Slideshow: 5 Times the Media Overhyped Scientific Findings

Most research papers are long and written to be read by other scientists, not the general public. It’s easy for well-intentioned journalists to misinterpret studies’ findings with splashy headlines. We’ve put together a slideshow with some of the worst examples of cases where the media overhyped studies’ data.

  • Are studies on nuts overhyped by the media?

    Eat Nuts, Live Longer

    News outlets from TIME to ABC News report that “People who ate nuts seven or more times a week, in fact, enjoyed a 20% lower death rate after four years than individuals who did not eat nuts.” What isn’t clearly explained is that people who eat nuts also exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables, are less likely to smoke, and oddly more likely to drink—essentially nuts are not the only factor in differing death rates. The study also found that the rate of cancer death for individuals who eat nuts less than once per week is 38%--essentially the same death rate (36.2%) as those who consume nuts 5 or more times per week.