Chocolate Helps Weight Loss? Here’s How.

A good article on how bad nutritional science is made and how it gets reported by journalists as “fact”.
Think about this.

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  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    John Bohannon / io9:
    Journalist explains how his bad study got press coverage in 20 countries, demonstrates laziness in science journalism

    If a study doesn’t even list how many people took part in it, or makes a bold diet claim that’s “statistically significant” but doesn’t say how big the effect size is, you should wonder why. But for the most part, we don’t. Which is a pity, because journalists are becoming the de facto peer review system. And when we fail, the world is awash in junk science.

    There was one glint of hope in this tragicomedy. While the reporters just regurgitated our “findings,” many readers were thoughtful and skeptical. In the online comments, they posed questions that the reporters should have asked.

    “Why are calories not counted on any of the individuals?”

    Or as one prescient reader of the 4 April story in the Daily Express put it, “Every day is April Fool’s in nutrition.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Creating fake research to show gullibility of science journalism is ethically wrong — Is it OK to generate a fake news story to make a point? No — Op-ed: Journalist thinks it’s fine to fool millions in order to make a point. — It may come as a surprise to regular readers, but I like the modern era of science.

    Is it OK to generate a fake news story to make a point? No
    Op-ed: Journalist thinks it’s fine to fool millions in order to make a point.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Quinn Norton / Medium:
    Security journalist admits to hypocrisy of enabling tracking visitors, but holds hope for a better Internet through collective pushback and digital literacy

    The Hypocrisy of the Internet Journalist
    I’m selling you out as hard as I can, and I’m sorry.

    It’s been hard to make a living as a journalist in the 21st century, but it’s gotten easier over the last few years, as we’ve settled on the world’s newest and most lucrative business model: invasive surveillance. News site webpages track you on behalf of dozens of companies: ad firms, social media services, data resellers, analytics firms — we use, and are used by, them all.

    I got into it from the internet side, but for marketers who built databases of consumer information, the web was love at first sight. The introduction of the browser cookie was a transcendent moment in data collection. It was like the first time a kid at Hogwarts used their wand. You knew it was big, but how big? All you could say is “This will be bigger than I can imagine now.” — and that’s what I told people.

    I had a bright career in front of me. We no longer had to track people by demographic data; we could track everything. I could build your life up individually in the database, I could use everything you did to shape a message that could transcend merely appealing to you. I was at a small horrible company to begin with, but I started getting calls from major corporations, and interest from Madison Avenue firms. And then I snapped. I couldn’t stand what I was about to do to the world.

    The thing is: I quit, but no one else did. They continued to weave this great net, and catch everyone in it.

    Six months later I was waiting tables in Florida. I was broke, but I didn’t hate myself. Now 20 years and several careers on, I wonder if I should.


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