Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

IDK Scrambles Our Thinking About Obesity

August 20, 2018 — Ask a thoughtful scientist precisely what has brought us a global pandemic of obesity and you are likely to get an ambiguous answer. We have plenty of suspects. But no sinuglar culprit. So the honest answer is IDK. Faking It vs “I Don’t Know” Most often, neither journalists nor policymakers let the facts get in […]

Loose Connections Between Dietary Guidelines and Reality

August 16, 2018 — By their very nature, dietary guidelines have a shaky relationship with the reality of what we eat. Before 1977, Americans had no guidelines for what they should eat. But then, a senate select committee published dietary goals for Americans. In 1980, those “goals” became the first edition of  Dietary Guidelines for Americans Controversial from the […]

Mixing Up Correlation, Causation, Obesity, and Poverty

August 15, 2018 — It’s an easy mistake to make. “It’s poverty, not individual choice that is driving extraordinary obesity levels,” writes Martin Cohen in The Conversation. That seems like a reasonable sentiment. But it’s not quite true. A Messy Correlation The truth is that poverty can predict a higher risk of obesity – in some cases. But not all. […]

An Autopsy Long Ago with My Father

August 13, 2018 — My father instilled in me a desire and a curiosity about diagnosis. It started with me watching him conduct autopsies as Medical Examiner of Bergen County, New Jersey. I accompanied him to the scene of countless murders and unsolved crimes, witnessing him examine each body for clues that could reveal the cause of a person’s […]

The Counterintuitive Physiology of Obesity

August 8, 2018 — At the National Academy of Sciences yesterday, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions got a bit of a jolt. It came in the form of an afternoon spent reflecting on the counterintuitive physiology of obesity. One roundtable member summed it up nicely. “This way of thinking about obesity just smashes our old models for solving the […]

Teaching College Students that Cancer Is a Choice

August 1, 2018 — What happens when a distinguished public university starts buying a canned wellness curriculum from a for-profit wellness venture? Well, in the case of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you wake up to find that all your students are learning that cancer is a choice. We wish we were making this up. But […]

High School Memories and Overcoming Obesity

July 27, 2018 — Growing up, I was the definition of meek. I also carried more weight on my frame and towered above my peers. Despite this, I was a good friend to my fellow elementary schoolers. However, In addition to my timid yet friendly nature, I was also painfully aware of my obesity from a young age, which affected […]

Politics Are Truly Beside the Point in Obesity

July 26, 2018 — “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” Groucho Marx (borrowing words from Ernest Benn) explained perfectly why politics aren’t helpful for dealing with obesity. If you want a case in point, we will send you to a new essay in The American Conservative […]

Such a Shame About Severe Childhood Obesity

July 24, 2018 — Today we have another round of headlines, clucking about childhood obesity. Unfortunately, the UK is setting new records for severe childhood obesity. It’s such a shame, they say. Obesity is entirely preventable, said Max Davie to reporters. Davie is the officer for health promotion in the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. A Ten-Fold Increase […]

Gaining Ground on Advocacy, State by State

July 20, 2018 — On the eve of YWM2018 yesterday, roughly 50 key members gathered to sharpen skills and support a new push for advocacy state by state. As ever, the priorities are constant and clear: gaining access to care, supporting research, and reducing bias and discrimination. Already, we’re gaining ground. Better Access to Care at Cigna and Emblem […]