Tag Archives: chocolate

Links of interest 4/26

Chocolate lovers ‘are more depressive’, say experts (BBC News)

Absence of racial, but not gender, stereotyping in Williams syndrome children (Current Biology)

Raising a child with Williams Syndrome (NPR)

Andrew O’Hagan on Self-Helponauts: You have only one chance to be happy (London Review of Books)

Harnessing older people as a resource in the coming population crash (Salon – Be prepared to close obnoxious loud audio ad on loading)

Daily Kos interviews Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (Daily Kos)

Hospital patients most likely to carry MRSA: Long-term elder care, HIV-infected, kidney dialysis (HealthDay)

Putting bacterial antibiotic resistance into reverse (Physorg)

Dying man sells ad space on his urn (myFOXla)

Image Source: BBC News

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Health Culture Daily Dose #17

Additional stories related to health. Categories include: More articles on Health Care Reform, History of Medicine, Medical Journalism, Medical Technology, Medical News, Pharmaceuticals, Pop Culture, Social Media and the Internet, and The So-Called Obesity “Epidemic.”

HEALTH CARE REFORM

A ‘Common Sense’ American Health Reform Plan (The New York Times – Uwe Reinhardt)
After studying this nation’s perpetual “national conversation” on health reform for over three decades now, I am firmly convinced that any health reform that is the product of logical cerebral processes automatically misjudges what Americans appear to see as “simple common sense” in health care.
The Experts vs. The Public on Health Reform (Kaiser Family Foundation)
In repeated Kaiser polls, we see a divide between what experts believe and what the public believes about some of the key issues in health reform. There is a wide gulf on basic beliefs about what is behind the problems in the health care system and key elements of reform.

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Does chocolate prevent heart disease?

chocolateThe Journal of Nutrition published a study on chocolate this month that was immediately picked up by the press. The headline of choice was “Dark Chocolate Prevents Heart Disease.” Slightly more discriminating publications were willing to say “Dark Chocolate May Prevent Heart Disease.” A marginally more accurate but still flawed headline: “Dark chocolate linked to lower risk of heart disease.”

The title of the original journal article is “Regular Consumption of Dark Chocolate Is Associated with Low Serum Concentrations of C-Reactive Protein in a Healthy Italian Population.” OK. Medical journalists need to translate dense, academic prose into everyday language. But there really is a big difference between saying you can prevent heart disease by eating chocolate and saying there’s a correlation between chocolate consumption and a medical marker associated with the risk of heart disease.

The first implies a cause and effect relationship. With the second, you have no way of knowing if the correlation is a coincidence and some other factor actually explains what you’re observing. You need to look at more than one study and the right type of study. Jumping to the headline “Chocolate prevents heart disease” is simply a quick way to get attention. That’s why you need to beware of health news. Read more

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