Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Studying the Obvious

While I don't profess to be highly experienced in the area of research, as a student in a research-focused specialty for undergrad, a research assistant, and someone just plain interested in new medical developments, I do understand (or thought I did) a couple of things.

1) Research is done in order to discover, uncover, and explain.

2) Funding for research is not the easiest thing to obtain. Granting agencies must be convinced that your study is worth it.

3) Researchers can make many things sound far more important and complex than they are in their efforts to obtain said funding.

That being said, I just don't understand how some of the following studies got funding. I know that part of the newspaper article I read about the first in said something about "knowing, but not having the data." Does that mean I should create a study to see whether the sun really does rise in the east and set in the west? I mean, of course we know it, but do we have data?

Read, ponder, and enjoy.

1) Teenage Boys Really Do Eat A Lot: Study
It turns out that when boys and girls ages 8-17 are study in a "lunch-buffet study", boys tend to eat more calories than girls in each of the age categories. They also eat the most in their mid-teens (coincidentally when they are going through growth spurts). It's too bad that these researchers didn't save their dollars and simply poll a few mothers of teenage boys.

2) e-Ana and e-Mia: A Content Analysis of Pro-Eating Disorder Websites
Apparently "Pro-eating disorder web sites present graphic material to encourage, support, and motivate site users to continue their efforts with anorexia and bulimia." Yes folks, "pro" generally does mean "for *insert whatever here*" and suggest encouragement.

3) Pre-meal Anxiety and Food Intake in Anorexia NervosaThis sharp team determined that anorectics (weight-restored; they mention nothing about mental recovery) with higher anxiety prior to eating tend to eat less than those with lower anxiety. It seems that their anxiety also affects their eating amounts more than it does for healthy controls. Shocking. I guess that could be why it's called an eating disorder and tends to be co-morbid with other anxiety issues...

Okay, shocking news and subtle snarking over for the evening. Data entry must be making me (even more) cynical. :)

NOTE: 2) and 3) were studies found through links posted on Carrie's blog. Thanks Carrie!

1 comment:

  1. This was a hilarious post! You're a good writer.