Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

Dream Come True: More White Bread for School Lunch

December 9, 2018 — The plan to “make school lunches great again” is complete. The USDA has announced its final plans to lower the nutrition standards for school cafeterias. That means more sodium, more white bread, and more sugar-sweetened milk will be A-OK with the USDA. Completely Unsurprising Anyone who’s surprised by this needs to get out from under […]

Obesity and Other Diseases Too Dangerous to Normalize

December 4, 2018 — No doubt, the intentions behind this headline were good. “Obesity is too dangerous to normalize,” said a letter to the editor on Sunday in the Washington Post. That letter came in response to a commentary about plus-size fashion that pleaded for clothes that will let bigger women simply be themselves. And feel good about it, […]

The Real Story of Declining U.S. Life Expectancy

December 3, 2018 — The headlines are full of it. “Drug overdoses and suicides are causing American life expectancy to drop,” says the Atlantic, for example. But the real story is much more complex. Heart disease and obesity are playing a significant role, too. Big Increases, Small Numbers Without a doubt, big increases in drug overdoses and suicide are […]

NHS: Waistlines and Wallets vs Hoops and Hurdles

December 2, 2018 — In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is coming to terms with the impact of obesity and diabetes. Chief executive Simon Stevens says: The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands people and avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and type 2 diabetes. Because what’s good […]

Getting a Handle on the Social Environment for Obesity

November 30, 2018 — The idea that obesity is contagious is a “brilliant analogy,” says a distinguished professor of pediatrics, Leonard Epstein. More and more research supports this view. But the ideas about contagion require careful thinking in this context. Thinking about transmitting obesity from one person to another is not especially helpful. What’s more relevant is thinking about […]

Rebecca Puhl: Finding a Path to Less Weight Stigma

November 26, 2018 — One of the highlights of ObesityWeek 2018 was Rebecca Puhl’s award for scientific achievement. Not just because we admire her and her pioneering work on weight stigma. But also because she rewarded us. She delivered an inspiring lecture on finding a path to less weight stigma. Stigma researcher Angela Alberga explains: It was incredible to […]

Sifting Data to Find Desired Results

November 24, 2018 — “Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.” Thus wrote Karl Popper in 1934. But these lofty words don’t protect us from the hazard of confirmation bias. It really hurts when a big, expensive trial does not confirm an important […]

Searching for Obesity Prevention Strategies That Work

November 20, 2018 — ObesityWeek brings together diverse perspectives – scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals. We heard from all of them last week. “Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes work,” a number of public health folks told us. “For their intended purpose. To reduce unhealthy beverage consumption.” That last bit provides the important fine print. Taxes on SSBs are spreading all over […]

Health Plans Punishing Members for Weight Loss

November 19, 2018 — It’s an old problem. But it’s getting harder and harder to understand. When people lose a lot of excess weight and put obesity into remission, excess skin becomes a serious threat to health and well-being for many patients. However, health plans often tell patients, too bad. No matter what the medical need, the first response […]

OW2018: Poverty, Stress, and Access to Obesity Care

November 16, 2018 — The last few days at ObesityWeek brought us some fascinating insights relating to poverty, stress, and access to obesity care. Presentations here remind us that obesity has a complex relationship with social status. Food security plays a role. Veterans live with a higher risk. And yet, access to effective care is nothing short of bizarre […]