Superfoods – Is it just correlational data ?

28 Apr

Students will probably have already come across the idea of ‘superfoods’, so this article should be easily accessible.

This Daily Mail article reports a study from a large US cohort study that suggests that eating strawberries and blueberries can stave off cognitive decline on later life. What’s of particular interest is that if the students read to the end of the Mail’s article they discover the idea that other ‘lifestyle’ variables, for example ‘exercise’, might explain the correlation between the fruit consumption and slowing of the rate of cognitive decline. Students should be able to readily recognise that people who eat more fruit might also exercise more. It seems quite bizarre that a newspaper that would publish a single article where the end of the article seems to contradict beginning of it.

This seems like a nice way to talk about correlation and causation and also a good example that just by reading all the way through newspaper articles it’s possible to spot the problems with them !

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