NEWS

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

Metabolic Health, Sleepless Nights, and COVID-19

September 6, 2020 — Are we anxious? Judging by a huge leap in people filling prescriptions for anti-anxiety meds, the answer is clearly yes. Before COVID-19 was on our minds, those prescriptions were growing by a by a few percentage points, year over year. Once COVID-19 grabbed our attention, they jumped by 34 percent right away. Likewise, Rxs for […]

Which Health Risks Drop Most After Weight Loss?

September 5, 2020 — ECOICO 2020 is now one more milestone in our COVID diary of virtual meetings. It has been a week that quickly became a blur of many new findings and insights from diverse cultures around the world all grappling with the wicked problem of obesity. But one of the most memorable is an analysis of health […]

Disparities in Obesity Care: The Will and the Way

September 4, 2020 — A powerful new study in the New England Journal of Medicine tell us it’s possible. Health coaches can deliver effective obesity care in mostly Black and underserved populations. In this randomized study, patients achieved and maintained a healthier weight status after two years. But without the intervention of health coaches, the control group did not. […]

A Bogus Obesity Strategy: Personal Responsibility

September 3, 2020 — The government has recently announced a strategy aimed at reducing obesity in the UK. It will introduce a ban on unhealthy food advertisements on TV before a certain hour, end “buy one, get one free” junk food deals, and create more comprehensive calorie contents on food and drinks. The government has also launched the Better […]

New Research at ECOICO: Progress in Reducing Weight Bias?

September 2, 2020 — At ECOICO 2020 today, we’re releasing new research on weight bias. Specifically, we surveyed adults in the U.S. and U.K. about their beliefs regarding obesity and the people who have it. We looked for indications that these beliefs might have changed between 2017 and 2020. In fact, we did find some indications of progress toward […]

Sorting Out Two Pandemics at ECOICO 2020

September 1, 2020 — The opening of ECOICO 2020 today brought us a sharp focus on two pandemics – obesity and COVID-19 – unfolding around the world. But these two pandemics are moving on very different timelines. The global pandemic of obesity has developed very gradually. First, and most notably, it took root in the U.S. Now after four […]

Do We Follow the Science? Or Something Else?

August 31, 2020 — It’s a wildly popular catchphrase in this age of COVID-19. Follow the science. The video on the right is packed with cautionary tales by Rohin Francis. In short, he explains that when policy makers say they’re following the science, it’s often a fiction. Mangling the science might be a more apt description. Mangling the Science […]

What Exactly Is Well-Controlled Obesity? Does It Matter?

August 31, 2020 — A chronic disease is a medical condition that stays with you. Doctors don’t have a cure, so the goal is to control it. To come as close as possible to living a healthy life despite whatever chronic condition might trouble you. Diabetes? By carefully controlling your blood sugar and your body’s response, most people can […]

Meeting People on Own Their Terms in Obesity Care

August 30, 2020 — I am a psychologist working in a bariatric medicine and surgery program. To give some context, the average BMI for a patient referred to our program is approximately 45. We receive referrals from a wide variety of medical specialties in our practice. So I am constantly learning from meeting people with obesity who come with […]

Scientific Literacy: Teach Questions, Not Answers

August 29, 2020 — It seems today the mistrust of official health advice and spread of “alternative” treatments for COVID-19 are as frightening as the virus itself. How is it that so many people are ill-informed (and seemingly choose to be so) about the pandemic, despite decades of compulsory science education? Of course we are entering a post-truth era […]