Honors Writing about Health and Medicine

Home » Uncategorized » Comparing a Study and Its Popularization

Comparing a Study and Its Popularization



The following links show an example of a scientific study and the effect of meal times on weight loss and three news pieces about the study and its implications for a wider readership:

After reading through the original study and one of the popularizations, post a list of the differences you notice between the two in terms of organization, use of visuals, style, emphasis, etc.



  1. sarahmhudak says:

    International Journal of Obesity vs. New York Times “Well” Blog

    1. The journal’s title is an informative sentence about the study. The blog’s title is a question that gives just enough to draw the reader in.

    2. The journal’s background information is to the point. The blog’s background information is more like a backstory.

    3. The journal’s results were to the point, also. The blog listed the results in a narrative way (in regards to the study) and also made a separate heading called “the bottom line” to draw the readers to the conclusion without much effort on interpretation.

    4. Both pages appear to be the same length, and both contain basically the same information, but the blog’s tone makes the reading quicker and easier to understand. Skimming is also more possible for the blog, and the same information can be understood from just reading the title and the bottom line section.

  2. kgardner1130 says:

    Journal of Obesity vs. Yahoo

    1. The yahoo article starts more interesting and draws readers in because it is more of a news article instead of dry science.

    2. The journal article immediately gets to science information and technical information in the introduction while this is not used as quickly or frequently in the Yahoo article.

    3. The Yahoo article quickly implies that weight-loss may be tied to the timing of meals in the introduction but the journal article doesn’t reveal this information until much later.

  3. hgmohan says:

    1. The Journal made use of numerous statistics, while the NYT did not.

    2. There were virtually no scientific terms in the NYT blog, aside from the names of a few hormones.

    3. Both say virtually the same thing. The Journal has very pinpointed details, while the NYT blog focused on the big picture.

    4. Neither seemed to use images.

    5. Both had a “too long; didn’t read” section at the end, in the form of a “bottom line” for the NYT blog, and a conclusion for the Journal.

  4. erahmes says:

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition “Systematic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes” vs. Yahoo News “Mediterranean diet may be best for diabetes”

    1.The study is much more complex and uses more complicated terms, while the popularization is directed more towards the public and tries to be more relatable and uses simpler terminology.

    2. The popularization piece focused on weight loss and the types of food that the Mediterranean diet allows you to eat, especially olive oil. Then at the end added nutrition is also important, as well as weight loss. The study focused more on lowering the cardiovascular risk of diabetes. They discussed several diets that were effective, but did say the Mediterranean was the most effective. They did not emphasize the Mediterranean that much though. Focused on glycemic control, reduction of blood glucose, and improving lipid profile. Used weight loss as a benefit to health.

  5. apectol91 says:

    1. The diction of the journal article is much more technical than that of the Yahoo! article.

    2. The journal presents all pertinent data/information, while Yahoo! includes the highlights of the study.

    3. Yahoo! uses catchy titles/subtitles

    4. Yahoo! more or less just presents the abstract of the study, where the journal presents all information involved in the study (as any credible journal article should)

  6. tamarabwi32 says:

    Huffington Post

    Screaming at me as most popularization articles usually do is the opening sentence framing the article results as a fact.

    “Want to shed a few? Watch the clock. ”

    This is the “advice” the original scientific study offers, despite the original article being more of a presentation of facts. There is even a quick paragraph outlining other weight loss studies that repeats this list of results as more fact than supported with evidence ideas. The study itself is very numbers oriented with a lot of data outlining the parameters of the study and the statistics behind the results and candidates. This may seem like too much detail but numbers impact the significance of results and need to be accounted for before any validity is granted to the results of the study.

  7. ryanmarracino says:

    The International Journal of Obesity concisely explains the background research, the objective, the methods, and the results of the experiment in a fashion that is very plain and not persuasive in any way. It also shows many other variables that could have been the the actual contributors to the cause of more weight loss in one group over the other with statistical analysis. The study also is not trying to prove anything, but simply explaining the data that was collected.
    The Huffington Post article on the other hand starts out with a picture at the top of the article that shows four healthy people enjoying what appears to be a lunchtime picnic accompanied by a title that is immediately conveying a persuasive tone. At the beginning of the second paragraph, the article also makes a claim that all of the study’s participants were overweight which was not necessarily true. While the mean BMI of the study was in the obese category, that does not imply everone was overweight. The journal article didn’t mention many of the other variables that the study mentions could also be the cause of the increased weight loss in the early eating group. However the article does stay pretty fair by stating lunch is the main meal in Spain, and because the article is design to grab the reader’s attention it can’t explain the findings like the study did because no one would read it, so overall I feel it did achieve its goal of sparking interest in the subject matter.

  8. pmgomezg says:

    After reading the two pieces that had to do with obesity and timing of food intake there were some very significant differences between the two pieces.
    1. The popularized piece spent a lot of the writing explaining the study itself, with bare facts like the amount of participants, where it happened, the diet they were on, etc. while the article piece doesn’t really focus an entire section on that (the information is more spread out throughout the paper)
    2. The popularized piece didn’t delve into the specifics of what was done, what was measured and how it was measured at all. Nor did it go into other aspects other than time of food intake that could affect weight loss while the article piece had the bulk of its information dealing with those topics.
    3. The popularized piece goes straight into what the result/ conclusion was as a hook while the article piece states it at the end in the results/discussion section,
    4. Obviously the style of writing is different- the popularized piece contained no scientific jargon or vocab that a middle school student wouldn’t understand while the scientific article was full of it.

    These are just some blaring differences that were found but there are many more that could be spoken about.

  9. pmgomezg says:


    this is a website that I found that sort of has to do with the comparative analysis project that we will be completing this following week or so. The first four headings of the webpage I feel are most relevant to what we are doing and the website is very opinion based but it is interesting to see how others view the discrepancies between popularized news pieces and their scientific article counterparts.

  10. igoldfarb says:

    Journal of Obesity Article vs. Yahoo Article :

    1. The Journal of Obesity Article is much longer than the Yahoo article

    2. The Yahoo article is very compact and information packed where as the journal of obesity article has a lot of data & information

    3. The Journal of Obesity article is laid out in the form of a scientific experiment where as the Yahoo article is laid out around the main bullet points of the conclusion of the study

    4. The Yahoo article is written from someone looking at the study from a third person point of view where the Journal of Obesity article is written by the scientists that did the study (which might lead to some bias).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: