NEWS

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

Will PTSD Be a Legacy of COVID-19?

March 31, 2020 — The obvious legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic will be millions of lost lives around the world. In the U.S., we’re now hearing that “only” 100,000 lives lost will amount to a big success. But beyond the acute trauma of lives lost, we must consider the possibility of post traumatic stress for all of us dealing […]

A Damned Lie: COVID-19 Impact Is Like the Flu

March 30, 2020 — This one falls into the category of a damned lie. We occasionally hear from people that COVID-19 doesn’t seem so bad if you consider that the seasonal flu kills tens of thousands of people every year. This lie is also a go-to strategy for politicians who want to deny the seriousness of the problem we […]

American Youth: Eating Better, Growing Fatter

March 28, 2020 — Being certain sometimes means being certainly wrong. For decades now, we’ve assumed that childhood obesity is a problem that stems unhealthy eating. “One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise habits of your entire family,” says the Mayo Clinic. But a new study in JAMA tells us […]

Truth, Power, and Misinformation in a Health Crisis

March 27, 2020 — Knowledge is power, said Sir Francis Bacon in the 16th century. But today, that aphorism has morphed. Now it seems that misinformation is quite powerful. Governments and politicians have learned that they can censor information simply by overwhelming truth with noise. However, misinformation in a health crisis can be deadly. Truth and public trust are […]

Bright Red Lines: Fact, Speculation, and Misinformation

March 27, 2020 — There’s nothing like the high stakes of a pandemic to remind us of danger from blurring the bright red lines separating fact, speculation, and misinformation. This is because an emerging pandemic presents us with ambiguity. But our human nature detests ambiguity. We crave certainty. Without facts to lean upon, we speculate about what might be […]

A Shift from Toilet Paper to Plants and Seeds

March 26, 2020 — Perhaps we’re moving on from hoarding toilet paper in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We see nothing wrong with cleanliness. But new purchase trends point to a more nostalgic focus. In addition, it might be more nourishing. Plants and seeds for vegetable gardens are becoming hot items now. Maybe all this talk about the depression […]

Rising Conflict: Reason and Emotion in Health Policy

March 25, 2020 — We’re witnessing some intense interchanges on health policy right now. Reason and emotion are in vivid conflict. Jolting comments collide with disturbing facts. The new coronavirus “will disappear like a miracle,” says one policymaker. In addition, we hear promises of “packed churches all over our country” in just a couple of weeks. But then, a […]

Not Me! What’s the Point of Knowing Our Risks?

March 24, 2020 — Risk is an abstraction. It’s invisible. So people have a tough time wrapping their heads around questions of risk. How immediate is the risk? Is it big? Does it affect me? Am I putting others in danger? These are just a few of the questions that shape how we think about knowing our risks. As […]

The Value of Healthy Routines and Habits

March 23, 2020 — Healthy routines and habits are essential for a happy and healthy life. We say this as creatures of habit, so you can be sure that the following words reflect our bias. But it’s unmistakable. This nasty little virus that’s sweeping the world is scrambling our usual routines and habits. It’s putting us into a virtual […]

Seven Sound Strategies for Taming Coronavirus Anxiety

March 22, 2020 — Author: Jelena Kecmanovic Adjunct Professor of Psychology Georgetown University As the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues its global spread and the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases continues to increase, anxiety related to the outbreak is on the rise too. As a psychologist, I am seeing this in my practice already. Although feeling anxiety in response to a […]