Posts Tagged ‘public health’

IDK Scrambles Our Thinking About Obesity

August 20, 2018 — Ask a thoughtful scientist precisely what has brought us a global pandemic of obesity and you are likely to get an ambiguous answer. We have plenty of suspects. But no sinuglar culprit. So the honest answer is IDK. Faking It vs “I Don’t Know” Most often, neither journalists nor policymakers let the facts get in […]

Loose Connections Between Dietary Guidelines and Reality

August 16, 2018 — By their very nature, dietary guidelines have a shaky relationship with the reality of what we eat. Before 1977, Americans had no guidelines for what they should eat. But then, a senate select committee published dietary goals for Americans. In 1980, those “goals” became the first edition of  Dietary Guidelines for Americans Controversial from the […]

The Counterintuitive Physiology of Obesity

August 8, 2018 — At the National Academy of Sciences yesterday, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions got a bit of a jolt. It came in the form of an afternoon spent reflecting on the counterintuitive physiology of obesity. One roundtable member summed it up nicely. “This way of thinking about obesity just smashes our old models for solving the […]

Teaching College Students that Cancer Is a Choice

August 1, 2018 — What happens when a distinguished public university starts buying a canned wellness curriculum from a for-profit wellness venture? Well, in the case of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you wake up to find that all your students are learning that cancer is a choice. We wish we were making this up. But […]

Politics Are Truly Beside the Point in Obesity

July 26, 2018 — “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” Groucho Marx (borrowing words from Ernest Benn) explained perfectly why politics aren’t helpful for dealing with obesity. If you want a case in point, we will send you to a new essay in The American Conservative […]

Such a Shame About Severe Childhood Obesity

July 24, 2018 — Today we have another round of headlines, clucking about childhood obesity. Unfortunately, the UK is setting new records for severe childhood obesity. It’s such a shame, they say. Obesity is entirely preventable, said Max Davie to reporters. Davie is the officer for health promotion in the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. A Ten-Fold Increase […]

One More Strike Against Low Fat Dairy

July 14, 2018 — Over the last 15 years or so, we’ve shaken off some bad dietary advice that swallowed us in the 1980s. Low fat everything was supposed to be the foundation for a healthy diet. Until it wasn’t. But one piece of that dogma has held its place in dietary guidelines. The 2015 guidelines for Americans still […]

Are We Now Supposed to Fight the Sugar Epidemic?

July 13, 2018 — For the last two days, Harvard Professors Steven Grinspoon and Frank Hu led a symposium on fighting the sugar epidemic. Coincidentally, the Obesity Society issued a press release yesterday calling for more research on the effects of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes. President-elect Steven Heymsfield said: Although taxing SSBs might generate revenue that can be used to […]

The Global Environment for Soaring Childhood Obesity

July 11, 2018 — New data on almost 13 million people, from 200 countries around the world, points to a tenfold increase in rates of obesity among children and adolescents over the last four decades. This is the largest study of its kind and it paints a startling and depressing picture of a world with soaring childhood obesity. The […]

Really? These Researchers Think BMI Is a Habit?

July 9, 2018 — Harvard’s School of Public Health issued a press release last week that spawned a flood of headlines. Preventing childhood obesity is easy. They have scientific proof. All you need is a mom who follows five healthy habits. That’s right. Following those five habits will cut the risk by 75%. Habit #1: don’t weigh too much. […]