Here's a look at what you missed this morning on Good Day Alabama, Tuesday, June 2, 2015:
FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS - Southern Living's Associate Editor Ashley Williams joined us with her picks for the perfect Father's Day gifts. She showed us:
- Men's Leather Belt from Birmingham company Hide & True, $60. Every belt is handcrafted by the designer Jarrod Allen who sources his hides locally
- Cucumber & Lavender Bitters from El Guapo Bitters, $24 for 7 oz. Just a few drops adds an amazing herbal flavor to your gin and tonic. Order these on Amazon.com
- Wood Six-Pack Beer Caddy from Wood Thumb, $42.95. For $10 extra you can have the side engraved with a special message to your dad. You can also have a bottle opener added on to the side. Find more at woodthumb.com
- Feather Bow Ties from Brackish, $165.00- $195.00. No two are exactly alike because every feather is hand selected. You can get them online at brackishbowties.com.
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joins us live from Brookside at 325 Cardiff Street - as part of Red Rock Tuesday. He discusses the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System and the Five Mile Creek Greenway and outdoor recreation opportunities like canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and biking. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy, and quality of life for our region. For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit redrocktrail.org.
NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. It's summertime and the reading is easy. Sit back and relax with these great summer reads that include uplifting fiction, quirky essays from a funny obit writer and an entire book on collards. Yes, collards. Susan introduced us to these books today:
The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende
Collards: A Southern Tradition from Seed to Table by Edward H. Davis and John T. Morgan
GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us to discuss companion plants. She recommends planting mint to protect your brussel sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli from the cabbage worm. After a broccoli head is cut, side shoots will grow new florets. The leaves and stems of broccoli are also edible! Make your own fertilizer ingredients with egg shells, banana peels, and even peanut shells. Egg shells can also be used to ward off slugs. Slugs are notorious beer guzzlers and over-populations of slugs can be reduced by placing saucers of beer in the garden. Chickens can also be put to work in the garden to help with weeding and bug control. For more information on these and other ideas, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden. It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at Facebook.com/JosieGladysGardens or JosieGladysGardens.blogspot.com.
BETH K - Are you continually confused and baffled by the endless and contradictory nutrition news that appears daily on talk shows and web sites? Well, you have good reason to be. In a stunning story out last week, a journalist exposed just how poor the reporting can be on nutrition news. John Bohannon – a journalist with a PhD in molecular biology – conducted a study. A real study. A flawed study. And got it published. He then wrote a typical press release hyping his study's findings. Many media outlets fell for it – hook, line and sinker. Here's one headline: "Chocolate accelerates weight loss: Research claims it lowers cholesterol and aids sleep." UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin says this study was real. Bohannon and colleagues recruited 16 people and put them on a low carb diet, a low carb diet with dark chocolate, or put them in the control group. And as it turns out, the people in the low carb/chocolate group lost more weight. But here are the problems with the study – obvious problems that Bohannon himself completely acknowledges – but journalists completely missed:
• Sixteen people -actually 15, one dropped out - are a ridiculously low number of people for a study – which greatly increases the likelihood that the results were a fluke.
• They measured a lot of outcomes - eighteen of them – including weight, cholesterol, sleep, and many other factors. When you measure lots of outcomes on small numbers of people, you are essentially stacking the odds in favor of finding something "significant". The chances for finding false positives are really high.
• They didn't track what the people in the study actually ate or how many calories they took in.
• The actual weight loss between the groups was low – but was still "statistically significant". In science speak, "significant" only means that the differences were real – not that they were large or meaningful.
• The study was published in a fee based open access journal. That means that researchers pay to have their studies published and there is not much in the way of "peer review". Bohannon and his colleagues paid 600 euros - about $655 - to get the study published.
Had journalists done just a little bit of searching, they would have discovered that Bohannon had no track record as a researcher. Few of the journalists who wrote on this study interviewed Bohannon himself about the study. None interviewed an expert not connected with the study. None discovered that the "Institute of Diet and Health" that Bohannon states he runs is just a website that has only been up for a few months. In other words, they missed easy and obvious errors that any person with a little healthy skepticism and access to Google could and should have easily found.
What's the big message here? Health and nutrition news are big sellers in the news. Even well done studies are often exaggerated and misinterpreted by journalists who don't have the training to go to the actual research article and interpret the study. They are relying on press releases from the researchers to write their stories. Researchers often exaggerate their own studies – which only adds to the poor reporting on nutrition research. What can consumers do? Develop a healthy skepticism towards what you read and hear about nutrition research. Here is one of my favorite websites for good reviews of what you're reading on the web: healthnewsreviews.org.
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us with some advice about IRAs. He addressed purchased with your IRA and says you can buy land, condos, etc in an IRA but the rule is 'NO PERSONAL USE!' Regular brokerage firms won't hold these types of assets. You must find a specialized broker for a 'Self-Directed IRA.' But he warns that you should be careful of fees. If given the opportunity should you take your money early from your IRA or wait until you are forced to at age 70 ½? Stewart says one school of thought is "don't pay any taxes until you have to!" His thought is to "estimate your tax bracket at age 70 ½ once you must take RMDs and compare that to your bracket -estimated- for this year. " If it is lower this year, take some money out. If you don't need the money, consider doing a Roth IRA conversion. For more information, visit welchgroup.com.
UAB REACTION - Janice talked with Rep. Jack Williams and Justin Craft with the UAB Athletic Assessment Task Force about their reaction to UAB reinstating the football, rifle, and bowling teams. They've both been major supporters of bringing the programs back after they were cut in the fall. Dr. Ray Watts said he cut the programs for financial reasons. But yesterday he announced that because of financial support from the community, fan, business, and city the programs will be reinstated as soon as possible. University officials must now work with the NCAA and the conference to figure out the logistics. Williams and Craft told us how they feel about it today.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama: We talk with soccer star Brandi Chastain about this weekend's world cup soccer and how she stays healthy and fit off the field! "The Spongbob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" comes out on DVD. We talk with the voices behind your favorite characters and you don't want to miss what they have to say! The doctor is in the house and takes your questions about back pain! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!
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