Friday, November 22, 2013

Duh Studies - This is news?

I've written before about what I call "Duh Studies" and how I feel about them.

I was first introduced to Duh Studies when I was an editor for a doctor information website. Some of them made me cry out "Seriously?! Someone gave you money to study that?" And when I thought I couldn't find a more ridiculous study, I'd come across another. 

The one that really took the cake was one that determined that the procedures used to warm up bottles to feed an infant were dangerous. Why, you ask? Because of two women. Both women had boiled water in a pot in which they were going to place the baby's bottle to warm. Both women took the pot with scalding water over to a bed and placed the pot on the mattress. Both women decided to lie down on the bed with their baby - next to the scalding water. Yes - you can see what happened next. In both cases, the pot tipped over and the scalding water burned the baby. The study's conclusion? Bottle feeding was dangerous. I kid you not.

I wish I'd thought to keep that study and the many others that had me shaking my head, but I didn't think to. But no worries because there are still many Duh Studies these days. Take these ones gleaned from today's news:

"Healthy lifestyle before conception may increase likelihood of a healthy pregnancy"
This study examined the lifestyles of 5,000 women for a few months before they got pregnant. Amazingly, those who were healthier before they conceived had a more healthy pregnancy. 

"Lowering 3 risk factors could cut obesity-related risk of heart disease by more than half"
Do we really need a study that looked at a pool of almost 2 million people to tell us that if people, particularly obese people, controlled their blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, that their risk of heart disease or stroke would be lower?  

"Heavy drinking is bad for marriage if 1 spouse drinks, but not both"
I do admit that I was a bit surprised to see that if both spouses drank heavily, divorce rates were the same as with those who don't drink, but is it really a new idea that if one spouse drinks heavily, this takes a toll on a marriage? 

Research is vital and there is good work going on around the world as researchers try to find ways to make our lives better, but other than providing work, what is the point of doing research for the point of doing it?

Seriously, we know that for the most part, healthier women will have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. So we need more on how to ensure women, particularly those in difficult circumstances, get and stay healthy. We know that high blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, especially among those who are obese. We need to find ways to help people lower these risk factors. And yes, we know that drinking is hard on a marriage. So we need to find ways to help both the drinker and his or her spouse. Otherwise, it's not news - in my opinion.