Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

Thin Privilege and White Fragility

July 4, 2020 — “I’m tired of people suggesting I should feel guilty about racism,” someone told us recently. That sentiment is a near-perfect expression of white fragility. Many people enjoy the unearned privileges of being white in a racist society. But they don’t like to think about it. Likewise, many people who are fit, able, and thin enjoy […]

The Deadly Effects of Delayed Care in the Pandemic

July 3, 2020 — The cost of delayed care for chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – is steep in this pandemic. In fact, three separate analyses this week give us a glimpse of excess deaths in the early months of this continuing tragedy. But unfortunately, pinning these numbers down is a tricky business. However, […]

Fatty Liver, Obesity, and COVID-19

July 2, 2020 — Sometimes, a health crisis serves to clear the mind and prompt scientific curiosity. In fact, we see that in a steady stream of new research building an understanding of how COVID-19 leaves some people unharmed and others devastated. A new paper in Obesity offers a fine example. Ming Deng and colleagues bring new insights to […]

Worldwide Physical Activity Fell 27% in the Lockdown

July 1, 2020 — Stay home, save lives! When the edict went out, speculation began immediately. How much will physical activity drop in the lockdown? What will be the unintended consequences? In Annals of Internal Medicine this week, we have a few answers. Based on step counts, physical activity dropped 27 percent worldwide in a sample of data from […]

Urban Legends of Obesity Prevention

June 29, 2020 — For the last four decades, obesity prevention has been quite a challenge. We’ve heard much talk about bold programs. We’ve seen more than a few victory celebrations. And yet, the prevalence of obesity keeps climbing. So recently, when Tamar Haspel wrote about “jaw-dropping” success in Huntington, WV, she caught our attention. She described a drop […]

CDC Broadens Guidance on Obesity Risk for COVID-19

June 27, 2020 — Early in the pandemic, CDC identified a higher risk for severe symptoms with COVID-19 in people with severe obesity. This week, the agency broadened its guidance to include all individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater. This is the epidemiologic benchmark for obesity – severe or not. What’s more, it’s a benchmark that describes […]

Will Opening Gyms Spread COVID-19? An RCT

June 26, 2020 — People are dying to get back to normal right now. Or at least, judging by news reports, some are certainly willing to take risks. Gyms are a particular sore spot. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been in court to prevent gyms from opening and spreading COVID-19 in her state. Other states are opening their gyms. […]

Racism Baked into Health and Obesity Care

June 22, 2020 — We are in a moment when life and death and race and ethnicity are forcing conversations that White people politely avoid. It’s uncomfortable. But the brutal deaths of Black people at the hands of police have become impossible to ignore. And in the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Latino people are dying in numbers that make […]

Really? Blame the Food Industry for COVID-19?

June 21, 2020 — We’ve seen quite a range of responses to the observation that obesity leads to worse outcomes with COVID-19. But most of them are unhelpful. First, of course, was denial. Now we have the anger phase. Over in the U.K., folks are murmuring that we should blame the food industry. Writing in the BMJ, Monique Tan, […]

Dietary Guidelines 2020: Plenty of Heat, Less Light

June 18, 2020 — In ordinary times, yesterday’s meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee would have been big news. They were supposed to unveil their draft report. But instead, the meeting came and went with a small thud. That’s because everyone has already staked out a position and they’re digging in. Also, it’s fair to say that […]