Monday, October 30, 2017

PLEASE DISREGARD THIS STUDY

Something new is happening in the parenting media now. Greater nuance. You learn of a children’s health study and then are told how to interpret the results including reasons why you should be cautious about the results. There’s more of an emphasis on the study limitations. In the past this nuance was relatively rare save the traditional caveat about a correlational study not proving cause, or maybe an expert telling why the study isn’t quite as good as readers might think.

Now in the better news sources I’m seeing a regular stream of reasons why you shouldn’t get too excited about a study. For instance, maybe the research only addressed a certain population or situation. Or surveyed a small number of subjects over a short time frame.

In the past couple months, I’ve come across studies in the news that the experts have all but told us to forget. How unusual. In these cases sources cited so many reasons the results might be unreliable, a parent could not have missed all the nuance.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Parenting News and Advice Awareness Day

Children and parents do not get enough prime, serious media coverage. Not enough front page, homepage, top-of-the-news-hour this-is-really-important-business spotlight. Not unless there’s been some major, rather groundbreaking developments (e.g., reversals in peanut allergy prevention policy) or for instance, a large international study gets published with easily translatable, media-friendly, headline-ready  results. As happened yesterday - just in time for World Obesity Day, today, October 11th - when a study of worldwide childhood obesity was published and then attracted major media attention.