Dr. Oz’s not-so-sweet artificial sweetener recommendations

Dr. Oz writes today that artificial sweeteners are "linked to diabetes and some forms of cancers – including cancers of the colon, kidney, and esophagus." The study he links is by Gallus and colleagues (2006), who actually found that artificial sweeteners were NOT linked to any of those cancers. There was a positive association for total artificial sweetener consumption only with laryngeal cancer, but an inverse with breast and ovarian cancer. So do artificial sweeteners prevent cancer too? Read more [...]

Lazy Scholar Chrome Extension

I got tired of highlight title-> ctrl+c -> open Google Scholar -> ctrl+p -> search every time I want to check if Google Scholar has indexed the full text of a scientific abstract that interests me. So I wrote a Chrome Extension to save some clicks. You can get it at the Chrome Web Store. Note: it does a lot more than what is listed below now. To see all features, click through to the Chrome Web Store. It does this so far: Click the icon while browsing an abstract (on pubmed 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 [...]

Naturopathic distraction

This morning I saw a press release that said "Treatment by naturopathic doctors shows reduction in cardiovascular risk factors" based on a Canadian study. The skeptical bells went off in my head as I read it: this sure seems like a study designed to legitimize naturopathy by focusing on non-controversial practices. To add, 10 of 14 of the authors are from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. The full text is freely available here. As a short summary of the study, Canada Post employees Read more [...]

When gadgets go beyond the data: HAPIfork

Update, 3/1/2017: there is now a randomized controlled trial of a different brand of vibrating fork (10S Fork) showing that it does not result in a reduction in amount of food consumed or satiety. A vibrating fork called the "HAPIfork" got a lot of buzz (sorry) last week with promises to help you lose weight, enhance digestion, and improve overall feeling by letting you know when you are eating too fast and thus slowing you down. I was surprised at these claims, given that I have read 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 [...]

Member attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of AND

I've written several posts critical of the companies allowed to become partners with/sponsors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND or formerly the American Dietetics Association or ADA). Companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Hershey, etc seem like odd choices to give positive press messages or lead moderation campaigns using RD credentials to sell product, as just a couple examples. Especially when the scientific evidence supporting the link between some of their products and negative health Read more [...]

Update to @ScholarlyBot: Push Papers to Mendeley

Last month I posted about @ScholarlyBot, a bot I wrote that checks for full texts on Google Scholar through twitter. If you use Mendeley, thanks to their great example client, I was able to add the ability to push papers from links to your Mendeley library. This can make for a nice to-read list in Mendeley, or enable you add things if you don't have Mendeley installed. To do so, first you must authorize @ScholarlyBot to access your library. Follow these steps (you only need to do this once): Follow Read more [...]