An article this week in The Guardian explores changing health claims about the benefits of eating chocolate and how media and consumers alike tend to latch onto the latest hopeful-sounding study, even the least conclusive (what Marion Nestle has called “nutrifluff”).
There are good questions here about how science finds its way into the news, and even about how science finds its way into the scientific literature. Planet Money recently asked some of the same questions and followed a scientific experiment that tried to get at some of the root issues.
Prof. Julie Guthman, keynote speaker at next week’s Tufts Food Systems Symposium, has written very widely about these issues, particularly as they relate to the “obesity epidemic” and the surprisingly assailable assumptions that it rests on. You’ll be able to hear her talk in person if you’ve registered for the symposium already; if not, there will be a livestream that you can access here.