Archive for June, 2019

Setting a Higher Bar for Obesity Care

June 25, 2019 — Until recently, the bar has been very low for obesity care in most of healthcare. “Instruct the patient to lose weight” is the most common guidance. However, three new publications in Obesity make it clear how much that’s changing. It’s clear that healthcare is setting a higher bar for obesity care. A Proposed Standard for […]

Cherry Picking Childhood Obesity in Leeds

June 24, 2019 — Late in April, folks in Leeds created a bit of a stir. They told the world they had achieved a “notable decrease” in childhood obesity. Better yet, some of the biggest gains were among the most disadvantaged children entering primary school. Headlines endorsed the program deployed in Leeds. But now, two months later, skeptics are […]

A Lifetime of Medical Neglect

June 23, 2019 — Obesity presents many problems. But two of them rise to the top: access to care and bias. Yesterday, at the Harvard Blackburn obesity course, Caroline Apovian reminded us why. Too often, people with obesity endure a lifetime of derision and medical neglect. With facts and case histories, she painted a searing picture of the suffering […]

Glaring Disparities in Obesity Effects, Care, and Policy

June 22, 2019 — Disparities are everywhere you look in healthcare. But they’re especially glaring if you take a moment to look at effects, healthcare, and policies related to obesity. Speaking at the Harvard Blackburn Obesity Course in Boston yesterday, Fatima Cody Stanford explained: Excess weight in racial and ethnic minorities is not just a cultural phenomenon. Research points […]

Exercising Power Over People with Obesity

June 21, 2019 — It’s easy to lose sight of power dynamics in obesity. “Instruct the patient to lose weight.” For years, that was the standard prescription for dealing with obesity in primary care. It is worse than useless advice. People with obesity dread hearing a condescending lecture from health providers. That’s because power dynamics matter. We live in […]

Digging Through Data on Obesity to Find a Prize

June 20, 2019 — Confirmation bias is a potent motivator. Pollsters get fired when their polls don’t tell the right story. Industry scientists may do better when they find results to advance an employer’s interests. Academics can prosper when they produce evidence to support their hypotheses. And government researchers may feel more job security when their work aligns with […]

Big Changes: Bariatric Surgery, Marriage, and Divorce

June 19, 2019 — It’s a phrase you hear often. Bariatric surgery changes lives. Certainly, it brings big changes in health status. But the changes go well beyond that. Changes in body image can bring big changes in relationships. Some are very positive. others very stressful. Any of them can come with the experience. Marriage, divorce, and pregnancy are […]

Our Daily Diet of Plastic

June 18, 2019 — It’s not part of anyone’s dietary guidelines, but we’re consuming it nonetheless. Plastic is all around us – in the form of microparticles. We drink them, eat them, and breathe them. They’re in our food and our stools. By 2050, the world’s oceans will be filled with more plastic than fish. How Much? A new […]

Looking for Health Outcomes from Health Policies

June 17, 2019 — Everything is effective. Give somebody a potent drug and it will surely do something to them. Enact a health policy and it will surely have an effect. In fact, the effects will certainly be many – both desired and undesired. But for both drugs and health policies, the target is health. So we’d best be […]

A Furry Fitbit? No, But Dog Owners Are More Active

June 16, 2019 — If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. This apocryphal quote supposedly came from Harry Truman. But Truman never kept that advice, or a dog, for that matter. However, it does seem that for those who are so inclined, dog owners have a helpful excuse for staying more active. A Robust Relationship A […]