19 June 2011

Newspaper health advice

Ben Goldacre reports his analysis (with colleagues, Cooper, Lee and Sanders) of the accuracy of dietary advice in newspapers, taking a random sample of the content of newspapers published over a week. Of 111 health claims over the period, 62% were supported by evidence classified as 'insufficient', 10% were 'possible', 12% were 'probable', leaving only 15% in which the evidence was 'convincing'. There were fewer low quality claims ('insufficient' or 'possible') in broadsheets, but as Goldacre puts it, 'there wasn't much in it'.

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