BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Here's a look at what you missed this morning on Good Day Alabama, Tuesday, June 2, 2015:
- 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.
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
• 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.
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!