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Fact or fiction? Which health studies should we believe?
The specter of so-called fake news is omnipresent these days. Headlines are scrutinized more than ever. We can never be quite sure that the facts behind them are actual facts or a distorted truth. It is a worrying trend that has plagued the world of health news for some time. Sifting through the plethora of new studies, to find reliable and useful information, can be daunting and demoralizing. Dr. Sara Gorman is a public health and mental health expert, based in New York. Her first book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, explores the psychology behind irrational health beliefs and decisions. It also includes tips for the general public on how to discriminate between valid and invalid science. Sara is also a co-founder of Critica, a community committed to making rational decisions about health and security. In this in-depth interview, recorded at TEDMED 2017, in California, Sara explains why we often have difficulty challenging long-held beliefs about our health; the tactics she uses to filter new scientific studies and how she views claims about nutrition habits that are tied to longevity claims.
Notes and quotes
Read Sara’s TEDMED profile here
Sara’s website – https://segorman.com
Critica (@critica_life): “Founded by Drs. Sara and Jack Gorman, authors of the revolutionary new title ‘Denying to the Grave’, Critica is a community committed to making rational decisions about health and security. In a culture dominated by polarizing politics, and an abundance of unchecked misinformation, Critica exists to revolutionize the role of science in making rational health decisions.”
Sara’s book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, explores the psychology behind irrational health beliefs and decisions.
“There are a number actually of psychological factors and social factors that push people into believing in things that are not true about health and medicine. And one of the biggest conflicts between how science proceeds and how we think is that science requires constant updating with new information. But … our brains are really primed to not let us change our mind.”