NEWS

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

Racism: A Longstanding Pandemic Hides in Plain Sight

August 3, 2020 — Your writing seems to have a good deal of political and social influence rather than solid scientific thinking. Such an editorial comment is not unusual when one writes on health and racism. But it makes us wonder. Can health scientists wrap their heads around a pandemic of racism? Or shall we debate the semantics to […]

Football, Obesity & COVID-19: What Could Go Wrong?

August 2, 2020 — Football has a few problems. For one thing, there’s the brain injury kerfuffle. But fewer kids are getting hurt now because fewer are playing football. So that’s a plus. But on the negative side of the ledger, we have the strong desire to get back to football this fall crashing into a tiny little virus […]

A False Claim About Dishonesty and Causality

August 1, 2020 — Dishonesty is in the news a lot lately. So naturally, when a study of dishonesty, hunger, and obesity pops up, it garners our attention. The study is an interesting cognitive science experiment. Ironically though, the paper leads with a false claim about dishonesty and causality. The misleading claim is right there, in the paper’s title: […]

Sugar in Your Food, Your Blood, and Your Exercise

July 31, 2020 — Nature Metabolism scored big this week with PR for a study on blood sugar and exercise. The study looked at hyperglycemia and exercise training. With lots of attention on Twitter and in the news media, it scored in the 98th percentile for commanding public attention. But the attention it got didn’t line up very well […]

Synergistic Misinformation About COVID and Obesity

July 30, 2020 — Obesity? No problem! Obesity? OMG, you better lose weight or COVID will get you! Remember the information age? It’s been canceled. We are living in the misinformation age. And there’s nothing like a pandemic to fuel the market for misinformation. The intersection of obesity risks and COVID-19 risks is adding to it. Two opposite but […]

Expecting Respect in Healthcare

July 29, 2020 — Presumably, when people choose a career in healthcare, at least one of the motivations is to care for other people. So we might expect that along with caring comes respect in healthcare. But that is not a guarantee, apparently. For some providers, respecting diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, and size seems to be a challenge. […]

Systematic Failures in Dealing with Obesity

July 28, 2020 — For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. Henry Louis Mencken wrote this in 1920, well before the the health challenge of obesity flummoxed us. But he described our systematic failures with obesity almost perfectly. Obesity is a problem of complex systems that conspire to harm our health. Simple, […]

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 […]

Making Sense of Obesity and Bad COVID Outcomes

July 25, 2020 — Why? It’s that simple question that toddlers employ against their parents. But it’s pure genius. Maybe we’re past the shock, denial, and anger of coming to terms with COVID-19 and obesity. Clearly, if someone gets COVID-19, having obesity adds to the problem. The risk of severe symptoms is higher, as is the risk of landing […]