Discovery Thursday: HealthNews Reviews

I found another gold nugget today by searching the ResourceShelf archives:

HealthNews Reviews reviews news stories that make a therapeutic claim about:
• Specific treatments
• Procedures
• Investigational drugs or devices
• Vitamins or nutritional supplements
• Diagnostic and screening tests
A multi-disciplinary team of reviewers from journalism, medicine, health services research and public health assesses the quality of the stories using a standardized rating system. Stories are graded and critiques are published on this website.
This website is modeled, in large part, upon the pioneering effort begun by an Australian team that launched the Media Doctor Australia website in 2004. We are grateful to David Henry and the Media Doctor team for sharing their ideas and perspectives with us. The Australian effort has also been the inspiration for a Media Doctor Canada site, whose publisher, Alan Cassels, has been very helpful in guiding us.
You can either begin browsing and reading the site from the home page or search for  reviews by rating, keyword, news organization or date.

Perhaps you recently read or heard about this Wall Street Journal article on the fat versus carb debate and wondered if it was reporting the research accurately, completely and with balance. Here's an excerpt from the HealthNewsReviews' evalution of the article:
Does the Story
[Criterion #4]Evaluate the quality of evidence? - SATISFACTORY
This article receives high marks for accurate presentation of medical evidence.   This article devoted enough space to adequately cover the study methodology, e.g. the study setting, participant characteristics, calories and composition of each of the three diets, etc., which is not always provided in the such stories.  This article did a thorough job in presenting detailed results of the three diets for several outcomes in addition to weight loss: blood lipid profiles (LDL "bad cholesterol", HDL "good cholesterol", triglycerides), blood sugar levels, and adherence to the diets.
[Criterion #9]Use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest? - SATISFACTORY
This study accurately summarized the results of the New England Journal of Medicine article on weight loss with three popular diets.  This article provided a good balance of commentary by independent experts representing alternative opinions and interpretation of the results.

You can read this complete review here.

Because HealthNews Reviews monitors only major US media news stories, if you live and/or practice in Australia or Canada, you probably also will want to check out Media Doctor Australia and Media Doctor Canada.

Addendum (09 August): Sophie, who writes the healthy, sustainable, tasty and lovely-to-look-at Mostly Eating has provided this useful link for UK readers: Behind the Headlines.

Thank you, Sophie.