Tids ‘n Bits (Interesting Stuff)
Linda Riddell, VP, Strategic Initiatives, Validation Institute
Watch Your Steps: why the 10,000 daily goal is built on bad science from the Guardian. Who knew this started as an advertising campaign in Japan in the 1960s? It’s an example of flimsy things pretending to be fact.
“See Your Dentist Twice A Year” also came from an advertising campaign; this one in post-World War II for a new-fangled thing called toothpaste. Science Based Medicine has a post about it complete with the vintage Pepsodent ads; for the more serious minded here is the 2013 Cochrane Review concluding that evidence for the twice-a-year slogan is weak at best.
Worldwide study concludes that the only safe amount of alcohol is none. For a counterpoint, check out Study Causes Splash: Here’s Why You Should Stay Calm about Alcohol Risks; the bloggers take the study to task how they measured risk.
It doesn’t always come up roses . . . We want to see positive, measurable results from health and wellness programs; but if there are truly results, the best statistical tools will not always discern them. It’s perversely a good sign to have an analysis with mixed or weak impact. This and other fun facts you can learn in Coursera’s Improving Your Statistical Inference. If you’d like a less technical, more real-world course, check out the Validation Institute’s Wellness That Works.
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