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5 Virginia Officials Involved in Regulating Dominion Energy Are Invested in the Company

Posted  August 21, 2018  by  Anonymous

Read time: 7 mins

Dominion's Chesterfield Power Station

Five employees of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have financial interests in Dominion, the state’s largest utility and energy company. The officials are involved, in one way or another, in permitting or overseeing the company’s activities, ranging from water discharges to emissions controls on power plants.

According to financial disclosures filed with the state’s ethics council, four of them directly own stock in the company, while the wife of a fifth official works for Dominion.

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Easy Chocolate Hemp Protein Balls

Posted  August 21, 2018  by  Angela (Oh She Glows)

It’s okay to give yourself a break. This is something I’ve been reminded of over and over again since the beginning of the year. In a recent newsletter, I shared my struggles with injury and overtraining and opened up about why I decided to take a big old exercise break starting in January 2018. It […]

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#737 Seeing somebody singing and rocking out in their car

Posted  August 21, 2018  by  Anonymous

It’s late, it’s quiet, and you’re stuck at a red light. Casually, you glance to your left and notice a muted explosion of furious head bopping, furrowed eyebrows, and silent wailing inside, as the driver rocks out alone and in the zone. And there’s just something worth smiling about when you observe that passionate display […]

The post #737 Seeing somebody singing and rocking out in their car appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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A Koch-Fueled Attack on Electric Buses Picks up Speed

Posted  August 20, 2018  by  Anonymous

Read time: 9 mins

Close up of the top of an electric bus

Electric buses are replacing existing diesel-fueled fleets at an accelerating rate, and the transition to battery-powered buses is outpacing even the most optimistic projections. In this light, it should come as little surprise that commentators and organizations with ties to the Koch network and the oil industry are attacking a transportation option that yields fewer fossil fuel profits and cleaner, healthier air for people and planet.

A string of recent commentaries published in the conservative Washington Examiner have relied on a handful of critical reports about the rollout of electric buses in individual municpalities, which the commentators use to portray electric buses, as a class, as uneconomical and unreliable.

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Exclusive: Shell Took 16 Years To Warn Shareholders of Climate Risks, Despite Knowing in Private All Along

Posted  August 20, 2018  by  Anonymous

Read time: 14 mins

Shell Group managing directors pictured in 1997

It took oil company Shell more than 16 years to directly warn its shareholders that climate policy posed a financial risk to the company’s business model despite knowing — in private and for decades — about the relationship between its products and climate change.

Shell started commissioning confidential work about the impact of burning fossil fuels on the global climate as early as 1981. However, analysis by DeSmog UK and DeSmog found that Shell did not start mentioning the possibility of climate change to shareholders in annual reports before 1991 — 10 years after the company started a research stream to study climate change.

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Two New Studies Pour Cold Water On Water’s Role In Weight Management

Posted  August 20, 2018  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Two new studies are bound to disappoint those who still want to believe water makes a difference in weight management.

The first of these studies, Increasing water intake influences hunger and food preference, but does not reliably suppress energy intake in adults, asked participants to drink 500, 1000, 1500, or 2000ml of water in the morning before an all you can eat lunch buffet to see if doing so reduced how much people ate. The researchers found that even drinking 2L of water before lunch didn’t reduce how many calories were consumed at the buffet.

The second, Complementary and compensatory dietary changes associated with consumption or omission of plain water by US adults, compared the self-reported dietary intake patterns (which you should know aren’t generally thought to be be reliable) of individuals who had days recorded with and without water intake to see if there were a difference in calories reportedly consumed. There wasn’t.

As to how pervasive the belief that water is a key player in weight management, you might be surprised by how many people I meet in my office who believe water drinking makes or breaks an effort, though when you consider the fact that 63.4% of adults in a recent US survey of weight loss practices cited water drinking as one of theirs, maybe it shouldn’t be all that shocking.

In my mind the only thing that’s surprising is that I would have thought it to be fairly self-evident, that water drinking was an incredibly minor player at best, because if drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day contributed even moderately to successful weight management, we’d see a great many more success stories walking around.

[That said, if you replace all your regularly consumed caloric beverages with water, well that might lend a hand.]

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#738 Going out for lunch and coming back to a way better parking spot

Posted  August 20, 2018  by  Anonymous

Sometimes there isn’t much time for the Lunchtime Scoot. Whether it’s during lunch period in senior year, between double shifts at the hospital, or wedged amongst meetings at the office, you’ve really got to get your move on and get your groove on if you’re going to fill that belly while the clock’s clicking. And […]

The post #738 Going out for lunch and coming back to a way better parking spot appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Back Writing Again

Posted  August 19, 2018  by  Polar Bear

I have not written a post for many months as I have been on quite an adventure. I would like to share the details of that adventure with family and friends. Many of my posts will be personal and reveal some secrets. Stay tuned. Just wanted you to know …

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#739 Stepping on barely frozen puddles

Posted  August 19, 2018  by  Anonymous

Crisp breezes chip at your cheeks as you shiver and slide to school. Blades of grass are stiff with frosted dew on their tips, your breath puffs in cold clouds in front of you, and little puddles on the sidewalk get that thin film of ice across the tops, just waiting for you to do […]

The post #739 Stepping on barely frozen puddles appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Help us choose the Fall/Winter 2018-2019 Canadian Geographic Travel cover!

Posted  August 18, 2018  by  Anonymous

Help us choose the cover of our upcoming issue of Canadian Geographic. Vote Now!
And don’t forget to sign up to always be notified by email when covers are being voted on!

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Saturday Stories: Glycophosphate, Glycophosphate, And Katie Stubblefield

Posted  August 18, 2018  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Robert O’Conner, in Medium, with his expert thoughts on glycophosphate (RoundUp) and cancer.

Andrew Kniss, in his blog, with his expert thoughts on glycophosphate and cancer.

Lynn Johnson, in National Geographic, with an incredible story about Katie Stubblefield’s face and life.

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#740 Slurping all those little ice crystals floating in your freezing cold glass of Coke

Posted  August 18, 2018  by  Anonymous

Thick and muggy, hot and humid, the sweltering summer sun beats down on your lazy day. Yes, you lay sprawled on your sweaty couch, pleading with your open windows to blow a breeze across the room. Instead, the dusty air hangs heavy and every breath you take feels like sucking wind from a bathroom hand […]

The post #740 Slurping all those little ice crystals floating in your freezing cold glass of Coke appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Justin Trudeau joins supporters at events in Montreal

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Liberal Party of Canada

Montreal, QC – Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will join supporters for two events in Montreal on Sunday, August 19, 2018: a grassroots fundraising reception with Antoni Porowski, and the 2019 Liberal nomination event for Papineau. Sunday August 19, 2018 10:15 AM – Pride Pride Brunch Reception with Justin Trudeau and […]

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Sizing Up Trump’s Dirty Replacement for the Clean Power Plan

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  guest

Read time: 3 mins

Trump digs coal

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Thirteen months ago, we made some guesses about what a replacement for the Clean Power Plan might look like. We speculated the new rule would be the sort of “inside the fenceline” policy preferred by the industry–one where coal plants are only required to make marginal improvements, basically just upgrading existing plants to run more efficiently.

Such an approach, which makes coal plants more profitable to run and would keep them running for longer, would ultimately lead to even higher levels of pollution than if there was no policy at all.

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Ocean Bridge Diaries: Matthew Miller

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

The 2018 Ocean Bridge cohort gets to know each other during their first steps on a Haida Gwaii beach.

The 2018 Ocean Bridge cohort gets to know each other while taking their first steps on a Haida Gwaii beach. (Photo: Matthew Miller)

This spring, 40 Canadian youth aged 18-30 came together in Haida Gwaii for a 10-day expedition as part of Ocean Wise’s Ocean Bridge program. Ocean Bridge aims to empower young people to make an impact in ocean conservation by giving them the tools and confidence to lead educational and service projects in their own communities.
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Canada bans neonic pesticides implicated in bee declines

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Health Canada’s latest neonic ban is good news for insects, says ecologist

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Tracking animals from space could provide early warning of natural disasters

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Tracking wide scale animal migrations from space

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Elephants have a zombie gene that comes back to life to fight cancer

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Zombie gene in elephants comes back to life to kill cancer cells

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How do you discourage a pesky elephant? Use bee smells as a repellent

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Bee pheromones may be useful as an elephant repellant

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We can’t grow enough food to feed the world according to the Food Guide

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Earth simply cannot make enough food to feed everyone a North American diet

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Low level air pollution costs the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Repeat item

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If the moon had oceans what would its tides be like?

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Moon’s orbit around the Earth would change its hypothetical tides

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The Inuit future

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Natan Obed is president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national organization that advocates for the people of Inuit Nunangat and works to Inuit language and culture. (Photo: ITK/Adam Scotti)

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#741 When a chunk of earwax randomly falls out of your ear

Posted  August 17, 2018  by  Anonymous

Sure, it’s a little bit extremely disgusting, but the gross out factor pales in comparison to the massive release you feel when a waxy boulder comes tumbling out of a cave on the side of Head Mountain. Remember: there’s nothing to be embarrassed about because this is just The Magic of the Human Body. Yes, […]

The post #741 When a chunk of earwax randomly falls out of your ear appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Judge Orders Full Environmental Review of Keystone XL in Nebraska

Posted  August 16, 2018  by  guest

Read time: 3 mins

Niobrara State Park Bridge in Nebraska

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

TransCanada‘s long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline was dealt another setback after a federal judge in Montana ruled Wednesday that the Trump State Department must conduct a robust environmental review of the alternative pipeline route through Nebraska.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris sided with environmentalists, landowners, and tribal plaintiffs in their challenge to the Trump administration. Pipeline opponents argued that the State Department’s approval of the KXL was based on an outdated Environmental Impact Statement from 2014 of the original route, and accused the administration of trying to short-cut the permitting process.

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Supercharged by Pollution, Florida’s Toxic Algae Crisis Continues Unabated

Posted  August 16, 2018  by  Julie Dermansky

Read time: 8 mins

Fish kill on South Lido Beach, Florida.

Covering stuff up doesn’t make it go away,” said Lilly Womble, an 18-year-old on vacation on Florida’s Sanibel Island. The island is world renowned for its sea shells but that day we were watching employees from the Sanibel Moorings Resort pull a sheet over a dead loggerhead sea turtle on the beach behind the hotel. One of the men covering the turtle said that people had seen it long enough, and he didn’t want it to scare kids.

I think it is better if kids see what we are doing to the planet,” Womble told me. “Maybe seeing the dead turtle will make them pay attention to the environment.” Her 9-year-old sister Ellie agreed, adding that “covering the turtle won’t stop other turtles from dying.”

Earlier that day the sisters had been on a charter fishing boat 10 miles off Sanibel Island’s coast, where they saw lots of dead fish, large and small, and another dead sea turtle floating on the Gulf of Mexico’s surface. Though they caught some fish, their father, an avid fisherman, had his daughters throw them back. He explained to them that it may be years before marine life can recover from the impacts of the ongoing explosion of toxic algae that already has killed hundreds of tons of fish and other sea life washing up on Florida’s southwest coast.

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#742 That rubbery metal smell of old hardware stores

Posted  August 16, 2018  by  Anonymous

Walk into an old hardware store and take a big whiff. Come on now, just tip that head, sniff those fumes, and bring back a big brainful of love and memories with these gems: • Hot, rubbery tires. Chinese chemical plants, hot vials of liquid rubber, and the musty stench of ocean liner storage bays […]

The post #742 That rubbery metal smell of old hardware stores appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Fracking Wastewater Spikes 1,440% in Half Decade, Adding to Dry Regions’ Water Woes

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Sharon Kelly

Read time: 7 mins

Permian Basin, Texas, pumpjacks

Between 2011 and 2016, fracked oil and gas wells in the U.S. pumped out record-breaking amounts of wastewater, which is laced with toxic and radioactive materials, a new Duke University study concludes. The amount of wastewater from fracking rose 1,440 percent during that period.

Over the same time, the total amount of water used for fracking rose roughly half as much, 770 percent, according to the paper published today in the journal Science Advances.

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Our Strength

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Liberal Party of Canada

In Canada, we know that diversity is a tremendous strength – and we’ve fought hard together to secure and defend the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

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Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters at a Summer Corn Roast in Saint-Jean, Québec

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Liberal Party of Canada

Sabrevois, QC – Justin Trudeau will join local Liberals and Liberal MPs from the South Shore on August 16, 2018 for a summer corn roast in Sabrevois. As part of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Summer of Action campaign, volunteers across Canada have been starting thousands of new conversations with Canadians on the doorstep – […]

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Five things you might not know about Acadia

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Anonymous

A house in New Brunswick painted to look like the Acadian flag. (Photo: Graham H./Pixabay [CC0])

Acadia today is both a place and a people. While the term is often used to refer to a vast swath of the Maritimes, including New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia, it can also refer to the Acadian people, who are spread out around the world and are “right fiers” (“very proud”) of their East Coast heritage. If all you know about l’Acadie is lobsters, fiddleheads and Evangeline, here are five facts to help you “fêter” the Acadian national holiday, celebrated each year in Canada on August 15.

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Swift foxes return to Alberta

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Anonymous

One curious swift fox stares down the lens of an automatic wildlife camera near Medicine Hat, Alta. (Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy of Canada)

A curious swift fox stares down the lens of an automatic wildlife camera near Medicine Hat, Alta. (Photo courtesy Nature Conservancy of Canada)

A family of at least five swift foxes was recently spotted in the tall prairie grasses south of Medicine Hat, Alta. — a positive sign for the resurgence of a species that was declared extirpated, or locally extinct, in Canada in 1978.

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#743 Ditching the high heels and walking home in bare feet on the sidewalk after a long night

Posted  August 15, 2018  by  Anonymous

Give yourself a break and peel them off a bit early. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Instagram —

The post #743 Ditching the high heels and walking home in bare feet on the sidewalk after a long night appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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DNC Will Take Fossil Fuel Money After All

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  guest

Read time: 4 mins

Tom Perez in 2016

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

That was fast. Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNCunanimously prohibited donations from fossil fuel companies, the DNC voted 30-2 on Friday, August 11 on a resolution that critics say effectively reverses the ban, The Huffington Post reported.

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All the Battles Being Waged Against Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Are Following a Single Strategy

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  guest

Read time: 6 mins

Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat, at a Mountain Valley pipeline protest before he took office.
By Luis Hestres, The University of Texas at San Antonio

The activists holding a growing number of protests against oil pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects from coast to coast are winning some courtroom victories.

For example, a federal appeals court recently struck down two key decisions allowing a natural gas pipeline to cut through Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest, just days before a three-judge panel nixed two permits for another pipeline intended to transport natural gas in Virginia because it would compromise efforts to protect endangered wildlife. At the same time, Oregon’s Supreme Court declined to revisit a lower court ruling that let Portland’s prohibition of big fossil fuel export projects stand.

Just like when activists refuse to leave their treetop perches to stop oil companies from axing an old-growth forest or when they lock their bodies to bulldozers to prevent the machine from making way for a new coal mine, these legal challenges are part of a coordinated strategy I have studied for years while researching the movement to slow down and address climate change.

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Corbella Column Pulled

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  bigcitylib

This morning The Calgary Herald published a column by  Licia Corbella, entitled “Family of jailed Saudi blogger angry over Trudeau”.  In it Corbella criticized government’s twitter diplomacy efforts in the Raif Badawi case, directly quoting members of the man’s family.  As you will note by clicking through the link above, that column is now gone.  Mr. Badawi’s wife, in  a series of tweets early this afternoon, called the story “fake news”.  Those tweets are also gone, as is all reference to the story in Ms. Corbella’s twitter feed.  I contacted The Herald and asked if they had yanked the piece, and they responded as below:

The column has been removed at the request of Ensaf Haidar (wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi) due to the sensitive nature of the family’s situation.

— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) August 14, 2018

So there appears to have been a severe cock-up on the journalism front by Ms. Corbella, the precise details of which remain obscure.  It wouldn’t be the first time.

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Ocean Bridge Diaries: Jay Matsushiba

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  Anonymous

Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii is often called “The Edge of the World.” That phrase came to take on new meaning for Ocean Bridge participant Jay Matsushiba. (Photo: Dax Justin/Canadian Geographic)

This spring, 40 Canadian youth aged 18-30 came together in Haida Gwaii for a 10-day expedition as part of Ocean Wise’s Ocean Bridge program. Ocean Bridge aims to empower young people to make an impact in ocean conservation by giving them the tools and confidence to lead educational and service projects in their own communities. Throughout the month of August, Canadian Geographic is featuring the voices of some of this year’s cohort as they reflect on their experiences in Haida Gwaii. 
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Trump’s proposed changes to Endangered Species Act worry Canadian conservationists

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  Anonymous

A grizzly in Banff National Park, Alberta. (Photo: Carlos Marrero Reiley/Can Geo Photo Club)

Grizzly bears, bald eagles, gray wolves and the American alligator: These are just a few species brought back from the brink of extinction with the help o…

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Children

Study Finds Giving Prebiotics To Kids Doesn’t Change Their Energy Intake And Ups A Major Hunger Hormone Yet Still Concludes Prebiotics Have Potential To Help With Childhood Obesity?

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Today will be discussing a study that had kids randomly assigned to taking either 8g oligofructose enriched inulin (prebiotic) per day or placebo (maltodextrin) for 16 weeks.

The study’s pre-registered primary outcome measure, as recorded in ClinicalTrials.gov, was change in baseline fat mass at 16 weeks.

Secondary outcome measures (as recorded) were changes in baseline appetite at 16 weeks (assessed with visual analog scales and an eating behavior questionnaire), and objective appetite measures including a weighed breakfast buffet, weighted 3-day food records, and serum satiety hormone levels.

(Not preregistered as an outcome of interest? Body weight change or BMIz score.)

Outcome wise, here’s a snapshot of the study’s abstract:

Reading through the study, here’s what I found as outcomes:

  • According to their 3 day food diaries (but be aware, food diaries are notoriously inaccurate), there was no difference in 3 day energy intake between the prebiotic and placebo arms.
  • When all ages were included in the analysis, there was no difference in all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet energy intake between the probiotic and placebo arms, BUT, by dividing the kids into those between the ages of 7-10 and 11-12, suddenly, but only in the older group, kids ate less breakfast in the prebiotic arm, while in the younger group, they ate more.
  • The hunger hormone ghrelin was found to be significantly elevated in those taking the prebiotic (an increase of 28%) from baseline, whereas placebo was not demonstrably different from baseline (an increase of 8%).
  • There was no difference reported in subjective post-breakfast buffet hunger in either group
  • There was no difference reported in subjective eating behavior questionnaires between groups, but parents reported improvements in fullness, but equally in both prebiotic and placebo groups.
  • The primary outcome of change in baseline fat mass was not mentioned anywhere in the study.

The authors’ conclusions about a prebiotic supplement that was shown to markedly increase hunger hormone levels, that didn’t decrease 3 day food diary energy intake, that didn’t change all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet energy intake (unless you arbitrarily after the fact divided up the kids into those aged 7-10 and 11-12), and where the study’s registered primary outcome wasn’t mentioned in the study itself sure look differently than what you might expect, with their concluding sentence being,

This simple dietary change has the potential to help with appetite regulation in children with obesity

I also found it surprising that the study was free to read, and given the incredibly unexciting findings, it’s more difficult to imagine the authors paying for its open access. Easier to imagine the company that makes the prebiotic that a randomized controlled trial published in an impactful journal explicitly concluded, “has the potential to help with appetite regulation in children with obesity” (even though it didn’t), paying the extra fees as open access articles generally gather more citations.

As to what Beneo, the manufacturer of the prebiotic used in this study had to say, I found these quotes in an article published on the trade-zine Nutraingredients at the time of the study’s publication,

Beneo regards this research of highest importance“,

and despite the study not even remotely coming to this conclusion also added,

The intake of 8g of prebiotic inulin (Orafti Synergy 1) in a glass of water prior to dinner is a simple dietary intervention that supports children in their weight management efforts. The results show that they were naturally eating less (YF: no they didn’t) than the control group having maltodextrin

Beneo also put out an excited press release to publicize the study.

And you can bet your bottom dollar, it’s studies and conclusions like this one that supplement companies use to suggest great benefits to their products, and it’s also studies like this one where I wish the journal employed open peer review as I can’t fathom how this one got through as is.

Lastly, while the authors didn’t report any conflicts of interest with this particular study, the supplements and placebos were provided by Beneo, and it was noted that one of the authors had previously enjoyed funding from Beneo. Unfortunately there is no mention as to who paid for this study’s open access.

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#744 That smooth feeling on your teeth right after you get your braces taken off

Posted  August 14, 2018  by  Anonymous

Picture a loud, clanging factory with assembly lines zig-zagging all over the place, steam bursting out of pipes, and slick oil spills laying on cold, concrete floors. Then add blaring sirens, honking forklifts, and scraggly guys in cargo shorts and workboots trudging by with brooms now and then. That chaotic jungle of a factory is […]

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