evidence

Spanish school books: can we believe what they say about health?

Most school textbooks contain messages about health. But there's no known evidence for about a quarter of the messages. At least, that's the position in Granada, Spain, according to a report in BMC Public Health.

Clone of Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer - the issues

What evidence is being used?

The report itself is a review of all the available evidence on the influences of various foods and activities on the development of cancer, as judged by a panel of internationally distinguished scientists.

Clone of Alcohol during pregnancy

What should be the official advice for women about the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy?

not a great start?On 11th October 2007 several news sources reported on the revised guidelines on antenatal care to be published by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in March 2008. These guidelines were reported to advise that there is “no consistent evidence of adverse effects from low-to-moderate alcohol during pregnancy (less than one drink or 1.5 units per day) but the evidence is probably not strong enough to rule out any risk.”

The National Lottery

LotteryThe UK National Lottery began on 19th November 1994 and there had been 1242 draws up to 20th October 2007. The jackpot prize is won by choosing in advance the 6 numbers drawn from a set of balls numbered from 1 to 49.

Calculating Risk?

Here, we attempt to explain how the evidence is used to formulate results through the risk calculators.

The calculations are formed by combining the average life span for a population with the average reduction of life-span associated with a particular disease. Calculations get trickier when you want to know the combined risk of more than one disease and behaviour on life-span.

Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer - the issues

What evidence is being used?

The report itself is a review of all the available evidence on the influences of certain foods and activities on cancer, as judged by a panel of internationally distinguished scientists.

Alcohol during pregnancy - the issues

What evidence is being used?
The Department of Health has, until May 2007, issued guidelines that are similar to those of NICE; the news story has arisen out of the fact that the DoH has changed the guidelines, while NICE has not. As O’Brian notes in the BMJ O'Brian2007, the new DoH advice does not rest on any new evidence, but merely on the reinterpretation of the risk associated with the already known evidence. Therefore this particular news story centres not so much on conflicting evidence supporting two different points of view, but on two different interpretations of the same evidence.

Alcohol during pregnancy

What should be the official advice for women about the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy?

not a great start?On 11th October 2007 several news sources reported on the revised draft guidelines on antenatal care that were to be published by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in March 2008. These guidelines are reported to advise that there is “no consistent evidence of adverse effects from low-to-moderate alcohol during pregnancy (less than one drink or 1.5 units per day) but the evidence is probably not strong enough to rule out any risk.”

League Tables

Lotto IconLeague tables are used for football teams, schools, hospitals, songs, films and everything else that can be ranked in some way. But do they mean anything? How much are the rankings just due to chance? We can explore these ideas using probability theory. We would all hope that the UK National Lottery is unbiased so that any ball is just as likely to be chosen as any other. Even so, making a ball league table based on their frequency of appearance provides many little surprises - surprises that could easily be misinterpreted in league tables presented in other contexts. Start on National Lottery - Overview , play with the animations, and go on as far as your maths will allow!

Lottery expectations

Level2 LotteryNational lottery shows how many times each of the numbers has come up in the main National Lottery draw, and what were the gaps between appearances of each number. Here we look at whether the observed distribution of the number of times each of the 49 numbers has come up fits with what would be expected with a truly random draw, and whether the gaps also correspond to what might be expected.

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