Exercise: studying a scientific press release - diet soda and heart attacks

diet soda
Goal: to show students a typical science press release

Time: 10 minutes

Materials: diet soda press release, teaching notes

This exercise gives students a look at a typical press release they might see while in the workplace. It covers recent findings that link consumption of soft drinks to vascular events, and salt to an increased stroke risk. What kind of things should students look for in a press release? What questions should they ask?

Have the students read through the press release, jotting down the key points and noting any questions they have. Then, using the attached teaching notes, guide the students though some of the major points to consider when writing it up as a news article. What is the source of the story? What are the main limitations of the research? What does the evidence show?

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