Not a day goes by without another TV exposé or newspaper article declaring a new health risk. By the next day, there are new reports that dispute those "facts." This deluge of medical news has had a peculiar effect: Though as a nation we've never been healthier, our sense of well-being has declined. Why all the worry? Confusion, partly. We hear about new research all the time, but it's often contradictory and hard to interpret.
But what if a report in next week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests, for instance, that soy protein is bad for you? Should you immediately scramble to revamp your diet? Take a tip from the editor of JAMA, Catherine DeAngelis, M.D., M.P.H. When she evaluates medical findings, she asks herself four key questions:
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