Consumers Overwhelmed with Conflicting Medical Info
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Maureen Cavanaugh : News stories about health are sure-fire attention grabbers. Newspapers love to headline them, TV news programs love to promote them. They tell us that new research shows chocolate is good for us, or that coffee is bad for us, or that alcohol is good for us if we drink it sometimes and bad for us at other times. Then, like clockwork, we find out six months later that a newer study finds just the opposite.
Something very like that happened recently when new medical research from Great Britain seems to have reversed the idea that red wine could have beneficial health effects for women. Now we hear a drink a day of any kind of alcohol can increase women's risk of cancer.
Why does this keep happening and what are we to believe, especially about something as important as our health?
- Dr. Gary Firestein , chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and dean of Translational Medicine.
- Dr. John Swartzberg , director of the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program and chair of the editorial board for the "UC Berkeley Wellness Letter."