Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Beliefs, Facts, and Truth

June 9, 2018 — In their recent book, Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael Rich tell us that we’re suffering from truth decay. Public discourse now brings more disagreement about facts and their interpretation. They say the line separating facts from personal beliefs and opinions has become blurry. And thus, we have increasing difficulty with civil discourse and policymaking. Certainly, we […]

Health Insurance: New Rules, Higher Costs, Less Coverage

April 13, 2018 — You might have thought that all the news this week was about Syria and the FBI. You would be wrong. While everyone else was focused on those lovely distractions, CMS was busy issuing new rules for health insurance. The net effect is hard to predict. But broadly speaking, you can expect to see higher costs […]

Why Falsehoods Fly While the Truth Limps to Catch Up

March 10, 2018 — More than three centuries ago, Jonathan Swift wrote that falsehoods fly while the truth limps far behind it. Today, we certainly see that in nutrition and obesity. Any number of myths stand firm despite clear evidence disproving them. More broadly, the news is full of reporting about Russia and ISIS using bots to spread misinformation […]

Does a Healthier Diet Mean a Hangry President?

March 3, 2018 — Boredom comes easily to Twitter, so now it’s keeping tabs on what our president is eating. And the tweet on the street says that he must be hangry. Bloomberg reports that he’s trading a diet of Big Macs and chocolate shakes for salads and fish. For that matter, they report, the entire west wing is […]

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 […]