NEWS

Follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health policy and obesity

Is Grinch Cutting SNAP or Promoting Work?

December 5, 2019 — Just in time for Christmas, the Trump administration has new rules for food assistance. They’ll tighten work requirements for single adults getting food stamps. The effect? Most likely, says USDA, they’ll be cutting SNAP benefits for 688,000 adults. According to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, however, this is not about cutting benefits. Rather, it’s about promoting […]

Fitness Ad or Hostage Video? Hard to Say

December 4, 2019 —   We feel vindicated. Presently, the price for watching video streams is exposure to a troubling Peloton fitness ad. Over and over again. Sure, it’s an ad. But if you turn off the sound, it looks more like a hostage video than a sales pitch. To our sensibilities, it’s creepy. The Cultural Conversation It turns […]

Weight Stigma: Mark, Label, Threat, and Blame

December 3, 2019 — How do people with obesity – or any other health condition – become stigmatized? It turns out that words are very important for weight stigma. In Communication Theory, Professor Rachel Smith offers us powerful insight with a classic paper. Four elements are critical. Thus, we should be careful about letting those elements creep into the […]

A Modest Proposal: Treat Obesity Seriously

December 2, 2019 — We have a chronic disease problem. It started in America. It’s spreading all around the world. And already in the U.S. it’s playing a major role in reversing long-term gains in life expectancy. Yet, the response has been tepid, says William Dietz with two commentaries published in the last month. Dietz is Director of the […]

Drinking for Weight Loss: Results Will Vary

December 1, 2019 — It seems like a simple proposition. Stop drinking your calories. Drink water or other non-caloric beverages instead. In the calories-in-calories-out way of thinking, weight loss will be automatic. Drink only water and you’ll be drinking for weight loss. The CHOICE  Study This study actually tested the drinking for weight loss proposition. It was a rigorous […]

Fighting for the Moral High Ground of Nutrition

November 30, 2019 — Human history is full of bloody conflicts to claim moral high ground. The Thirty Years’ War pitted the Holy Roman Empire against Protestant states. But we can find nothing holy in the carnage that resulted. Now we wage our wars on twitter. And true believers go at it to claim the moral high ground of […]

Sizzling Headlines About Brain Damage

November 29, 2019 — The PR team at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) hit a home run this week. They were playing in the ongoing contest to create the most misinformative but sizzling headlines about scientific research. Their winning headline was doozy: MRI reveals brain damage in obese teens. Of course, that misleading press release was only […]

Was Your Turkey Fed Vegetarians?

November 28, 2019 — Today, roughly 88 percent of Americans will be eating a turkey. That means 46 million turkeys consumed. But we have a burning question. What does vegetarian fed mean? Was your turkey fed vegetarians? Fed by vegetarians? Or maybe, contrary to its omnivorian nature, fed a vegetarian diet? Vegetarian Fed Left to their own devices – […]

Obesity, Despair, and Mortality in the U.S.

November 27, 2019 — We’ve only just begun. That was once a hopeful refrain. But now, it applies to a worrisome trend. Working age people in the U.S. are dying at rates that are unprecedented among wealthy countries. This finding comes from a stunning, comprehensive study of a reversal in U.S. life expectancy. Because it’s now in its third […]

Is Public Health Only for Thin People?

November 26, 2019 — Let’s be clear. Anti-fat bias is everywhere we turn. It’s less explicit these days. But implicit anti-fat bias is stronger than ever. And you can find it in people who are thin and people who are not. There’s actually research on that. However, that same research tells us that thinner people tend to have stronger […]