Posts Tagged ‘politics’

SNAP, WIC, and Junk Food

February 18, 2018 — It’s a perennial argument. How come we keep letting people in SNAP use it to buy junk food? And every time the answer that comes back is pragmatic. It would be an expensive, bureaucratic nightmare to police junk food in SNAP. But the argument just won’t stop. A new study and new policy proposals promise […]

America’s Harvest Box of Processed Food

February 17, 2018 — It’s hard to know what to think about this week’s proposal for sweeping changes in SNAP from the White House. Once known as food stamps, SNAP is the cornerstone program for fighting food insecurity. Under this proposal, a Harvest Box of processed food would replace half of the food that SNAP recipients can presently choose […]

Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure?

February 9, 2018 — Look out, folks. Congress has some common sense nutrition disclosure coming your way. While House members waited for a budget agreement from the Senate this week, they needed something to do. So they passed the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act and sent it on to the Senate. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, sponsor of the bill, hailed […]

The Comfort of Opinion Without the Discomfort of Thought

February 3, 2018 — Are we enjoying the comfort of our opinions within familiar circles, free from disquieting thought? All too often, the answer is yes. After all, critical thinking can be unpleasant. Perhaps we should note that this concern is nothing new. Consider this excerpt from a commencement address delivered at Yale by President John F. Kennedy. June […]

Let’s Tax Junk Food All Across America

January 19, 2018 — Call it “a modest proposal” if you like. But the authors probably don’t intend this to be satire. Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, Jennifer Pomeranz and colleagues tell us that we can tax junk food all across America anytime we want to. They offer a wry conclusion. “Political feasibility in the current political […]

How to Promote Self-Deception About Health and Obesity

January 18, 2018 — Perhaps you noticed. This week, everyone is interested in the president’s BMI. Following a press briefing, Twitter became obsessed with the subject. But the only good we can find in this fuss is an object lesson on how stigma promotes self-deception about health and obesity. White House doctor Ronny Jackson told the press that our […]

Stand Up, Kids, Today We’re Going to Fight Obesity

January 7, 2018 — Jamie Oliver is back in the thick of things, fighting childhood obesity in the UK. Together with a charismatic TV doctor, Rangan Chatterjee, he’s proposing some simple solutions to the UK’s problem with childhood obesity. It’s time for kids to stand up in school, they say. Standing desks and better food will do the trick. […]

How Do We Feel About Vulnerable People?

December 25, 2017 — Words have power. And today, the powerful word that’s on our mind is vulnerable. Many people today are celebrating the birth a vulnerable baby thousands of years ago. A Banned Word? Last week, political reporters were chattering about a list of words to avoid in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The direction […]

The Ethical Dead End of Personal Responsibility

December 22, 2017 — On the subject of obesity, one way or another, it takes only seconds. Almost always, the subject of personal responsibility will claim its central role. To some people, it’s even a key tool for allocating scarce medical resources. But with a new paper in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Sven Ove Hansson helps us […]

Name It, Shame It, Call It Out?

November 23, 2017 — We can’t ignore it. The Scarlet S – shame – is everywhere in the news. And it’s a coin with two sides. On one side of this coin, the Scarlet S is riding high. Women are shaming awful men who assaulted, abused, and harassed them. And everyone is hoping for a turning point toward a more just […]