Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

The Intersection of Wellness and Conspirituality

September 27, 2020 — The coronavirus pandemic has brought many surprising developments. Who knew that face masks could become a weird type of political brand? But even odder is the intersection of wellness, conspiracy theories, and new age spirituality – or conspirituality. You thought QAnon was a alt-right thing? Well, it’s time to catch up with current events. QAnon […]

The Confused and Incomplete State of Obesity Policies

September 24, 2020 — Fall has arrived and that means we have a new State of Obesity Report from the Trust for America’s Health. The report offers a good inventory of the available data to describe the extent of the challenge we face from obesity. And perhaps more than anything, we agree with this assessment up front in the […]

The Long Road to Retraction in Childhood Obesity

September 23, 2020 — The scientific literature on childhood obesity is a bit dodgy in places. Lots of well-meaning people do studies to prove a point rather than discover hard truths. Obesity evokes emotion and stigma, especially for children. Because stigma is in play, scientific rigor can take second place. In scientific journals, papers about childhood obesity can appear […]

A COVID-19 Alcohol Boom, Bust, and Brawl

September 22, 2020 — The pandemic has left some businesses hurting while giving others a boost. For example, restaurants are hurting, but the business of selling alcohol is having a boom time. People are drinking up during this pandemic. Sooner or later, though, we’ll have to pay the tab. And the real cost may be to our health, warns […]

Me Too: Weight Discrimination Is Stubborn

September 20, 2020 — A new perspective in Obesity reminds us that weight discrimination at work is stubborn. Worse yet, it’s perfectly legal. Shreya Sabharwal and colleagues from Harvard describe the situation: Even though weight discrimination has a negative impact on people’s health and wellness and results in unequal academic and job opportunities, there is only one state in […]

An Enduring Link: COVID-19 and Cardiometabolic Health

September 18, 2020 — More experience with COVID-19 tells us that the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiometabolic health is more than a passing thing. It starts with the risk that obesity confers for worse outcomes with COVID-19. That was the first clue. But that’s not the end of it. Because people are learning that the effects of COVID-19 can […]

A Reversal in Blood Pressure Control for Americans

September 17, 2020 — Let’s face facts. We’re losing ground in control of blood pressure and thus in a key measure of heart health. A new study in JAMA last week documented a decline in U.S. rates of well-controlled blood pressure in 2018. This is a reversal of positive trends that spanned decades. This comes before the health impact […]

Obesity Policy: Improving Health or Promoting Stigma?

September 16, 2020 — Bad obesity policies can be worse than nothing at all. You might ask, how can this be? The U.K. obesity strategy provides a case in point. No doubt, the intentions are good. High rates of obesity make the population of the U.K. vulnerable to especially bad outcomes from COVID-19. But flashing danger signs without giving […]

A Doctor’s Apology to Patients with Obesity

September 12, 2020 — Obesity has emerged as a significant risk factor for poor outcomes in patients infected with COVID-19. Based on how doctors and others in health care have previously treated patients with obesity or overweight conditions, my guess is that many will respond by declaring: “Well, it’s their own fault for being overweight!” In the spirit of […]

A Revealing FDA Op-Ed About Lorcaserin and Obesity

September 10, 2020 — Back in February we complained about “a near complete failure of transparency in drug safety decision making” by FDA. Our complaint had to do with taking lorcaserin (Belviq) off the market. Today, FDA took a step toward a bit more transparency. In the New England Journal of Medicine, senior FDA officials explained their thinking about […]