ObesityWeek 2019

12 Years, 3,000 Posts, and a Few Insights in Obesity

Twelve years ago, we conceived of something we called ConscienHealth. This week, LinkedIn reminded us and everyone we know on that platform of this anniversary. So many kind words have been flowing in for which we are truly grateful. But this also prompted us to take a look back at what’s happened over those 12 years. We’ve written now more than 3,000 posts, met quite a few good and smart people, and gained a few insights into obesity along the way.

Every day, we learn from seeing what you find most interesting to read about and from your feedback.

Keto, Carbs, and Correlations

Three of the most read items on this site have been about low-carb or ketogenic diets. First among those was this post about Kevin Hall’s study comparing low-fat and low-carb diets in a tightly controlled study for four weeks. The results were surprising because they ran counter to conventional wisdom about these dietary approaches. So naturally, keto lovers and haters went at it. Nutrition seems to engender something akin to holy wars. Objectivity is scarce.

The other theme that runs through some of the most read posts is the conflation of correlation with causality. In fact, the number one most read item ever was a post this year about a study that suggested “lettuce consumption increased COVID-19 mortality.”

This might have been a parody of nutritional epidemiology. But it wasn’t. And unfortunately, some of the biggest apostles of nutritional epidemiology sometimes take themselves too seriously. It’s hard to forget the suggestion from Harvard epidemiologists that randomized controlled studies are a contrivance of the pharmaceutical industry. Something that “cannot be readily translated for use in the nutritional sciences.”

The COVID Spotlight

COVID-19 is another subject attracting a lot of attention here. Since the emergence of the pandemic, about twice as many people are reading what we offer here every day. This pandemic is a source of intense interest for the folks who follow us, in part because of the connection between obesity and COVID-19 outcomes. Our first post on this subject, back in March, is one of the most read and most shared items we have ever published.

In fact, the second most read post to date on this site was about COVID-19 and nicotine, with not one mention of obesity.

Appreciation

These 12 years have given us the gift of appreciation. We have come to appreciate the value of curiosity and objectivity for finding ways to reduce the harm of obesity. We’ve learned at a very personal level how great the need is for providing better care to people living with obesity.

But most of all, we become ever more grateful for smart, kind, and generous people who reach out to us with insights and encouragement. Thank you for that.

Good Friends at ObesityWeek 2019, photograph © Ted Kyle

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


 

September 21, 2020

9 Responses to “12 Years, 3,000 Posts, and a Few Insights in Obesity”

  1. September 21, 2020 at 6:57 am, Al Lewis said:

    Thank you — I rarely miss a column. Nice to see totally unbiased journalism on this subject.

  2. September 21, 2020 at 7:36 am, Christine Rosenbloom said:

    Congratulations, Ted and team ConscienHealth. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you and the important work you do. And, I look forward to many more mornings with coffee with Ted!

  3. September 21, 2020 at 8:13 am, Allen Browne said:

    Ted,

    Congratulations!

    You have helped and are helping many people – adults with obesity, children with obesity, and the many people trying to improve the quality of life of those with the disease of obesity. They need you. Keep up the good work.

    Allen

  4. September 21, 2020 at 8:30 am, Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD said:

    Thanks for your insightful reporting. I enjoy your daily posts. They are a welcome addition to my morning routine, commonly offering food for thought.
    With best wishes for the next 12 years!
    Nancy

  5. September 21, 2020 at 9:07 am, Leah Whigham said:

    Ted, thanks for bringing ConscienHealth to the world. This is my most often referred source of information for colleagues, students, friends, and family. Congratulations on 12 years!
    Leah

  6. September 21, 2020 at 11:47 am, Linda Gigliotti said:

    Thank you Ted and team. You are indeed a staple in my morning routine. You’ve challenged my thinking and broadened my horizons.

    Congratulations on 12 years!
    Linda

  7. September 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm, Mary-Jo said:

    Congratulations, ConscienHealth! When I discovered you, oh, in probably, my 6th global move, I was so happy! The breadth and scope of the topics you cover related to all things obesity is remarkable. I don’t share many blogs, but CH is one I share regularly. Thanks again and many more enlightening, thought-provoking, informative, productive, healthy, hope-giving years ahead!🌷⭐️☀️👏

  8. September 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm, Ted said:

    Linda, I learn a lot from you on a regular basis. So my thanks go to you.

  9. September 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm, Ted said:

    Mary-Jo, your friendship and your perspective are so very valuable to me. Thank you!