Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

Diab*tes: A Stigmatizing Expression of Sugar Phobia

April 1, 2024 — “I might be on on a sugar high, but I’m not a diab*tic. Don’t pathologize my pancreas.” With these words from Lexi Cherinson, a new movement was born last week to challenge a dominant narrative around health, wellbeing, and diverse bodies. Specifically, Cherinson is challenging the fearmongering about a global epidemic of diab*tes. She prefers […]

Appealing Narratives Untethered from the Truth

March 31, 2024 — Narratives are powerful because humanity has a natural inclination to tell stories. We seek to understand our world through the stories we tell. But this sets up a problem for nutrition and obesity science. Appealing narratives untethered from the truth can take decades to recognize as misleading. All too often, this happens only after policymakers […]

The Great Potato Nutrition Policy Crisis

March 30, 2024 — Remember when grains were good? Judging by the nutrition red alert arising from the possibility that potatoes might be classified as a grain instead of a vegetable, maybe grains are on the naughty list now. Brave potato defenders in the U.S. Senate are rising up to keep this from happening. They want to save us […]

Will Policy Makers or Market Forces Lower GLP-1 Costs First?

March 28, 2024 — A new economic analysis in JAMA Network Open brings unsurprising news: manufacturing costs for GLP-1 agonists are a tiny fraction of the price for these important medicines. This is always the case for innovative prescription drugs that must recover billions of dollars of development costs in order to be profitable. The response from policy makers […]

Do Free School Meals Reduce Obesity Prevalence?

March 26, 2024 — Eight states have moved to provide nutritious meals at school for free to all students. A few simple reasons make it clear enough that this is a good idea. It reduces the stigma attached to receiving free school meals while improving food security for children from low-income families. Furthermore, nutrition quality goes up for all […]

Python Meat: It Tastes Like Chicken, but It’s Sustainable

March 24, 2024 — The ideas that float freely into discourse about food policy can be fascinating. The latest in this line of intoxicating concepts is python meat. A new analysis in Scientific Reports tells us it tastes like chicken, but it’s sustainable. “Reptile meat is not unlike chicken: high in protein, low in saturated fats, and with widespread […]

From Weight Loss to Obesity to Cardiorenal Metabolic Health

March 22, 2024 — A profound shift in the understanding of medicines that help with excessive or abnormal fat is underway. A few years ago, everybody thought of these in only one frame of reference – weight loss drugs. But that is changing now. Discourse about them is moving from weight loss to obesity treatment and even further, to […]

Opening Medicare to Semaglutide for Obesity and Heart Disease

March 22, 2024 — This is a striking change. Until now, the steadfast refusal of CMS to allow coverage of any obesity medicine by Medicare has been unwavering. Then two weeks ago, FDA granted a new indication for semaglutide for persons with both heart disease and obesity to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and deaths. Now CMS says it’s A-OK […]

Adding Up the Cost of Untreated Obesity in Pennsylvania

March 20, 2024 — There is a hot debate playing out in medical journals and editorials all over the country. How can we pay for the advanced obesity medicines for which people are expressing such a great need? What often gets lost in this discussion is the fact that we are already paying. Yesterday, we had the good fortune […]

The Absurdly Profitable Business of Prior Authorizations

March 15, 2024 — Prior authorizations are a driving force in the burnout of physicians, denial of medical care, and the profitability of health insurance and pharmacy benefit plans. By one estimate, healthcare providers spend $35 billion every year on chasing down prior authorizations so that their patients can receive the care they need – whether that is a […]