Skip to comments.Secular Sermons & Sodawater
Posted on 04/14/2011 8:55:58 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
The news media have been reporting on the link between sodas and obesity and the curative effect taxes on the former will have on the latter. In their coverage, though, they are relying heavily on one source.
Since that source is a college professor, news media outlets may want to exercise a bit more skepticism before broadcasting his latest pronouncement. Two individuals accounted for almost two-thirds (65%) of all citations of named experts, the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) notes of media coverage of sweetened sodas and obesity. These individuals were Dr. Kelly Brownell, Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, who accounted for 40 percent of all named sources; and Dr.Thomas Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, who accounted for 25 percent.
Finishing a distant third with six percent of citations was Dr. Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina. The CMPA is based at George Mason University and headed by S. Robert Lichter, who wrote the CMPA analysis.
No other individual was cited more than twice, Lichter observes. This source concentration reflects the widespread publicity given to two scientific papers published in 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine, which developed a case for using soda taxes as a means of reducing obesity. Brownell was lead author of both; one was co-authored with Frieden, the other with Popkin and several others. Brownells Rudd Center was mentioned an additional three times; the only other institution to be mentioned more than twice was the American Heart Association, which was cited nine times.
Within the time frame of the media coverage, however, four different studies were released that tried to model the effects of soda taxes.
(Excerpt) Read more at academia.org ...