Why I deleted that post…

Editor’s note: I’ve just deleted the most widely shared post on The Nag, along with its hundreds of associated reader comments. They’ve all been removed from this site out of an abundance of caution (and a wee sigh of despair) because this particular article has, sadly, been adopted as the darling of the anti-science movement – never my intention, even when I was pointing out challenging problems or asking difficult questions. As Dr. Frederick Seitz once observed:

“Once a scientist gets an answer, there are always more questions.”      .   

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My new book is out!

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“This is an important book – in fact, indispensable for women and their families whose lives have been affected by heart disease.”

Dr. Barbara Keddy, Professor Emerita, Dalhousie University, Halifax

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My new book, “A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease” (Johns Hopkins University Press, November 2017) is now available. It’s based on my award-winning blog, Heart Sisters.  You can read Chapter 1 here (via the press kit at JHUP). Ask for my book at your local bookshop (if they don’t have it yet, get them to order!) or purchase it online at:

If you do order your copy of the book online, please leave a Customer Review after you’ve read it (Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Apparently, these reviews help. . .

 

Are you guilty of making hegemonic assumptions?

Hegemony: noun \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, he-jə-ˌmō-nē\. heg·e·mon·ic adjective  Political or cultural dominance or authority over others.

For example:

“The hegemony of the popular kids over the other students means that they determine what is and is not cool.”

I lived most of my life neither knowing this word nor saying it out loud until my daughter Larissa was working on a sociology paper at university on something called “hegemonic assumptions”.   

Here’s how these assumptions might look: when white, middle-class people of privilege start thinking we understand what it’s like to live in poverty because we spend one afternoon every Christmas volunteering at an inner city soup kitchen, we’re making a whack of hegemonic assumptions.
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Selling healthy nutrition: what the experts just don’t get

Earth to Cleveland Clinic: under no circumstances is a bowl of oatmeal (even one as photogenic as this one featured on your Twitter feed) a “swap” for bacon.

The only possible swap for bacon is another piece of bacon. Turkey bacon is NOT bacon. Those dreadful soy protein veggie bacon-bits are NOT bacon. And a bowl of oatmeal is most certainly NOT bacon.  The only bacon product worth eating is real bacon. Period.   Continue reading

Self-tracking device? Got it. Tried it. Ditched it.

It took a while to improve upon the humble pedometer. This tiny wearable device, typically attached on or near one’s waist, has been tracking how many steps and how much distance we travel each day ever since its invention by Abraham-Louis Perrelet back in 1780.

But with the relatively recent explosion of wearable digital activity trackers on the market, I’m now waiting for the randomized control trial that compares Fitbit or any other similar device head to head with that simple old-fashioned pedometer. In other words:

Q:  Just because you make it digital, does it make it better? 
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Liberation wrapper lets Japanese women open wide

Freshness Burger, a national burger chain in Japan, came up with an innovative way to convince reluctant female customers to take a great big bite of the chain’s biggest burger. For Japanese women, having a small and modest mouth – “ochobo” – is regarded as attractive, and having a large, open mouth in public is regarded as “ugly” and “rude”. It’s considered good manners to cover one’s mouth when women need to open up wide. Enter the Liberation Wrapper – and it worked – boosting sales of that big burger by 213% compared to the previous month’s sales after introduction at Freshness Burger.

A grateful hat tip to Sociological Images for this unique cultural marketing example.
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