Help Us Help Your Health

Author: Fron Jackson-Webb

(MENAFN- The Conversation) We make hundreds of decisions that affect our health every day – from what we eat and how we move our bodies, to the questions we ask our doctor when our kids are sick, or how we support our ageing parents with dementia or cancer.

Sometimes we make decisions out of habit, or based on what feels right. At other times, it's after hearing about a friend's experience, or doing some research online.

But there's so much contradictory advice in the news, online and particularly on social media. One day a study says coffee is bad for our health, the next week, another says it can help us live longer. So it's hard to work out whether you should actually cut back, drink more, or worry about something else.

The problem is that science is incremental. An early finding might sound promising, but it takes more studies, with more people, to build a body of evidence. We need experts to help us interpret new findings, put them into context and help us make decisions right for us.

This is why we launched The Conversation 13 years ago (I was one of ten original editors). Back then, the anti-vaccine movement was gathering pace and listicles were starting to be a thing. We launched at a time when other media outlets were shrinking, and while we had funding for three years, none of us was sure if it this type of journalism would take off.

Thankfully it did. Evidence-based journalism is needed now more than ever.

I and the rest of The Conversation's health editors trawl through academic papers to bring you the latest research and commission experts to put it into context for you. We interrogate government announcements about how taxpayer money is spent, and evaluate policy solutions to improve our collective health. And we commission experts to answer questions that you (and we) have always wondered about, like what happens to our teeth as we age or, as in this morning's story , how best to help people living through cancer treatment.

If you value our journalism, consider donating to The Conversation today . We know the cost of living is biting, but every little bit helps.

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