Vegas Vic

ObesityWeek: Real Answers for Tough Questions

It’s fairly easy to spot the people peddling empty hype as the answer for obesity, nutrition, and health. To answer tough questions, they tell us it’s really quite simple. We’re all loading up on too much toxic sugar, they might say. In the Federalist last week, James DeLong wrote that Americans are fat “because they’re getting terrible advice from ‘the experts.'” Jason Fung has “unlocked the secrets of weight loss” and for just $12 plus tax, he’ll sell us The Obesity Code. Noom promises to help us “lose weight for good.” Each of these examples might have a grain of truth to offer. But they don’t have complete answers.

Arriving in Las Vegas today for ObesityWeek, we’re looking for real answers to tough questions. And we’ll be listening to the honest souls who bring objectivity and scientific curiosity to this quest. People with glib answers and hyperbole should save their breath.

A Grain of Truth from Public Health

Just as we see hucksters trying to make a buck on puffery about weight loss, we see too many folks peddling simplistic answers for obesity prevention. The more objective folks in public health tell us the truth, as Harvard’s Jason Block recently did:

The overwhelming majority of policies enacted at all levels of government lack any evidence of effects on behaviors or outcomes. We need more evidence-based policy.

In the Public Health and Policy track, you’ll find 23 sessions taking on these questions. Of course we have a bias, because ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle will be presenting, along with five other presenters, on Tuesday morning in one of these sessions. That whole session deals with communications about nutrition and weight bias. In our presentation, we’ll be talking about public presumptions regarding childhood obesity.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

When it comes to obesity, we’re a lot like toddlers. We want to know why. Why do we have so much obesity? The glib answer is bad diets. The real answer is  that we can’t be sure, but it’s surely more than just bad diets. On Thursday morning, Barbara Corkey will tackle this question head on. Why have we failed to decrease obesity and diabetes? She will surely give us all a lot to think about.

If you’re looking for real answers to tough questions about obesity, you’ll be in good company at ObesityWeek. We’ll see you there.

For more from Corkey on obesity’s causes, click here. You can find our top 10 list for ObesityWeek here. Make your own and please do share it. One list does not fit all.

Vegas Vic, photograph © Thomas Hawk / flickr

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November 3, 2019

3 Responses to “ObesityWeek: Real Answers for Tough Questions”

  1. November 03, 2019 at 8:20 am, Allen Browne said:

    See you there!!!! Charge!!!!!!


    • November 03, 2019 at 8:38 am, Ted said:

  2. November 03, 2019 at 12:56 pm, Robyn Flipse said:

    My eyes roll whenever I see the claim “we’re gutting bad dietary advice from the experts” since so very few Americans are following the “advice” offered in the Dietary Guidelines, or DASH Plan, or any other nutritious and balanced eating pattern. If they were, I am confident the rates of obesity and it’s co-morbidites would be much lower.