Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The S&P Challenge. Just do this with me for a couple of weeks.

From now until the end of August, I want you to do some amount of situps and some amount of pushups every day. It's something we do in my house, and are encouraging our corporate groups to do as well. 

Do you have to wear spandex? 

Do you have to go to the gym? 

Do you have to buy an abs blaster? 

You don't even have to grunt and sweat! Just be consistent and do your S&Ps one time per day. 

How many? 
That is totally up to you. If you can only do 10 pushups now, start with 10. I started w 25. If you can only do 20 situps now, start with that. I started with 25. 

Give it, seriously, 10 days and the pushups get easier, the situps get easier, and you start having more energy in your day. When it's comfortable for you to add a couple more, do that and let us know. 

Ain't nobody got no time for that!
Actually, that's the great thing about this challenge. It takes almost no time at all. For me, I do this right after morning coffee and requires all of 90 seconds out of my life.  NINETY SECONDS. 

That's nothing. 

Plus, you don't have to travel, and you do it right in your floor.  

To make sure you follow through, get your person to do this with you. Spouse, friend, or your kids. Make it "a thing" where they remind you to do your S&Ps and you remind them.

How long? 
Add your S&Ps each day until September 1. Come back here and write what change it has made for you. 

This is easy. It's quick. And it's effective. Grab the low hanging fitness fruit. 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Monday, August 10, 2015

On That Fake Chocolate Study

I find myself in an awkward position. 

Journalist John Bohannon wanted to show that the scientific review process can have huge holes in it. He also wanted to show that the media review of scientific (sounding) stories is often completely uncritical. 

Because of these two factors, what gets to the public can be anything from true, to benignly misleading, to flat out false.

So he designed an intentionally shoddy study that happened to show a relationship between chocolate and weight loss. 

As part of his ruse, the result was trumpeted as a legitimate outcome and many in the media presented it without checking sources, the “institute” they fabricated for this, or the conditions of the study itself.

Mission accomplished.

But why is this awkward? 

Because he did it using chocolate as the variable and weight loss as the outcome. And I wrote a book entitled Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight! This work draws from 121 references, along with scientist interviews on the impact of high cocoa chocolate, cocoa, and the catechin polyphenols found in cocoa on cellular and organ levels, in humans and experimental animals. 

In writing this work, I know how to be restrained when interpreting results. I know the difference between correlation and causation and the need to replicate research because one result does not a conclusion make.


And yet, despite this leg work to make sure the scientific Ts were crossed and Is were dotted, Bohannon’s reporting on the fake study projected an image that linked together the ideas of chocolate and diet and hoax.


For example, when he revealed that he had lied, headlines largely reported on it by linking the words chocolate and weight loss to words like fake and hoax. 


A reviewer on Amazon actually cited his intentionally fraudulent study as evidence that my entire body of work on this was a sham. “So in the end, eating chocolate IS NOT proven to help you lose weight. In fact, the opposite is the case.”


Ironically, one of the points of the Bohannon spoof was that once the idea gets out into the media, it takes on a life of its own as the most dramatic headline gets passed forward with little scrutiny. It’s promoted because the headline is one that people want to read.


This is exactly what has happened with reporting of his own study.


Bohannon’s main outcome (some media outlets provide unreliable information because they’re uncritical) shared equal billing with the much more clickable notion about the failure of the chocolate-weight loss connection. And this connection was just as uncritically delivered.


Just to be clear, substantial and broad ranging research shows that cocoa consumption benefits many factors involved in maintaining health, and a healthy weight. This aspect of the story was never mentioned.

For this reason, even his news story -- itself designed to reveal that the media often report skewed versions of the news,  -- has done just that. The main result was presented as it was because some headlines are just more likely to get more views. It has become a cartoon of itself.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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