NEWS

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

False Prophets of Nutrition and Quick Fixes for Obesity

June 1, 2020 — Complexity makes the brain hurt. Both nutrition and obesity present challenges that resist simple answers. There is no one healthful way to eat, though many false prophets of nutrition will preach that they have the one true way. Quick fixes for obesity are rare, though many people are eager to tell us that they know […]

Physical Activity, Mental Health, and the Lockdown

May 31, 2020 — We’ve mentioned it before. During the lockdown, our instinct has been to get out and walk. We see lots of people out running. We have seen families walking together that we’ve never seen before. And a new working paper (i.e., not yet peer reviewed) offers evidence to suggest physical activity during the lockdown might be […]

Really? Low-Carb Fights the Pandemic?

May 30, 2020 — Like a dog with a bone, Nina Teicholz is not ready to let it go. She has a point to make and a book to sell. It’s all about pushing everyone to eat a low-carb diet. No matter what the problem, we find her telling us that low-carb diets, with plenty of saturated fats, are […]

Coronahype: Activity Trackers to Spot the Virus Early

May 29, 2020 — Hope and fear. These are powerful, related motivators readily available during the coronavirus pandemic. The motivations are not always clear, but many people are shoveling out claims about “game changers” for dealing with the virus that haunts us. Some of these supposed game changers turn out to be disastrous duds. So caution about coronahype is […]

Skipping Healthcare Because of a Health Crisis

May 28, 2020 — It’s an odd irony. New data, released yesterday from the Kaiser Family Foundation, tells us that people are skipping healthcare because of the COVID-19 health crisis. In fact, roughly half (48 percent) of Americans say they or someone in their household have postponed healthcare due to the pandemic. One in five (23 percent) of those […]

Wellness That Didn’t Work Out

May 27, 2020 — It seemed like a good idea at the time. Build incentives for employees for wellness into health benefit packages. Employees “volunteer” to give up some health privacy in order to have their employers collect health data on them. They get a little financial incentive to participate and then more incentive if their health data improves. […]

Not Me, Not My Brother, Not My Sister

May 26, 2020 — This is not about me – not my problem personally. It’s a problem for other people and I feel for them. I really do. In the midst of a health crisis, those words suggest we’re not serious about solving the problem for everyone. For decades now, we’ve heard it about obesity. And now we’re hearing […]

Is Your Neighborhood Making You Fat? Maybe Not

May 25, 2020 — Play deserts, food deserts, food swamps. These are elegant metaphors to sell an appealing narrative. The story they tell is simple. Certain types of neighborhoods might cause obesity. Some researchers have found correlations between fast food outlets and obesity prevalence in some studies. Others have found that neighborhoods with more resources for physical activity have […]

COVID-19: HAES and Fat Shaming Become Cartoons

May 23, 2020 — On Friday, the BMJ released the largest peer-reviewed prospective study of risk factors for severe symptoms or death with COVID-19 to date. Age over 50, being male, obesity, and other chronic diseases stand out as important risk factors. By now, this is a pattern that is quite familiar. But it does more than just make […]

Will COVID-19 Revive the Meal Kit Market?

May 22, 2020 — Remember when Blue Apron was poised for a hot IPO? It’s only been three years, but it seems like a lifetime. Along with the rest of a flock of fledgling meal kit services, Blue Apron has been down in the dumps since its IPO. It seems that beautiful images and romantic notions of cooking with […]