NEWS

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

Locked into the Wrong Debate About Obesity

September 15, 2022 — Public discourse about obesity is often locked into the wrong debate. On one hand, a common view holds that this is a problem for which prevention is the only real answer. People must have good nutrition and active lives by default so that children will not grow into adulthood with obesity. On the other hand, […]

Exploring the Human Dimension of Obesity

September 14, 2022 — A diverse group of folks with unusual expertise gathered in Charlotte last night with a small audience of about a hundred people. They brought questions and curiosity about the chronic disease of obesity. They also brought lifetimes of experience with this disease – either in themselves or through loved ones. It was an evening for […]

The Reality of Living with Obesity

September 13, 2022 — Today we are grateful to Sarah Le Brocq for offering her personal story of the reality of living with obesity. Originally appearing in Lancet’s eClinicalMedicine here under a Creative Commons license, we thank Le Brocq for making it possible for us to share it on ConscienHealth. I grew up on a little Island in the […]

The Allure of Targeting Ultra-Processed Foods

September 12, 2022 — In popular culture right now, it seems that ultra-processed foods are the bad boys. “Ultra-processed foods linked to heart disease, cancer, and death, studies show,” says one recent headline. Scary stuff, eh? Targeting ultra-processed foods for scorn wins approving nods. But even if it supports a favored narrative, looking closely at research on ultra-processed foods […]

Changing the Subject on Obesity Prevention

September 11, 2022 — Candid conversations about obesity prevention can be difficult. Longstanding prevention strategies are not really working too well. “It’s so hard to change BMI at the population level,” said Marlene Schwartz of Yale’s Rudd Center recently at the National Academy of Sciences. She’s right. We know that many factors all around us are driving more obesity […]

Objective Dialogue About Red Meat and Health?

September 10, 2022 — Is it possible to have objective dialogue about red meat and health? Is it easy to find? The simple answer is yes and no. In Lancet this year, a pair of letters tell the story of why it’s so hard. These letters concern weaknesses in a massive analysis of the global burden of disease from 2020 […]

Putting the Best Meds Within Reach for Everyone

September 9, 2022 — Be careful what you wish for, says the wisdom of the ages. It’s all about unintended consequences. Right now, policymakers all over the political spectrum are wishing to solve the problem of drug pricing in the U.S. The simple fact is that drug pricing in the U.S. puts the best, most innovative drugs out of […]

Nope, Vitamin D Does Not Prevent COVID

September 8, 2022 — It really is becoming hard to remember just how we were clutching at straws to cope with the pandemic two years ago when all we had to prevent COVID was social distance and masks. No vaccines or Paxlovid. One of the straws we were clutching then was vitamin D. Both our ex-President and Tony Fauci […]

Facts, Narratives, Stigma, and Food Addiction

September 7, 2022 — In some circles, food addiction is a wildly popular idea. It’s useful for painting ultra-processed food and the food industry as villains in a narrative about obesity and why we have so much of it. Some people think that promoting narratives about food addiction might help to reduce the stigma attached to obesity. In fact, […]

Expansion of Care for People Living with Obesity

September 6, 2022 — A landmark expansion of access to medical care for people with low incomes is more than a decade old now. Where politics have not gotten in the way, Medicaid expansion clearly has had a broad effect on health in America. But something that’s less obvious is the benefit of a quiet, though uneven, expansion of […]