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Home » Koop Award Invalidity » Are you smarter than a Koop Award Committee member? Take this quiz to find out

Are you smarter than a Koop Award Committee member? Take this quiz to find out

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Last week we asked if you were smarter than a wellness vendor. (SPOILER ALERT:  you are — assuming you can read this posting without moving your lips.)  I suggested taking the Interactive Health IQ test, just to be sure.

Now, see if you are smarter than a Koop Committee member. They all reviewed this Wellsteps application and decided it was award-worthy.*

Do you agree that this application is award-worthy? If not, see how many self-invalidators you can find. I don’t mean “challenges” to the data. I mean self-immolations. Remember the mantra: “In wellness you don’t have to challenge the data to invalidate it. You merely have to read the data. It will invalidate itself.”

After you’ve finished, review the answers to see what you got right and what you missed.  You may have read it before since it’s been getting lots of views for six weeks, but I’ve added several observations since the original posting.

You may even find things I missed, so let me know. The reason is that — aside from possibly the first Sunday in November — there aren’t enough hours in a day to identify everything that Koop Committee members “overlook” in their friends’ applications.

If this type of analysis interests you, I might recommend applying for Critical Outcomes Report Analysis certification. This program is run by the Validation Institute, the gold standard in all things analytical regarding population health and employee health. (Disclosure: while I am not an employee, they occasionally subcontract to me.)

There is nothing highly technical in the answer posting. In order to make it possible for a Koop Committee member to understand and hence decide to rescind the award, I used only fifth-grade math, simple declarative sentences, short words, and lots of pictures.

*Speaking of disclosures that don’t appear in the award application, the Wellsteps CEO also served on the awards committee itself until very recently. Indeed, until so very recently that he still says he is on it.



  1. Here is what is really incredible about this — That the people being challenged about making up data, ignoring proper methodologies and potentially harming employees choose to bury their heads in the sand, ignore the challenges and hope they will go away rather than defend what they have done in the court of public opinion. I sincerely hope the rest of the industry and the organizations that we hope to serve will not do the same! – Dr. Jon


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      Agree except that they are not being challenged. They are being invalidated. Math is not a he said-she said. These aren’t dueling fact bases. It’s simply their own numbers. I’ve presented a proof, so unless there is a mistake in it and there isn’t, it’s QED.

      There is no such thing as a “counterproof.” Actually there is. Its the mold that is used to mint coins. It was also the name of a band from the 1980s. I guess by then all the good names were taken, along with most of the good songs.


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