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What We're Reading: Fake News Invades Science, Too


What we're reading, December 30, 2016: fake news has also been prevalent in science in 2016; the CDC is considering lowering the lead level threshold for children; and globalization is tied to rising obesity levels.

Fake news has been a topic in the aftermath of the election, but it isn’t just impacting politics. Fake science news was also a problem in 2016. STAT has outlined some of the most egregious instances of fake news being reported and this just doesn’t include pop culture health reporting. For example, a peer-reviewed paper made the claim that HIV does not cause AIDS, and it was ultimately retracted.

The CDC may lower the threshold for lead exposure for children. According to Reuters Health, the agency may lower the level to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter. The current standard is 5 micrograms per deciliter for children. The measure will be discussed January 17, and it is not without controversy. Critics worry that the lower threshold could drain resources from children with higher lead levels.

Globalization has been linked to rising obesity levels. An analysis of 30 years of data for 26 countries concluded that modern life, which has led to sedentary lifestyles, has driven the obesity crisis. Current generations that work at a desk or can shop and socialize without leaving the couch expend less energy, rendering traditional calorie counts obsolete. In addition, modern economy and the development of trade deals has driven down the prices of food.

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