Archive for May, 2021

Burgers Make a Lousy Icon for Food Systems

May 13, 2021 — Food systems are a key ingredient in the problem we face with obesity. But working toward healthier food systems is a challenge that goes well beyond the cartoonish ideas that surface in some public health campaigns. For example, marketing practices can be a vexing problem. Food security is a dimension of the problem that came […]

Distinguishing Empowerment, Empathy, and Pity

May 12, 2021 — Two days into a week of intense meetings about obesity science and policy at #ECO2021 and #COS7, one thing is hard to miss. The quality of research and analysis is strong. But people living with obesity are front and center. In fact, we see strong confident voices for persons living with obesity. Not sad victims. […]

From Guidelines to Global Obesity Policies and Action

May 11, 2021 — In one intense week, the European Congress on Obesity and the Canadian Obesity Summit are setting the bar high for translating research and guidelines into policies and action. A year ago, new Canadian guidelines emerged. The driving concept was simple – health first, before weight. Then in March, the European Commission redefined obesity. It’s a […]

ECO2021: Exposing Thin Science of Herbals for Weight

May 10, 2021 — As the European Congress on Obesity starts this morning, a pair of analyses are casting a harsh light on herbals and dietary supplements for weight loss. In fact, the science for these products is thin. The lead author of this work, Erica Bessell, explains: “Very few high-quality studies have been done on some supplements, with […]

Weight Bias and Fat Acceptance in Pandemic Times

May 9, 2021 — It sounds apocryphal. Yet it’s fresh and real. Da’Shaun Harrison, an author and activist, had just arrived at an Atlanta hospital with COVID-19, was lying on a stretcher, and terrified of dying. A male nurse approached and said, “Wow, you’re big. The first thing we need to do is get this weight off you.” Neither […]

Drug Therapy After the “Last Resort” of Bariatric Surgery

May 8, 2021 — It’s 2021 and the medical world has mostly moved on from the archaic view of bariatric surgery as a treatment of last resort for obesity. For many patients, delaying bariatric surgery harms their health. The rest of the world is still struggling to catch up. But healthcare providers who care for people living with obesity […]

Regulating Soda, Crack, and Menthol Cigarettes

May 7, 2021 — Late last week, the FDA announced that it intends to ban menthol cigarettes. This is in part because these are the cigarettes that Black smokers prefer. Smoking takes a bigger toll on Blacks than Whites, so maybe this will help reduce a source of health disparities. Indeed it sounds like a good idea. Except that […]

New Study in NEJM: Controlling versus Losing Weight

May 6, 2021 — Weight loss is a minor part of obesity care. It’s blindingly obvious, but most people have a tough time wrapping their heads around this basic fact. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine today tells this story in a very elegant way. It’s all about controlling weight over time. Getting Weight Loss […]

Coding Weight Bias into Health Systems

May 5, 2021 — Weight bias envelopes us. But especially in healthcare systems it is jarring at times. Pervasively, weight bias is coded into health systems. Sometimes it’s subtle. Other times it smacks a patient right in the face. Change is slow because systems evolve slowly. Electronic medical records systems, for example, take years to design and implement. So […]

Disparities in the Air We Breathe and in Obesity

May 4, 2021 — Patterns of disparities surround us so completely that we become immune to them. In fact, disparities even extend to the air we breathe. People of color have dirtier air to breathe and that contributes to disparities in health in countless ways. New research offers evidence that air pollution contributes to the risk of childhood obesity. […]