Part 3 (yes 3!): Clarifying the Myth About Exercise

23 08 2009

I can’t promise this won’t be the last, but TIME’s front page coverage—a usually reputable and fair minded news source—of “The Myth About Exercise” still has me thinking.

I have a few more thoughts on this matter after reading some responses to the “Myth” article in TIME’s Letters to the Editor.

In the Aug. 31, 2009 issue, TIME published The President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), James Pivarnik’s, letter to the editor in which he calls out the uneven and untrue reporting in The Myth About Exercise article. The ACSM also published a position statement motivated by the TIME article, in which experts within the ACSM took “strong exception to assertions that exercise can inhibit weight loss by over-stimulating the appetite.” In the position st

What struck me about Pivarnik’s letter was the irony.

How many people read Pivarnik’s letter compared to the millions who read the “Myth” article? The expert, scientific perspective gets 50 words buried on p.6, while the “Myth” story gets front cover exposure, and multiple page, full color feature coverage. Even if you didn’t read the article, you might of read the headline while standing in line at the grocery store—which might be enough to create misinformed perspectives.The exposure of a TIME cover story cannot be underestimated—a major weekly news magazine tells the public what is newsworthy, valued, important….and true (even when the “truth” is skewed, misinterpreted by a journalist, or just plain NOT true).

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