Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

The Perfectly Natural Bias for a White Hat

October 15, 2018 — Never underestimate the power of rationalization. Because sounds good, very often, is good enough. Just ask folks selling “natural” foods and drinks. A good story about natural purity fetches premium prices. Also, you should look at new research on white hat bias. Even for researchers, it seems the ends can justify the means. It’s a […]

Day by Day, Overcoming Obesity

October 13, 2018 — My struggle with weight began in my early teens. That was when my doctor prescribed  a birth control medicine to treat dysmenorrhea. But I didn’t know it would cause massive weight gain and hormone fluctuations. I’ve had to work at overcoming obesity every day of my life since then. One of the hardest things about […]

Our Ethical Blind Spot in Access to Obesity Care

October 12, 2018 — There’s no gentle way to express this. We suffer from a huge ethical blind spot regarding access to obesity care. Today, as National Obesity Care Week focuses upon access to care, we must acknowledge just how big this gap is. Of course, we focus a lot on the issue of access to obesity treatment. We […]

Weight Bias and Stigma Have Power to Unite and Divide

October 11, 2018 — Weight bias and stigma hold power over us. It can poison just about everything we might do about obesity. And yet today, it unites us. As we observe National Obesity Care Week, our focus today is squarely upon weight bias. Two Ways to Express Bias Two distinct types of bias work against us. First and […]

Traveling for Bariatric Surgery – Why?

October 10, 2018 — In 2017, about 1.4 million Americans left the U.S. to obtain medical care. And that number will grow by double digits this year. The reasons are many, but mostly it comes down to money. And a significant number of people are traveling for bariatric surgery. A Shameful History of Discrimination Health plans have long history […]

Dieting Doesn’t Work. So Who Cares What You Eat?

October 8, 2018 — Diet is a four letter word. People who hate the word like to point out that it starts with die. So it is that more or less everyone agrees dieting does not work for the long term. But this is where the confusion starts. Because sustainable changes to long-term patterns of diet can make a […]

Suddenly Taking the Disease of Addiction Seriously

October 7, 2018 — Just a few years ago, the debate was still going strong. “This is not a disease. People have the capacity to take control of their lives. It’s a disorder of choice.” Sound familiar? In 2010, Harvard’s Gene Heyman made these arguments against dealing with addiction as a disease in a popular book from the Harvard […]

Quoi?! More Burgers Than Baguettes in France?

October 2, 2018 — France has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. But it’s growing and the French parliament knows why. Le Big Mac. Burgers outsold baguettes for the first time ever in 2017. Burgers are on the menus in 85 percent of French restaurants. They sold 1.5 billion of them last year. So naturally, when the parliament […]

Can We Stop Pretending That Food Is Medicine?

September 26, 2018 — It’s one of those metaphors that we’re hearing more often. Folks at the Pew Trusts say the “food is medicine” concept is simple. If people eat nutritious food, they’ll need fewer meds. They’ll go to the emergency room less. And they’ll stay out of the hospital. A Role for Medically Tailored Meals California is funding […]

Does the USPSTF Understand What Chronic Means?

September 24, 2018 — The USPSTF is one of those acronyms that provides a good test of sobriety. If you can say it five times quickly, you’re either completely sober or a hopeless health policy geek. It stands for the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Last week, the task force affirmed that primary care providers should refer adults […]