Archive for the ‘Food & Nutrition’ Category

Will Advanced Obesity Medicines Change the Food Environment?

May 27, 2024 — The top dishes for this Memorial Day in the U.S. are hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue ribs, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and potato salad. Homemade, none of it (except maybe the hot dogs) belongs to the current boogeyman category of ultra-processed food. Nor does it qualify as the bedrock of a healthy diet. […]

The Distorted Lens of Behavioral Risks for Global Health

May 20, 2024 — Two updated analyses from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study came out in the Lancet over the weekend. They bring a very specific lens to the problem of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their looming implications for global health. Through this lens, the focus is on risk factors – high BMI and high blood glucose […]

Trash Talk About Obesity and Food

May 19, 2024 — Food policy advocates are sharing a music video that captures a certain way of thinking. The choruses are nothing but trash talk about obesity and food. “It’s your own damn fault,” says one verse. In the next, “a team of evil scientists through rigorous testing created the most abominable snacks.” So it draws us into […]

The “Success” of Food Policy in Chile to Fight Obesity

May 8, 2024 — Eight years ago, Chile implemented a sweeping food policy initiative to fight obesity. Many public health advocates quickly endorsed these policies. Researcher Deborah Cohen praised this as a success and called it a four-point lesson plan for the U.S. and other countries to follow: “Chile recognizes obesity rates are a crisis that demands urgent action. […]

Torturing Observational Data to Get a Confession – A Case Study

May 6, 2024 — Sometime in the 1960s, economist Ronald Coase, a Nobel laureate, advised colleagues that torturing a set of data can always yield a confession to serve the purpose at hand. As if to prove this adage, a new publication in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology shows us 1,208 ways to analyze NHANES data on all-cause mortality […]

Agenda-Driven Science to Justify Fixed Policy Preferences

May 2, 2024 — On the subject of nutrition and health, we commonly encounter strong statements presented as scientific truths that must be honored. Headlines scream that “ultra-processed food is killing us,” using studies of correlation to justify sounding an alarm. “Cows are just an environmental disaster,” says Hannah Ritchie in the New York Times. But with equally great […]

More Avocados Equal Less Diabetes? Not Really

May 1, 2024 — If you pay attention to nutrition headlines in consumer media, avocados sound pretty amazing. “Eating more avocados could help women stave off type 2 diabetes,” says one report. “Avocado a day may keep diabetes at bay,” says another. The only problem is that neither of the studies that prompted those stories actually support the claims […]

Both Gains and Pains with Updated Nutrition Guidelines

April 25, 2024 — We’ve seen a lot of gains in the quality of nutrition guidelines this month. Gains in aligning guidelines for the WIC program (nutrition for women, infants, and children) and school meals with U.S. dietary guidelines are something that most nutrition experts are praising. Yet even with those gains, come certain pains in dealing with their […]

Study Says Taxing Unhealthy Food Cuts Obesity? Nope

April 23, 2024 — “Taxing unhealthy food helps cut obesity, says global study. Mexico is leading the way in implementing taxes on unhealthy food options, successfully helping to tackle obesity and related health issues.” This is the start of a breathtaking press release from Imperial College London. But those opening lines are more fiction than fact. First, the publication […]

Looking for Black and White Answers in a World of Gray

April 22, 2024 — Virginia Sole-Smith has black and white answers for the world of gray nuances that define the relationship of nutrition, obesity, and health. She is an outspoken advocate for fat acceptance and body liberation. Restraint is something she rejects. In a very personal profile for the New York Times, Lisa Miller describes her as both inspirational […]