Tag Archives: The Guardian

No, the internet doesn’t make you depressed. But this story might.

Contrary to yesterday’s front pages, the Internet doesn’t cause depression. However, half-baked, scaremongering research, uncritically disseminated all over the newspapers, does rather get me down. How is it half-baked? Let me count the ways. The Leeds University researchers didn’t interview a randomly chosen, representative sample of the population. ‘Internet addiction’ isn’t a  recognised medical condition. And the […]

Proper science shows when things don’t work.

It’s a pleasure to write about well-designed, properly performed scientific studies. Unfortunately, they’re often the very ones that get ignored in the wider media. That might be because they tend to make disappointing headlines. Take this study in JAMA, about Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is one of those herbs that everyone swears by, that everyone ‘knows’ […]

Humbug to Christmas health news

Two less than cheery stories to take us up to Christmas this week. Firstly, organ transplants and skin cancer. One of the unintended effects of improvements in treating once-fatal conditions, is that patients live long enough to get something else. In this case, the longer lives that people can now expect after heart transplant mean […]

Flowers, CT scans and weighing up risks

This week, I tackled the big questions for the Guardian’s online health news. Should flowers be banned from hospital wards? OK, so it’s almost Christmas and all the health stories are a little on the flaky side. But I liked this study from the BMJ, which touched on the issue of what’s more important – […]

Bottling it up and getting it checked out

What’s behind those headlines? Every week I write news in focus pieces about health research, published online by The Guardian. This week I wrote about warning signs of retinal detachment and the dangers of bottling up anger at work (both for The Guardian’s website). A GP friend told me off for the retinal detachment story; he says […]