Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

The UK Tries a Bait and Switch Obesity Deal

July 27, 2020 — That long-awaited day has arrived and the UK now has a brand new, shiny obesity deal. This “world-leading plan” aims to help people lose weight, beat the coronavirus, and protect the NHS. It bans buy one, get one free deals on food. But apparently, bait and switch is A-OK, if it’s a public policy deal. […]

Cabbage Crowned, Lettuce Loses in Nutrition Correlation

July 25, 2020 — Is nutritional epidemiology suffering from overexposure? A study of veggies and COVID-19 mortality prompts this question. This exercise in nutrition correlation comes from a pre-print. So we can’t blame lax peer reviewers for this one. But the manuscript does make some remarkable claims: For each g/day increase in the average national consumption of some of […]

A Blind Spot in UK Obesity Planning

July 24, 2020 — Any day now, we will see a new obesity plan for the UK. Some of the loudest voices in the process leading up to this great unveiling have been focused on prevention. But this is a problem that already affects 64 percent of the population in England. In my opinion, this focus reflects simplistic weight […]

BMI Is Racist and Sexist? Yes, Just as Numbers Lie

July 22, 2020 — Oh my, we do love to hate BMI. Monday on Huffpost, Christine Byrne dispensed the latest argument against this villainous measure. BMI is racist. What’s more, she tells us it’s sexist, too. Definitely, this sounds bad, this composite index of height and weight. Is this a case of an innocent little number worming its way […]

COVID-19: Prioritizing Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery

July 21, 2020 — A healthy conversation is shaping up because of COVID-19. It’s all about the gap between talk and action on obesity. In the UK, it has a hashtag: #ActOnObsityNow. Though it’s happening more quietly in the U.S., the same conversation is in play. Will actions match our words about the urgency of obesity? The question of […]

A UK Obesity Plan for Obesity Care in the NHS?

July 20, 2020 — Anticipation is growing. A UK obesity plan is coming soon from Boris Johnson’s administration. Johnson has latched onto a conviction that Britain must slim down to fare better in the next wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not a bad idea. But will it be all about inspiration and exhortation? Or instead, will it bring […]

The New Normal vs Hope for a Better Future

July 19, 2020 — People adapt. This is a powerful fact of human psychology that hands us the problem of shifting baselines. When circumstances change, people come to accept a new normal. Even jarring changes, such as the blitz on London during World War II, might shock people at first. Yet after a time, people come to accept a […]

Disparities in Obesity: The View from an Ivory Tower

July 17, 2020 — This week from the New England Journal of Medicine, a perspective on COVID-19, disparities, nutrition, and obesity popped up. Great! But then we read it. Social determinants of health . . . a healthy diet . . . food deserts . . . minority groups face hurdles. The authors piled on familiar phrases. In sum, […]

Systematically Putting Obesity Care Out of Reach

July 16, 2020 — For most people, it’s invisible. But looking at the world through the eyes of a well-informed person living with obesity, it’s easy to see. Healthcare is not for us. Obesity care is mostly out of reach. Bariatric surgery is for the privileged. In fact, new research from the University of Georgia tells us that people […]

The News in 2020 Dietary Guidelines? Alcohol & Sugar

July 15, 2020 — Maybe you’ve noticed. The news coming from Washington is lots of noise and not much news. So why should the 2020 Dietary Guidelines be any different? We’re about halfway through the process and Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is wrapping up its work. But it doesn’t look like the experts will be recommending a lot of […]