Trending Topics pieces (Article Analyses, Evidence Clips and Other Topics) are published in timely response to recent media and journal articles, position statements, clinical guidelines, etc. Since they are based on the most recent evidence/publications, they may not be consistent with PEN evidence in other PEN content areas. As soon as possible, when this occurs, the PEN content will be reviewed and updated as needed.
Assessing Recent Reporting on Water Fluoridation and Children’s IQ
A recently published observational study on the effect of prenatal fluoridation exposure on cognition of children in Mexico has drawn media attention and has raised concerns regarding a potential link of water fluoridation and lower IQ in children. In an opinion piece written for journalists writing stories about the research, Health News Review has suggested that many of the media reports have been inaccurate. Using the fluoride story as an illustrative example, they suggest there are four questions that people should be asking to determine if the study has been accurately reported on:
- Does the headline overstate the evidence?
- Does the story discuss the limitations of the study?
- Does the story explain the size of the effect?
- Does the story explain the potential benefits of fluoridation?
For further information on oral health care and children, including the use of fluoride, see PEN Knowledge Pathway Oral Health - Pediatrics/Paediatrics.