Here’s a good companion thought to HRT and the incredible shrinking brain. It’s from Dr. Alicia White, an employee of Bazian, the evidence-based medicine firm in Great Britain. Bazian does research for the health news on Behind the headlines, the National Health Service site I recommend as a source of health news.
If you’ve just read a health-related headline that has caused you to spit out your morning coffee (“Coffee causes cancer” usually does the trick), it’s always best to follow the Blitz slogan: “Keep Calm and Carry On”. On reading further, you’ll often find the headline has left out something important, such as, “Injecting five rats with really highly concentrated coffee solution caused some changes in cells that might lead to tumours eventually. (Study funded by The Association of Tea Marketing)”.
The most important rule to remember is: don’t automatically believe the headline. It is there to draw you into buying the paper and reading the story. Would you read an article called, “Coffee pretty unlikely to cause cancer, but you never know”? Probably not.
Dr. Alicia White, How to read health news, Behind the headlines, January 6, 2009