, and other women who’d battled breast cancer to the games, all of them wearing attractive pink game-day jerseys. Announcers told their own stories of “courageous” battles against the disease waged by friends and family members.
It’s powerful and inspiring, these overpaid hulks of manhood showing they’re secure enough in their masculinity to don feminine-ish garb to support their sisters and mothers.
But try to imagine the NFL — or any sports league — launching a similar campaign to fight HIV and AIDS. Which player would trot out a brother, sister, or father who’s HIV positive? Which television announcer would proudly point to the afflicted and speak of their “inspirational” battle with HIV?
In an NPR interview last week, Theresa Skipper talked about why she concealed her HIV diagnosis for 19 years: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Daily Monthly*
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