BMJ online publishes my letter criticizing their "large thighs protect" news release

My Rapid Response posting on the BMJ (although it was not so rapidly posted in about 8 hours!):

This is not a comment on the study but on BMJ's promotion of its publication, sent to journalists around the world.


It was misleading and erroneous.

The title of the news release: "Large thighs protect against heart disease and early death."

The news release did not mention the limitations of such a study and did not mention the fact that association does not equal causation.

So it is inaccurate and misleading to talk about "protection" from anything when you haven't established a causal link.

Each day for the past 3.5 years, my http://www.HealthNewsReview.org project has tried to help journalists understand how to better interpret science for their readers and viewers. Had a news story done what the BMJ did, we would have given it an unsatisfactory score.

Are your standards no higher?

You missed a chance to educate; indeed, you misled.

But, indeed, I guess that BMJ got what it wanted: early this morning I counted more than 140 stories online that loved the "thick thighs protect hearts" theme that you promoted - erroneously.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 4, 2009 3:46 PM.

Lovely LaCrosse, Wisconsin: the unwitting home of Sarah Palin's death panel myth was the previous entry in this blog.

How the new MN Senator deals with a State Fair crowd on health care reform is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Archives

Pages

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Health

Add to Technorati Favorites