Fish oil in the Observer: the return of a $2bn friend

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Language/s: English
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Ben Goldacre draws attention to people’s wish to believe that a pill can be the solution to a complicated problem.

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Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 5 June 2010

“Fish oil helps schoolchildren to concentrate” was the headline in the Observer. Regular readers will remember the omega-3 fish oil pill issue, as the entire British news media has been claiming for several years now that there are trials showing it improves school performance and behaviour in mainstream children, despite the fact that no such trial has ever been published. There is something very attractive about the idea that solutions to complex problems in education can be found in a pill.

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