Alex Eben Meyer

Alex Eben Meyer

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Clinical balance
Pharmaceutical companies sponsor 90 percent of the clinical trials that enable FDA approval of medicines and vaccines. But some companies do much better than others in ensuring diversity of trial participants. People enrolled in clinical trials tend to skew white and male, and to be younger and healthier than those with the conditions the trials are targeting—which raises questions about whether safety and efficacy findings are broadly applicable. Now, Yale researchers have received an FDA grant to find out how to spread the practices of the companies that ensure diversity. “The aim,” says Jennifer E. Miller, an associate professor at the School of Medicine, “is to advance health for all. When clinically distinct groups are not represented in the medical evidence, both justice and public health concerns are raised.”  

Keeping kids fit
Childhood obesity significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Yale researchers recently reassessed the effects of Bright Bodies, a Yale program to help children 7 to 16 keep a healthy body weight. Rather than focusing on “dieting”—which doesn’t provide the tools to make healthy choices for the long term—the program involves family-based nutrition education, behavior modification classes, supervised physical activities, and caregiver support. A 2007 trial showed positive results. The new study showed that between 2008 and 2018, body mass index scores and diabetes risk for 396 children in the program decreased at a rate comparable to the original 2007 trial: a decade of evidence for the program’s efficacy.

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