Popular press hypes another inconclusive study

Once again the press loves screaming headlines and doesn’t bother reading the fine print of an actual study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is all over Google News, the same story picked up by lots of places, but the headline from Headlines & Global News is typical:

Patients with Diabetes, or High Blood Sugar Levels, At Increased Risk of Dementia

but later says, buried well below the lede:

The researchers admitted that further research is still needed to establish the connection between dementia and blood sugar as they still haven’t provided an explanation how it happened.

Another version of the story in University Herald with the headline:

High Blood Sugar and Dementia Linked

then goes on to admit:

The study’s results were not conclusive enough to declare high blood sugar leads to dementia and also does not suggest an improved diet could lower one’s risk of Alzheimer’s.

Already 22 versions of the story are out there, including, as usual, a over-hyped blog entry at the New York Times (how long until Bittman chimes in, uniformed as usual).

In other words a legitimate study published in a legitimate journal that did not find statistically significant conclusions gets thrown out in the popular press as though it were actual news and actually true.

This kind of nonsense is what is helping the public be skeptical of science.

About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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