Nutrition in the News

A Critique by Illana Olden

Article Summary

The article "Why Raising 'Good' Cholesterol Doesn't Always Help the Heart" was written on April 4th, 2016 by Alice Park. This article goes into depth about the difficulty researchers like Eli Lilly and Company are having with the development of a drug used to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels in hopes of lowering the rate of heart disease in individuals at a high risk of cardiovascular disease. A research study was created by this company involving 12,000 individuals at a high risk of heart disease to use the drug along with a placebo over the course of 1.5 years. The drug used in this specific study is called Evacetrapib and it is not clear how this drug effects cholesterol particles other than by making less LDL cholesterol and building up more HDL cholesterol in the blood. In the study those who used Evacetrapib had little difference in heart events as compared to those using the placebo. Although the drug increased HDL levels by 130% and decreased LDL levels by 37%, the study shows that the drug was ineffective in treating individuals with a high risk of heart disease.

Article Critique

Alice Park is a staff writer for TIME magazine, a weekly news magazine published in New York City. She has reported on topics of health, nutrition, and science since 1993. Such topics reviewed by Park would include AIDS, cancer, and Alzheimer's Disease. Park has been recognized with awards for excellence by the National Arthritis Foundation as well as the National Headache Foundation, named a Kyoto Prize Journalism fellow, and has also received two CASE media fellowships. Except for the editorial biography written about Alice Park for TIME magazine, there is not much information about her as an author. Although there aren't many biographies covering Park's journalism credentials and her LinkedIn profile provides minimal information, the awards that she has won as well as the Kyoto and CASE fellowships she has earned proves her to be a reliable publisher. CASE is the Council for Advancement and Support of Education which is a professional association that serves educational associations and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern. For individuals like Alice Park CASE offers fellowships with individuals who promote education worldwide, therefore increasing the credibility of this author. A Kyoto fellowship is given to journalists who obtain a level of excellence in their field thereby further establishing Park's credibility.


The article itself was published by TIME magazine, which is a popular source of publication in which most articles are short, easy to read, have little citations, and are surrounded by numerous advertisements. Although this article was published in TIME magazine, Park quoted the researchers and medical scientists involved in the study multiple times which would allow the information to come across as more reliable. it had a variety of in-text citations from doctors in the field of cardiology and medicine. With this summary of information came many medical terminologies that may be difficult to understand in a health illiterate individual. With that being said, I did notice that with the citations and quotes given, there was no reference page or link to the research study which decreased the credibility of the article. Without any link to the research study, trusting the article can be difficult for some readers because there is no source from which the author was pulling information. Also, the article didn't come off as biased but more honest, without promoting nor demoting the medication it was discussing and only reviewing the information provided by the researchers of this cardiac study. The conclusion of the article established the cancellation of the medication used to treat heart disease along with an explanation of why therefore it did not come off as misleading. With the use of other sources, I was able to find the research this article was written about by using the researcher's name and the name of the study which made it easier to see if there were any missing details that would have been important to include in the article. Here is a link to the presentation I believe is being referenced in the article: http://clinicaltrialresults.org/Slides/Stephen_Nicholls_Evacetrapib.pdf. Overall, this article in particular was unbiased and credible even though there was a lack of references.

Works Cited


Park, A. (2016, April 4). Why Raising 'Good' Cholesterol Doesn't Always Help the Heart. Retrieved from http://time.com/4279691/hdl-cholesterol-drugs-heart/



TIME Media Kit » Alice Park. (2013, November 18). Retrieved from http://www.timemediakit.com/bios/park/



Source Evaluation and Credibility: Journals and Magazines. (2015, December 8). Retrieved from http://library.elmhurst.edu/credibility