Understanding science

Learn more about how to improve your understanding of science, including interpreting research, and the science (and pseudoscience) behind it.

Understanding science

Studying Studies: Part I – relative risk vs. absolute risk

Reporting relative risk values alone can be inappropriate and misleading for the individual and the public.

Understanding science

Welcome to the jungle

We’re going deep: in-depth articles, interviews, and videos covering cancer, heart disease, dementia, fasting, sleep, stress, and more.

Understanding science

Success versus Failure: A stark juxtaposition

What does winning, and losing, look like when confronting public health issues?


How did we come to believe saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for us?

There aren’t too many topics that really get me riled up anymore.  I’m too old and too busy to care about debating the merits of stem cell research, the legalization of marijuana, or Proposition 8.  Sure, I have strong opinions on all of these topics and more, but they are just that – opinions.  Furthermore,…

Understanding science

Good science, bad interpretation

In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study entitled Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance. While I’m guessing most readers have not read this study, I’m pretty sure most of you have heard about the results as it was all over the news this week. I was fortunate…

Understanding science

If low carb eating is so effective, why are people still overweight?

I find myself getting asked this question, or some variant of this question, with increasing frequency as I speak and write about the Alternative Hypothesis I find most compelling surrounding obesity and chronic disease.  One implication of the Alternative Hypothesis, as you probably understand by now if you’ve been reading this blog, is that many…

Understanding science

Irisin: The magic exercise hormone?

On January 11, 2012, an article was published in the NY Times Health blog section titled, “Exercise hormone may fight obesity and diabetes.”  The article reports on a recently published study in the journal Nature, the abstract of which can be found here.

Understanding science

Narrative glossary

A list of terms, with explanation, and sometimes a little color.

Understanding science

Revisit the causality of obesity

I’ve written about obesity (i.e., unregulated horizontal growth) being caused by excess insulin, which in turn leads to overeating and under-moving.  This is contrasted with the reverse – overeating causing obesity.  Let’s double-click on this idea using one of the most important laws governing our universe – the First Law of Thermodynamics.

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