Paying Attention to Health News and Information
Sometimes we’re driven by these scary health news bits, especially when you six o-clock news delivered it with such passion and intensity that it makes you a hypochondriac. While most of these breakthrough news are important, be sure to be on your guard with these news items. It’s always best to weed out relevant and important information to those that may have been sensationalized.
One example must be the news bit I posted earlier on apple juice and asthma. If you’ve read that bit and decided to throw away your inhaler and gulp down vats of apple juice instead, then you probably have to think twice on your reception of health information. Don’t go changing your habits on the merits of one news report.
Pay attention to those little details. The use of “may” indicates probability unlike “can” which indicates ability and “will” which indicates a degree of certainty. “Some” doesn’t mean “all” and “prevent” doesn’t mean “cure.”
Go for the numbers. Now that we have the Internet handy, you can always browse through news items and check other reports on the matter. That alleged “some” may just translate to a woeful almost insignificant statistic. Something like a “doubled chance of surviing *insert disease here*” may just mean a rise of 0.001% to 0.002%.
Always check the sources. Who knows if the basis of the news is just some kid doing a science experiment in his garage. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s incredible, I’d rather put my stake on something that has been clinically tested under the most strict procedures. The kid may be right but still, medical societies would always have to test discoveries in the lab.
Another source of confusing information is infomercials. Let’s face it, there’s nothing in an infomercial that’s not there to make you but the product. They may be right but they still put it there to sell.
While this doesn’t mean that you have to blast every bit of health news you read or hear from now on, it’s a call for careful examination of facts. Just be critical. Who knows, that little news bit may just be the next medical wizardry that you’ve been waiting for to cure your ailments.
May 28, 2007 Monday at 10:44 pm