Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

Picking Your Poison: Bias in Public Policy for Obesity

April 24, 2017 — How much evidence is necessary for enacting sound public policy for obesity? Yesterday at EB2017, the Obesity Research Interest Section of ASN brought together diverging views on that fundamental question. An economist and a public health professor warned about two different biases. Either of them can poison policies intended to improve public health. Bias for Action Professor […]

Is Scientific Objectivity a Political Statement?

April 23, 2017 — “Science is not a liberal conspiracy.” That theme of yesterday’s March for Science echoed in more than 600 cities around the world. Hundreds of thousands marched despite gloomy weather. Still, it was hard to deny that politics were infused into these marches. The U.S. president appears to like attention and, without a doubt, he inspired […]

Moving Toward Better Medical Training for Obesity Care

April 22, 2017 — The needle is moving. We’ve long known that healthcare providers are ill-equipped to provide competent obesity care. Three years ago, the Bipartisan Policy Center stepped forward. The center called for a long-term effort improve training healthcare professionals in obesity prevention and treatment. Now, we have news that medical training programs are stepping up to the challenge. Training That’s […]

Does North Korea “Have a Handle” on Obesity?

April 20, 2017 — Implicit bias has a way of slipping out from time to time. On the subject of obesity, an aspiring British politician let it slip earlier this week. James Cracknell named North Korea and Cuba as “the two countries of the world that have got a handle on obesity.” “They are quite controlling on behavioural change,” […]

Evidence-Based Policy or Policy-Based Evidence?

April 19, 2017 — Is evidence-based policy no more than a useful myth? Political science professor John Boswell clearly thinks so. And current headlines might suggest he’s right. Facts get twisted. Policymakers do what they want. Boswell explains his view in a paper that Governance will publish soon. For a case study, he uses bariatric surgery guidelines recently adopted by Britain’s National Institute […]

Magic Technology Cures for Diabetes and Obesity

April 18, 2017 — When people are desperate, magical thinking abounds. Even at the New York Times. Right now, you can read about how Silicon Valley technology is going to “tackle weight loss and diabetes with video chats.” With the help of mock apple cobbler and veggie omelets, an accountant and her husband have lost 120 pounds and avoided taking insulin. […]

Is Sleep Becoming Fashionable?

April 17, 2017 — Now that physical activity has become a fashion statement, will sleep be next? Dubious claims about powerful achievers who can thrive without sleeping much are giving way to sleep as a status symbol. And of course, that opens the door to commerce. A $400 Billion Economic Burden – And an Opportunity The RAND Corporation estimates […]

Maine: Another State Works on Better Obesity Care

April 15, 2017 — This chick hasn’t hatched. But the conversation is encouraging. Yesterday, Maine State Senator Nate Libby presented a bill in committee to reduce obesity and chronic disease rates in Maine by providing better obesity care. LD 1162: “An Act To Reduce the Incidence of Obesity and Chronic Disease in Maine” Specifically, Libby’s bill would provide better access […]

Moving from Obesity Myths to Theories

April 11, 2017 — Busting obesity myths is great sport. Those myths are are abundant, annoying, and problematic for people who want to move on to real solutions for the harms of obesity. Ruopeng An and Roland Sturm do a fine job of busting those myths, drawing upon their research funded by the Rand Corporation. Myth #1: Obesity Is an Epidemic of […]

Why Should Anyone Care About Obesity Science?

April 10, 2017 — A comment last week at the National Academy of Sciences from a well-known obesity expert stopped us cold: “I don’t think the science of obesity is going to get us any closer to reducing the burden of obesity in the near term.” Dismissing Science Oh my. We are in deep trouble indeed. Hearing the value […]