NEWS

Follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health policy and obesity

Wavering on Insurance Protections for Medical Conditions

September 25, 2017 — On Sunday, President Trump boiled down the debate on repealing health insurance protections in the Affordable Care Act: I don’t know what they’re doing, but you know what? Eventually we’ll win, whether it’s now or later. Most people probably share his uncertainty. It’s pretty hard to know what they’re up to. But right now it’s […]

Melania Trump’s New Love for Gardening

September 24, 2017 — Food policy wonks can exhale now. Gardening is back in fashion at the White House. On Friday, First Lady Melania Trump hosted a happy contingent of school children to plant and pick in the White House kitchen garden. “I’m a Big Believer in Healthy Eating” The First Lady dressed for the occasion in a red […]

Fat-Shaming Trolls Turn to Athletes

September 23, 2017 — If you want perspective on the absurdity of fat-shaming trolls, consider this. Eddie Lacy, a successful NFL running back, can’t shake them. He tells ESPN: I could pull up my Twitter right now and there would be a fat comment in there somewhere. Like I could tweet, “Today is a beautiful day!” and someone would […]

The Potential for Exercise to Prevent 1 in 12 Early Deaths

September 22, 2017 — Yet again, we have the PURE study this week stirring up headlines around the world. A couple of weeks ago, it was nutrition. Today in Lancet, they’re publishing data on the potential for exercise to prevent deaths. Scott Lear and colleagues say that 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week can make a big […]

Sugar Warnings: Dose Makes the Poison

September 21, 2017 — This week, a U.S. appeals court struck down a San Francisco law requiring sugar warnings on advertising for sugary beverages. The law dates to June of 2015. It called for the following warning: WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County […]

The Odd Codependence of Fat Shaming and Fat Acceptance

September 20, 2017 — “I refuse to let my daugher be taught by a fat teacher.” So says an opinion writer for the Daily Mail in a recent opinion article that she’s milking for all the attention she can get. In an odd expression of codependence, she tries to justify her heinous views by saying that fat activists have […]

Child’s Play: Mixing Values with Data

September 19, 2017 — How can insignificant results be clinically significant? It happens. Especially when a researcher believes that his program must have a big effect. Consider this conclusion from a recent study of an program to promote more play: Although the differences between intervention and control were not statistically significant, the effect size indicates clinical significance. Promoting Physical Activity Through Child’s […]

Searching for Bias? Look in the Mirror

September 18, 2017 — “We need a safe space to rethink our assumptions.” This phrase came from a recent summary panel on food environments and obesity prevention. Later, the speaker explained. We need that safe space, she said, because a disproven assumption puts funding at risk. So people are reluctant to speak candidly. It was a stark reminder. The […]

Marketing the Ingredients for a Lousy Diet in Brazil

September 17, 2017 — Brazil has a serious public health problem growing in plain sight. Obesity is now a larger problem than hunger in South America’s biggest economy. A detailed report in the New York Times today paints a picture of multinational food companies expanding their businesses in Brazil with disastrous results. The Brazilian Ministry of Health reports that […]

The Language of Weight Stigma and Bias

September 16, 2017 — How Everyday Language Casually Stigmatises Obesity – And What to Do About It Obesity is a highly stigmatised condition. Those with obesity are frequently subject to prejudice and ridicule at home, school, work, and even from health care professionals. Every day, they face social rejection and are deemed lazy, unattractive, unmotivated and unhappy. Alarmingly, many obese […]