Health and Medicine

Lime E-Scooters – Avoiding a collision course with public health? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Feb 11, 2019

Prof Janet Hoek, Assoc Prof George Thomson, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Caroline Shaw Currently introduced in four New Zealand cities, Lime electric scooters (e-scooters) have elicited varied responses. Proponents argue they will help reduce traffic density, thus bringing health and environmental benefits, while critics suggest they risk unacceptable overall harm to pedestrians, users themselves, and to taxpayers, who … Read More

Taming inaccurate health and science news: could editors help? - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 07, 2019

A recent study found most of the 10 most popular ‘health’ articles of 2018 were inaccurate. Similar but less skewed results were seen for the top 100 articles. I dislike pointing fingers. For these things, they tend to point at journalists and social media. Instead, I’d like to highlight something less talked about when discussing inaccurate health and science news: … Read More

The bacterial jungle of your car - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Feb 04, 2019

A recent article on car cleanliness described the bacteria that abound on car interior-surfaces. The results were shocking, with the headline announcing steering wheels had on average four times the amount of bacteria that public toilets did.  It inspired some to clean their cars . Nonetheless I confess I felt no surprise reading this. This is one of my … Read More

For new parents or parents-to-be facing vaccine opinions - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jan 29, 2019

For new parents or parents-to-be the wildly different opinions about vaccines must be very confusing. This one’s for you. It’s also for people who pass on vaccine messages to their parent or parent-to-be friends. (If you’re concerned about the apparent length of this article, the main body of the article is short.) Half of all parents with small children  … Read More

What does the EY Tobacco Excise Tax Evaluation Report mean for reaching the Smokefree 2025 Goal? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jan 24, 2019

Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa – ASPIRE 2025 and University of Otago This blog comments on the Ernst and Young (EY) report to the Ministry of Health, which evaluated tobacco excise tax increases as a strategy for achieving the Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal [1]. The report’s recommendations, including continuing annual tax excise increases (conditional on positive … Read More

Preempting the annual misrepresentation of NZ dental health data by anti-fluoride activists - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 23, 2019

The latest NZ school dental service data again confirms that community water fluoridation is effective. The data show benefits of up to about 30% improvement in oral health. But, anti-fluoride activists will, once again, reject this evidence and instead cherry-pick the data to support their claims. The NZ Ministry of Health (MoH) has posted the latest summary of child dental … Read More

Strongest opponents of GM think they know best but actually know the least - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jan 17, 2019

A study just out shows that the strongest opponents of GM (genetic modification) think they know the subject well, but in fact know the least. What does this means for science communication? Especially contentious topics. Doubly so where deliberate misinformation is being offered. Similarly are their lessons for politicians? In New Zealand politicians seem too timid to try correct … Read More

Fluoridation: Another study shows stopping fluoridation bad for child tooth decay - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Dec 20, 2018

  Stopping community water fluoridation in Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, caused an increase in child tooth decay In the last week, Windsor in Ontario, Canada, voted to reinstate community water fluoridation (CWF) 5 years after it was stopped because of opposition. This time the City Council was swayed by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s Oral Health 2018 Report which found the percentage … Read More