Snake Oil?

This is an intriguing interactive infographic developed by superstar David McCandless in the area of health. It represents various dietary supplements as balloons that rise or fall based on the evidence that they actually have positive effects on various and selectable ailments and conditions.

McCandless says,

This image is a “balloon race”. The higher a bubble, the greater the evidence for its effectiveness. But the supplements are only effective for the conditions listed inside the bubble.

You might also see multiple bubbles for certain supps. These is because some supps affect a range of conditions, but the evidence quality varies from condition to condition. For example, there’s strong evidence that Green Tea is good for cholesterol levels. But evidence for its anti-cancer effects is conflicting. In these cases, we give a supp another bubble.

The backend data is stored and the graphic is generated out of this Google Doc. From here, new research can be added in, adapting the graphic. Source documents are included in this file.

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