Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

What’s the Harm of Hanging On to Weak Dietary Advice?

December 18, 2018 — Two recent articles have us thinking about the harm that might come from hanging on to weak dietary advice. One is all about salt. The other is about dairy fat. But underneath it all is core problem. Some of the dietary advice taken as gospel is grounded in associations and suppositions. It never goes through […]

Are Employers Ready to Help with Obesity?

December 10, 2018 — At long last we have some good news from employers on obesity. It’s not that they have an answer. Rather, it looks like they might be ready to go deeper than superficial “wellness or else” programs. Finally, employers are realizing that “wellness or else” has done nothing but make the problem worse. New research published […]

Dream Come True: More White Bread for School Lunch

December 9, 2018 — The plan to “make school lunches great again” is complete. The USDA has announced its final plans to lower the nutrition standards for school cafeterias. That means more sodium, more white bread, and more sugar-sweetened milk will be A-OK with the USDA. Completely Unsurprising Anyone who’s surprised by this needs to get out from under […]

Obesity and Other Diseases Too Dangerous to Normalize

December 4, 2018 — No doubt, the intentions behind this headline were good. “Obesity is too dangerous to normalize,” said a letter to the editor on Sunday in the Washington Post. That letter came in response to a commentary about plus-size fashion that pleaded for clothes that will let bigger women simply be themselves. And feel good about it, […]

The Real Story of Declining U.S. Life Expectancy

December 3, 2018 — The headlines are full of it. “Drug overdoses and suicides are causing American life expectancy to drop,” says the Atlantic, for example. But the real story is much more complex. Heart disease and obesity are playing a significant role, too. Big Increases, Small Numbers Without a doubt, big increases in drug overdoses and suicide are […]

NHS: Waistlines and Wallets vs Hoops and Hurdles

December 2, 2018 — In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is coming to terms with the impact of obesity and diabetes. Chief executive Simon Stevens says: The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands people and avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and type 2 diabetes. Because what’s good […]

Getting a Handle on the Social Environment for Obesity

November 30, 2018 — The idea that obesity is contagious is a “brilliant analogy,” says a distinguished professor of pediatrics, Leonard Epstein. More and more research supports this view. But the ideas about contagion require careful thinking in this context. Thinking about transmitting obesity from one person to another is not especially helpful. What’s more relevant is thinking about […]

Rebecca Puhl: Finding a Path to Less Weight Stigma

November 26, 2018 — One of the highlights of ObesityWeek 2018 was Rebecca Puhl’s award for scientific achievement. Not just because we admire her and her pioneering work on weight stigma. But also because she rewarded us. She delivered an inspiring lecture on finding a path to less weight stigma. Stigma researcher Angela Alberga explains: It was incredible to […]

Sifting Data to Find Desired Results

November 24, 2018 — “Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.” Thus wrote Karl Popper in 1934. But these lofty words don’t protect us from the hazard of confirmation bias. It really hurts when a big, expensive trial does not confirm an important […]

Searching for Obesity Prevention Strategies That Work

November 20, 2018 — ObesityWeek brings together diverse perspectives – scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals. We heard from all of them last week. “Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes work,” a number of public health folks told us. “For their intended purpose. To reduce unhealthy beverage consumption.” That last bit provides the important fine print. Taxes on SSBs are spreading all over […]