GCSEs: Welsh minister orders English language grade review

The Welsh government is launching a review into performance in English language in this year’s GCSEs.

Education Minister Leighton Andrews wants to know why results fell.

GCSE top grades across the board in Wales, England and Northern Ireland have dropped this year for the first time since replacing O-levels and CSEs.

Mr Andrews has accused UK Education Secretary Michael Gove of pressurising exam boards to mark more harshly, which Mr Gove strenuously denies.

David Reynolds, a professor of education at Southampton University and a senior adviser to the Welsh government, said it was “slightly weird” that passes at GCSE and A-level had both declined overall and at their A and A* grades at the same time.

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We will be evaluating all the available evidence about what has happened, and why”

Welsh government

He said: “It’s difficult to avoid the assumption that there’s an orchestrated campaign going on somewhere, and the issue is where is that being orchestrated from.

“Is it public opinion, is it the right-wing press or a Tory minister of education? We don’t know, but there’s clearly something going on.

“The rumours are that the results for those who sat English language early, in January, were very good.

“What happened is that things were toughened up later. We genuinely don’t know.”

‘Serious questions’

Anna Brychan, director of the National Association of Headteachers in Wales, said it was not fair that pupils who had worked as hard as those in previous years may be disadvantaged by the inevitable politics within education.

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Results in English have reduced to an extent that nobody could explain, unless there were technical and different reasons behind it”

Anna Brychan National Association of Headteachers in Wales

The drop in exam passes was a “strangely happy political coincidence” with Mr Gove’s aims of reducing grade inflation, she said.

She added: “Results in English have reduced to an extent that nobody could explain, unless there were technical and different reasons behind it.

“Schools said that that cohort of pupils who had taken the exams were not significantly different from those in the past who had done rather better.”

A Welsh government spokesperson said the exam results released on Thursday “raised a number of serious questions about performance in English language GCSEs”.

“We will be evaluating all the available evidence about what has happened, and why.

“This review will obviously include a thorough investigation into the issues of moderation and grade boundary changes.”

A Department for Education spokesman said it was “down to the Welsh and Northern Irish administrations to decide how to run their education systems – and down to us to do what is best for English students”.

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The Clarke Weekender August 24, 2012 – Sports, Jazz, and Politics

The school year has started in Clarke County which means much of the county is ready for the welcome relief of the weekend.

Weather forecasters are calling for a chance of showers throughout the weekend, so keep those umbrellas handy. Fortunately, it looks like we are in good shape this evening for the season opener and first home game for the Clarke County High School varsity football.

Relax and leave the week’s worries behind for a couple of days and get out with neighbors and friends and enjoy some of the fun activities Clarke County has to offer.

Friday August 24

“Music in the Rose Hill Park presents Dixie Rhythms – Dixieland Jazz” Music starts at 6:30 and runs through 8:00 PM.

Clarke County Varsity Football opens up the season against Berkeley Springs at Wilbur Feltner Field. Kickoff at 7:30pm. Come out and support the Clarke County Eagles and don’t miss the Screaming Eagles Marching Band’s new half time show.

Saturday August 25 

Start your Saturday at the Clarke County Farmers Market. Find fresh produce and great locally made products while you catch up with friends. Located in the municipal parking lot on South Church Street in downtown Berryville. Open 8:00 AM through 12 noon.

Later in the morning swing by the Fire House Gallery at 23 East Main, Berryville for the “Art of Making Art — Acrylic Painting Demonstration with Josie Tilton”  The event runs from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more information call 540-955-4001.

Join the Clarke County Republican Committee for their 2012 Campaign Season Kick-Off at Veramar Vineyards in Clarke County as they welcome George Allen and Mark Obenshain. Governor Allen will talk about his 2012 campaign and Senator Obenshain will talk about the Property Rights Amendment referendum on the ballot. There will also be a number of other Republican politicians attending. Events begins at 6:00 PM and runs through 9:00 PM at Veramar Vineyards, 905 Quarry Road, Berryville, VA 22611. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Click here to register online.

Also Saturday evening, “COOL JAZZ FOR A HOT NIGHT” at 7:00 – 10:00 PM at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, featuring the Greg Lamont Jazz Trio from Washington, DC. Heavy appetizers, a complimentary “jazzy drink”, cash bar, dancing and a live auction. Admission is $75. All proceeds benefit the Josephine School Community Museum/ African – American Cultural Center. Call Barns of Rose Hill at 540-955-2004 for more information.

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Teaching economic well-being

Economic well-being has been part of the primary curriculum since Every Child Matters was introduced in 2003.

However, despite the fact that this innovation was introduced nearly a decade ago there is still little in the way of material that directly relates to helping primary school pupils develop a deeper understanding of how companies work and how consumers can influence the companies with whom they interact.

It is for this reason that the simulation approach has been developed as part of teaching economic well-being. It has become, in fact, the basic way of helping children understand how companies work.

This approach is activity centred in which the pupils form companies to manufacture and sell products, and it is an approach that is explored in full in Mind Your Own Business. This is a copiable resource (available as a photocopiable book and on CD) which contains a wide range of stand-alone sessions, support work and follow-up activities, and a whole range of further steps linked to curriculum subjects.

Throughout these activities children make a positive contribution to their team and develop an understanding of how their decisions, wishes and thoughts, relate to companies.

As a result the sessions simulate the achievement of economic wellbeing which can easily be adapted to create products for sale at school or in fairs, in order to apply the system to real life situations.

Following Mind Your own Business pupils create a brand, make products and sell products – and through this develop a much deeper economic awareness than would otherwise be the case.

There are extracts from this resource, ISBN 978 1 86083 825 5, order code T1783EMN, at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/primary/T1783.pdf


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T17831EMN.

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August 2012 MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings: The Best in the Sport

Rankings are a silly thing.

For starters, they’re entirely subjective. There’s a very good chance you’re going to take one look at my pound-for-pound list below and start laughing until you cry. And that’s fine.

Your list of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport may look entirely different than mine. That’s fine, too.

Another reason rankings are silly? They have no bearing on what fights we’re going to see. The UFC and Strikeforce aren’t beholden to any kind of rankings system, which is ultimately why we’re going to see Vitor Belfort challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title on September 22 despite the fact that Belfort hasn’t fought at light heavyweight since returning to the promotion a few years ago.

But rankings are still fun. They’re a great conversation starter, and it’s a good way to put to paper your own view of the mixed martial arts landscape. Ultimately, that’s all I’m doing here: telling you what I think, giving you my view of the lay of the land. You may disagree—and in fact, most of you probably will—but we’ll still have plenty of fun discussing it.

Without further ado, I give you my pound for pound rankings for August 2012.


1. Anderson Silva

There’s an old saying that goes a little something like this: To be the man, you have to beat the man. And since Silva is still unbeaten in his UFC run, that makes him the man. There are plenty of folks nipping at Silva’s heels, but he’s still the best in the world at what he does.

2. Jon Jones

Jones hasn’t had the best year when it comes to public relations. But when he steps in the cage, Jones is still a revelation. You can hate him for his ill-fated decision to turn down a fight with Chael Sonnen—one that ultimately led to the cancellation of UFC 151—but you can’t hate him for what he does in the cage.

Put simply, Jones is one of the most dominant forces the sport has ever seen, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s occupying the top spot on this list.


3. Georges St-Pierre

St-Pierre has been inactive for well over a year at this point, which means he shouldn’t even be eligible for rankings at this point. But I simply cannot remove a fighter who has accomplished as much as St-Pierre has over the course of his career. Barring an unfortunate injury, he’ll return in November to face Carlos Condit and attempt to stake his claim as one of the best in the world.


4. Jose Aldo

Aldo returns to the cage against Erik Koch in October at UFC 153. Koch is a good fighter and a tough challenge for anyone, but the only thing folks want to talk about when it comes to Aldo is a potential bout with Frankie Edgar. I imagine we’ll see that fight in 2013, giving Aldo yet another opportunity to prove he’s one of the best young fighters in the sport.


5. Dan Henderson

Henderson’s unfortunate knee injury forced him out of his UFC 151 bout with Jones. Luckily for Henderson—and perhaps for all of us—Henderson’s MCL was only partially torn, which means no surgery and a lot less time spent on the shelf than we thought. I fully expect Henderson to get his chance at the winner of Jones vs. Belfort when he returns.

A win for Henderson would cement him as one of the greatest of all-time, and certainly the best American fighter in the history of the sport.


6. Dominick Cruz

Cruz will watch from the sidelines for a long time due to his knee injury, likely until next summer. When he returns, he’ll likely face whomever the interim bantamweight champion is at that point. It might be Renan Barao or it might be Michael McDonald. The only certain thing is that Cruz will eventually have that final grudge match with Urijah Faber.


7. Benson Henderson

Henderson defended his title in controversial fashion at UFC 150, sending Frankie Edgar packing to the featherweight division. Henderson’s next challenge comes in the form of the not-so-smooth-talking Nate Diaz. The pair will face off in the main event of December’s UFC on FOX show. It’s a big opportunity for Henderson to earn a ton of new fans on free network television.


8. Frankie Edgar

According to most, Edgar didn’t actually lose to Henderson at UFC 150. But the scorecards stand, and without a clear path back to another title shot in his future, Edgar finally made the decision to drop to featherweight.

He won’t get an immediate title shot, but I suspect he’ll only have to win one fight before Joe Silva makes the call to put him in the cage with Aldo for the UFC’s first real featherweight superfight.


9. Gilbert Melendez

Melendez is still the big fish in Strikeforce’s small pond. He’ll face Pat Healy in September, but what happens after that? If Melendez wins, he doesn’t have many plausible opponents remaining because Healy is barely a plausible title challenger as it is. Melendez can only hope Zuffa and Showtime go their separate ways at the end of the Strikeforce television deal next spring so he can make the long-awaited jump to the UFC.

10. Joseph Benavidez

Benavidez has a chance to become the first UFC flyweight champion when he faces Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152 next month. He’s the clear favorite, and rightly so. Outside of two losses to the much bigger Cruz, Benavidez has been perfect in his MMA career. He’s the uncrowned flyweight champion-in-waiting.

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Residential Awards of Excellence Announced

The Sudbury & District Home Builders’ Association, which provides resources to members and advice to consumers, today announced the launch of the Residential Awards of Excellence.

The RAE Awards are an exciting and positive industry initiative, showcasing members’ achievements, highlighting construction and design excellence and reinforcing consumer confidence in the professional residential construction industry.

The aim of the Residential Awards of Excellence program is to honour and recognize some of Sudbury’s most creative and talented builders, renovators, and associated professions and services.

On October 19, 2012, thirteen awards will be presented in the categories of new home construction, home renovation or addition, exterior construction and design, and suppliers and retail.

“Sudbury is home to some of Ontario’s best builders and renovators.   We are excited to recognize these leaders publicly and locally”.  Marc G. Levasseur, President of Sudbury & District Home Builders’ Association said today.

Since 1959 The Sudbury & District Home Builders’ Association has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our residential housing developments and to provide resources to the public enabling them to hire reputable builders, renovators and other services.

Submissions restricted to members of the SDHBA.

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Construction Economic Notes, August 2012

These are the major developments about commercial construction and the U.S. economy for August 2012.

    • Second quarter real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.5% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), down from 2.0% growth in the first quarter (revised up from the previously reported 1.9%). This is an advance estimate that will be revised in coming months as more data become available. Although the economy continues to move forward, this is a barely acceptable rate of growth–essentially treading water and creating little incentive for additional investment in nonresidential construction.


    • An early indication that the economy’s second quarter growth rate may have represented an unfortunate, but temporary, slowdown is the July employment report. Nonfarm payroll employment increased 163,000 on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis from June. However, June’s gain was revised down from 80,000 to 64,000. Consistent gains of 100,000+ are necessary to absorb new entrants to the workforce.
    • The unemployment rate rose from 8.2% in June to 8.3% in July. Persistent gains of 175,000 and above would put downward pressure on that rate.


    • Private employment increased 172,000, its twenty-ninth consecutive monthly increase, while government employment fell 9,000 in July. For a little over two years, gains in private employment have been partially offset by reduced employment at all levels of government.
    • Construction employment fell 1,000, its fifth decline over the past six months. Year-to-date total construction employment was down 33,000. Nonresidential construction employment was down 3,800–also its fifth decrease over the past six months–and was down 29,300 year-to-date.


    • The July not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to 12.3% from 13.6% in July 2011. However, the drop in the rate was not due to increased employment, but from construction workers finding employment elsewhere or leaving the labor force altogether.


    • June total commercial construction spending: $842.1 billion (SAAR), +0.4% from May; year-to-date up 9.0% from the same period last year.


    • The April and May construction spending numbers were revised up a total of just under $11 billion. As a result, May’s increase was revised up from 0.9% to 1.6%.


    • Nonresidential construction spending: $302.1 billion, +0.3% from May; year-to-date up 9.2% from the same period last year. May numbers were revised up $4.9 billion, resulting in a 1.4% increase over April, rather than the 0.1% decline originally reported. Among areas that increased in June were lodging (+3.7%), health care (+0.4%), and manufacturing (+3.7%) construction.


    • Heavy engineering construction spending: $267.9 billion, -0.2% from June, which was revised up $2.6 billion; year-to-date up 11.0% from the same period last year. Transportation (+2.6%), communication (+4.3%), and highway (+1.5%) were major spending areas that increased in June.


    • New residential construction spending: $153.4 billion, +3.0% from May; year-to-date up 12.8% from the same period last year.


    • June’s private construction spending rose $3.7 billion, up 0.7% from May, while public spending was unchanged. May’s public spending was revised up $4.6 billion, enough that spending in May changed from the originally reported 0.4% monthly decline to a 0.5% increase.


    • The AIA Billings Index edged up to 45.9 in June from May’s 45.8, but leaves the index below 50, indicating decreased billings.


    • The June Producer Price Index (PPI) for building materials prices (does not include labor costs) was unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis after increasing 0.1% in May and was up 2.2% from June 2011. Meanwhile, an index of prices for inputs to nonresidential construction fell 0.6% (NSA) after the same decrease in May. The index was up only 0.2% from June 2011.

Some Additional Detail on Economic Developments


The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the U.S. economy slowed in the second quarter with the release of its advance estimate of second quarter real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.5% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), down from 2.0% growth in the first quarter (revised up from the previously reported 1.9%). The advance estimate will be revised in coming months, as more complete data become available.

Although the economy continues to move forward, this is a barely acceptable rate of growth–essentially treading water and creating minimal incentive for additional hiring or for investment in nonresidential construction. We believe that this is a temporary slowdown, and the next several quarters will see better, though not spectacular, growth.

The BEA also released its annual benchmark revisions of GDP data back to first quarter 2009. The basic story remains the same, although some of the details are slightly different. The decline in 2009 was not quite as bad as originally reported (revised up 0.4%); the rebound not as strong in 2010 (revised down 0.6%); and 2011 was slightly better (revised up 0.1%).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment report showing July nonfarm payroll employment up 163,000 on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis provided some support for the view that although economic growth slowed in the second quarter, it is now picking up a bit. While the unemployment rate crept up to 8.3%, that is less worrying as the number comes from a different, smaller, and hence more volatile survey. The only real surprise with the unemployment rate was that it had not risen sooner, given the weak nonfarm payroll employment gains in the second quarter.

Although both residential and nonresidential construction activity have been on an upward trajectory for several months, construction employment keeps declining, though more slowly than a few years ago. It has been nonresidential construction employment that has struggled as it has declined, while employment in residential construction has generally risen over the last 12 months.

Overall, housing continues to improve, but from a low base. Single-family housing starts advanced for the fourth month in a row, up 4.7% in June to 539,000 (SAAR) from May’s 515,000. Single-family building permits rose slightly to 491,000 from May’s 490,000. Both the 20-city and 10-city May S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price indexes were up–their fourth consecutive monthly increase. Both were still down modestly on a year-over-year basis, 0.7% and 1.0%, respectively.

June new home sales fell 8.4% to 350,000 SAAR, down from May’s 382,000 (revised up from 369,000). Nonetheless, June sales were 15.1% higher than last year. Also, the March through May numbers were revised up a total of 33,000 sales. June’s inventory of new homes for sale at 144,000 remained near the previous month’s record low of 143,000. As a result, any uptick in sales will quickly translate into additional single-family construction activity. Single-family construction spending advanced 3.0% in June after increasing 2.2% in May.

Multifamily housing starts rebounded 12.8% to 221,000 (SAAR) from a 19.3% decrease to 196,000 in May. Given the notorious volatility of the measure, the 3-month moving average provides a better picture of new activity. The average was still down from May, but a slight 0.6% to 220,000. However, it is troubling that June’s 3-month moving average of multifamily building permits of 268,000 was down 4.9% from May–the first decline for the average since February.

Nonetheless, the outlook for multifamily construction looks bright for the near term. The second quarter rental vacancy rate fell to 8.6% (SA) from first quarter’s 8.9% and is the lowest vacancy rate since second quarter 2002. Multifamily construction spending increased 2.8% in June after jumping 5.1% in May. Year-to-date, spending was up 14.8% in June from a year earlier

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Guest post followup: Why does National Library of Medicine still index Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine?

The following is a guest post by Kevin Lomangino, one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org. He is an independent medical journalist and editor who is currently Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Nutrition Insight, a monthly evidence-based newsletter which reviews the scientific literature on nutrition for physicians and dietitians. He tweets as @Klomangino.


Why Is the National Library of Medicine Still Indexing Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine?  

Last week, a study looking at off-label drug promotion reported a finding that was considered “unsurprising and disturbing” by some observers: Only 15% of physicians and scientists touting such off-label uses disclosed that they had relevant financial relationships with the manufacturers who produced the drugs.

I’ll admit to some surprise at the extent to which these authors appear to have systematically hoodwinked their readers. But it’s true that the basic problem identified by the study – that scientific authors sometimes fail to disclose financial relationships that might influence their writing – is nothing new. In fact, the study brought to mind a troubling example of inadequate disclosure I wrote about here in February. And it inspired me to complete this follow-up post that I’ve been putting off for some time.

First, some background: The piece I wrote in February focused on a cardiology journal, Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine (RICM), that engages in questionable editorial practices that promote commercial interests. The journal was first flagged by blogger Marilyn Mann for publishing an article, sponsored and reviewed prior to publication by pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott, extolling the benefits of Abbott drugs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.  After some more poking around, I found that the RICM editors also repeatedly failed to disclose—and in some cases, appeared to be actively concealing through misleading statements—relationships with other manufacturers whose products they were writing about in the journal. (I continue to welcome any attempt by these editors to explain the discrepancies identified, in case I’ve got the wrong idea.)

As far as I know, there haven’t been any negative repercussions for RICM or its editors stemming from my post or other critical coverage. (In fact, the editors are so unconcerned that they didn’t even bother to update their disclosure statements on the RICM website, which as I pointed out months ago are woefully out of date and inaccurate. ) This isn’t all that unusual, really, considering that even authors who participate in fraudulent research don’t face much in the way of consequences for their actions. It seems that the dollar value these authors bring to their institutions trumps any ethical qualms about their publishing activities.

If RICM were a subscription-based business, readers might have an opportunity to lodge a protest by refusing to renew their subscriptions. RICM, however, is sent out free of charge through support from industry sponsors. And it seems that companies are all too happy to have RICM’s editors serving as their pitchmen.

There is one organization, though, that I had hoped would have more than a passing interest in meting out some discipline to RICM: the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  As the curator of PubMed, the world’s foremost index of the scientific literature, the NLM has an obvious stake in assuring that the journals it indexes adhere to high editorial and ethical standards. And as it turns out, NLM even has a specific policy that seems designed to prevent the kinds of shenanigans that RICM engages in.

When it comes to sponsored journal supplements, NLM requires that disclosure statements be “specific and address any financial relationship the guest editors and authors have with the sponsoring organization and any interests that organization represents.” This policy would appear to preclude the NLM from indexing content such as the RICM supplement on Proteomic Approaches to Acute Coronary Syndromes, which received corporate sponsorship from diagnostic test manufacturer Alere.

As I noted in my earlier post, there is no acknowledgment in that supplement of Alere’s relationship with RICM editor Peter McCullough, MD, who is also the coauthor of several articles in the supplement. These articles state that “no funding was provided to authors,” and one of the articles states that Dr. McCullough has “no real or apparent conflicts of interest to report.” This is despite the fact that Dr. McCullough has acknowledged being a consultant and speaker for Alere for about a decade, and was giving talks sponsored by the company within a year of the supplement’s publication.

And yet today RICM and its supplements continue to be indexed in the PubMed database, and comments from NLM officials suggest that this is unlikely to change anytime soon. When presented with the evidence of RICM’s breach of NLM policy, their response to me was basically to say: Sorry, not our problem.

As Deborah Ozga, head of the Index Section wrote to me, “Staff members of the NLM Index Section check that supplements include disclosure statements and that the statements meet the criteria described in the conflict of interest Fact Sheet. Based on these requirements, [McCullough’s disclosure statement] is in compliance with NLM policy.”

But there’s an important qualifier: According to Ozga, “Staff members do not investigate the accuracy of disclosure statements.” (Emphasis mine.)

In other words, the NLM will go as far as checking that authors and editors have made a disclosure statement as required by their policy. But if you try to subvert that policy by making a false or misleading disclosure, they are not going to go out of their way to try and stop you. When I asked if there was any mechanism for NLM to evaluate possible improprieties in RICM’s disclosures, Ozga suggested that I raise my concerns with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors or a cardiovascular medicine organization.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the NLM should routinely verify the disclosures made in journal articles. But when presented with credible evidence of a breach of their policy, shouldn’t they do more than turn a blind eye to the infraction? If the intent of the policy is to prevent dissemination of biased information to PubMed users, clearly there needs to be a more robust enforcement mechanism attached to it.

It’s worth reiterating that this issue has important implications for patients. In the world of medical publishing, inclusion in the PubMed database confers considerable prestige and credibility. More importantly, it makes content from the journal visible to millions of researchers and clinicians online who otherwise would probably never be aware of it. (More than a billion searches were logged on PubMed in 2009.)

So when RICM publishes industry-sponsored patient care recommendations that contradict guidelines from the American Heart Association (as happened with the Abbott-sponsored review of fibrate drugs), PubMed’s imprimatur helps give credence and additional distribution to the industry-supported view. That may be part of the reason why sales of fibrate drugs continued to climb for most of the past decade, even in the face of evidence showing that these drugs were no more effective than placebo for improving heart disease outcomes.

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Behind the Headlines goes deeper than “eating egg yolks as bad as smoking”

I was out of the office, so the UK site Behind the Headlines beat me to the punch in analyzing this study and discussing some of the news coverage about it.  Some news eggs-cerpts:

  • CBS News asked, “Should a carton of eggs contain health warnings like a carton of cigarettes?” And their headline was: “Eating egg yolks leads to two-thirds of the plaque buildup you’d see in a smoker’s arteries, study shows.”  Did the study show that?
  • A New Jersey site asked, then answered – “Are Egg Yolks Unhealthy as Cigarettes? New Study Has an Answer.” The problem is that the study didn’t answer that, and the story’s last sentence made it clear that the study didn’t answer that.

I could go on because Google produces more than 150 news story returns on the topic, but you’d be better off reading the Behind the Headlines conclusion:

This study found that egg yolk consumption was associated with increased fatty build-up in the arteries of the neck, though this was small when compared to the build-up expected with age. This study has important limitations which mean that it cannot be concluded that egg yolks are as bad for you as smoking:

  • Average egg yolk consumption per week and duration was evaluated through a questionnaire response. These are only estimates and may include a considerable degree of inaccuracy. Consumption may vary over time. We also don’t know how these eggs were prepared (boiled, fried in oil, scrambled in butter, etc).
  • This wasn’t a trial, and so people are choosing the number of egg yolks they eat. People who ate more egg yolks may differ in other health and lifestyle factors from people who ate less, and this may account for their different artery build-up. For example, as the researchers rightly acknowledge, they did not thoroughly assess other dietary factors, exercise or waist circumference. It is possible that higher egg yolk consumption could be associated with less exercise and higher overall saturated fat intake – both well known risk factors for heart disease. The small changes in fatty build-up in the arteries seen with higher egg yolk consumption could have been accounted for by these other factors.
  • None of the participants in this study were reported to be suffering from heart disease and the heart arteries were not examined.
  • We do not know how or whether the extent of fatty build-up in the neck arteries was associated with build-up in the heart arteries.
  • This is a relatively small, select sample of people attending a vascular clinic in Canada, and further quality studies would be needed to better assess the question.

Addendum 30 minutes after original post:  ABCNews.com posted, “Egg Study Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be.

Another addendum 90 minutes after original post:  One journalist has just pointed out to me that university news releases often add to the hype.  That journalist sent me the news release from The University of Western Ontario, headlined, “Research finds egg yolks almost as bad as smoking.”  If I could find additional funding to staff such an effort, I’d launch a News Release Review project in a heart beat.

Another addendum 8 days later:  Cassandra Willyard posted her own coverage of the coverage  – called “Egg-ceptionally Bad” on “The Last Word on Nothing.”

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