Category Archives: Uncategorized

Data Mining The Dr. Oz Show #NATMEDWEEK2016

Note: this post is part of a series that examines the fallacies of naturopathic and alternative medicine. For background, see here. The Dr. Oz Show is an archetype of pseudoscience and quackery, giving a voice to those who spread bad health advice over the years. It also has a structured website that makes it easy to grab info from. So, I wrote a quick script to scrape the details of all 910 show episodes through this week from the site, as I couldn't find them elsewhere. This database Read more [...]

A letter to my state representatives against naturopathic licensure #NATMEDWEEK2016

Note: this post is part of a series that examines the fallacies of naturopathic and alternative medicine. For background, see here. I currently live in the state of Indiana, which does not license naturopathic doctors*. However, a resolution was introduced in February to explore the potential for licensure. The lobbying efforts of state naturopaths at the time prompted me to mail letters making a case against licensure to a number of my state representatives. Below is that letter. Suggestions Read more [...]

A Week of Harm #NATMEDWEEK2016

This week (October 10-16) marks the 4th annual "US Naturopathic Medicine Week". This week was actually officially designated by the US Senate by a resolution in 2014 to recognize "the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care". That this description reflects the reality of naturopathic treatment could not be further from the truth. It is not a science-based profession. This week as time allows I'll be posting about the fallacies of naturopathic Read more [...]

What to eat according to twitter

This week Dr. Coupland joked that he eats anything he sees recommended on twitter. It occurred to me that I could look at foods talked about on twitter by collecting tweets and matching each word against the list of foods in the USDA Nutrient Database. Challenge accepted! First, I scraped each food (discarding specifics after commas) from the database, which provided 975 foods. Then, I downloaded the last 3200 tweets (or until the start of 2013) from the following groups and performed the word Read more [...]

#FNCE 2013 and 2012 tweet comparison

Last year I collected #FNCE tweets (the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo) and did some simple analyses. I did the same this year and here are some comparisons. The dataset is available here.   2013 2012 Total tweets 14,795 14,512 Unique tweeters 2,043 1,570 Stats (tweets per person) Mean 7.2 Median 1 SD 18.1 Mean 9.2 Median 2 SD 22.3 Top 10 tweeters (people on both lists underlined) TheScarletRD 236 LeanGrnBeanBlog Read more [...]

Why be on Twitter for Food & Nutrition Professionals

I wrote a blog post for the American Society for Nutrition on how Twitter can be useful to food and nutrition professionals. Because of space constraints, I had to cut down and even remove a few thoughtful quotes that I received from many health and nutrition scientists and professionals when I asked them what they liked about it. So below are the full quotes of the 9 responses I received. Also, if you are just getting started and don’t know who to follow, you might want to have a look through Read more [...]

Experimental Biology tweets #EB2013

As I've done for another conference, I collected tweets for this year's Experimental Biology conference with a Python script that I wrote and played around with them in R. I could not attend but it was great to follow along through twitter. Check out David Despain's roundup post for nutrition coverage. Here is the spreadsheet of 5,455 tweets starting on 4/18 at 4:21PM EST through 4/28 at 6:34PM EST: link. This is obviously more days than the conference, but if anyone wants to do any analysis you Read more [...]

2012: A year of nutrition according to twitter

In the past I've done a favorites list at the end of each year, but I've been enjoying using Python to download tweets, so I decided to try something new. I downloaded the last year's worth of tweets from people who in my opinion consistently link to good sources and combined them all to see what links were most popular. I used a number of people from the list that I maintain here. Obviously my focus was nutrition, but the people I chose represent a broad survey of food, nutrition, biotech, and other Read more [...]

An analysis of Prop37 (GMO) twitter activism

The election this November had an important topic on California ballots: Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. It ended up failing by just under 3% margin. While I didn't support the initiative (though I don't live in California), it was fascinating to observe both sides of the campaigns and activists on Twitter leading up to and after the election. This was an opportune time to get a glimpse at GMO activism, so I collected tweets Read more [...]

Analysis of #FNCE tweets

The annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) is a huge conference with an estimated 10,000+ in attendance, and there were many people people tweeting about it under the hashtag #FNCE. So I thought collecting the tweets & running some basic analyses might reveal some interesting things. If others want to poke around, I uploaded the dataset I collected here. Methods Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to write a script to grab Read more [...]