Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Picking Your Poison: Bias in Public Policy for Obesity

April 24, 2017 — How much evidence is necessary for enacting sound public policy for obesity? Yesterday at EB2017, the Obesity Research Interest Section of ASN brought together diverging views on that fundamental question. An economist and a public health professor warned about two different biases. Either of them can poison policies intended to improve public health. Bias for Action Professor […]

Is Scientific Objectivity a Political Statement?

April 23, 2017 — “Science is not a liberal conspiracy.” That theme of yesterday’s March for Science echoed in more than 600 cities around the world. Hundreds of thousands marched despite gloomy weather. Still, it was hard to deny that politics were infused into these marches. The U.S. president appears to like attention and, without a doubt, he inspired […]

Does North Korea “Have a Handle” on Obesity?

April 20, 2017 — Implicit bias has a way of slipping out from time to time. On the subject of obesity, an aspiring British politician let it slip earlier this week. James Cracknell named North Korea and Cuba as “the two countries of the world that have got a handle on obesity.” “They are quite controlling on behavioural change,” […]

Evidence-Based Policy or Policy-Based Evidence?

April 19, 2017 — Is evidence-based policy no more than a useful myth? Political science professor John Boswell clearly thinks so. And current headlines might suggest he’s right. Facts get twisted. Policymakers do what they want. Boswell explains his view in a paper that Governance will publish soon. For a case study, he uses bariatric surgery guidelines recently adopted by Britain’s National Institute […]

Learning When Childhood Obesity Prevention Fails

April 13, 2017 — What do you do when a study fails to show the outcome you expected? When a strategy doesn’t work? When a carefully planned childhood obesity prevention strategy has no effect? In Pediatrics this week, Julie Lumeng and colleagues faced that very outcome. They tested the effects of a program for kids in Head Start aimed […]

Moving from Obesity Myths to Theories

April 11, 2017 — Busting obesity myths is great sport. Those myths are are abundant, annoying, and problematic for people who want to move on to real solutions for the harms of obesity. Ruopeng An and Roland Sturm do a fine job of busting those myths, drawing upon their research funded by the Rand Corporation. Myth #1: Obesity Is an Epidemic of […]

Why Should Anyone Care About Obesity Science?

April 10, 2017 — A comment last week at the National Academy of Sciences from a well-known obesity expert stopped us cold: “I don’t think the science of obesity is going to get us any closer to reducing the burden of obesity in the near term.” Dismissing Science Oh my. We are in deep trouble indeed. Hearing the value […]

Disease Statistics: Competing for the Most Deaths

April 9, 2017 — Disease statistics rise to the top when describing the urgency to solve a critical health problem. How much suffering and death is this causing? A new study in PLOS ONE finds that the number of deaths caused by diabetes may be as much as four times higher than the numbers typically reported. Getting to Root Causes The […]

Whom Shall We Blame for Obesity?

April 4, 2017 — Affixing blame is an ancient human ritual. Affixing blame helps people make sense of a situation and move on to solving a problem. In the ancient scripture of Leviticus, the community places its sins upon a goat and casts the goat into the desert. It’s the original scapegoat. With sins removed, everyone can get on with […]

Biostatisticians Are Frustrating When Data Are Weak

April 2, 2017 — Biostatisticians can be very helpful when they save someone from an embarrassing mistake. They can be frustrating when a person has already made the mistake. The frustration scenario comes out loud and clear in a case that Retraction Watch investigated this week. Claiming Efficacy Without Proving It Back in February, ConscienHealth reported on the mysterious […]