Archive for the ‘Scientific Meetings & Publications’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

COVID-19, Stigma, Obesity, and Rationing Care

March 17, 2020 — A pandemic such as COVID-19 has a way of raising difficult issues to confront. Questions about who’s at risk also raise issues about stigma and bias. On top of that, when the pandemic overruns our capacity for healthcare, triage becomes a reality. In Italy, physicians on the frontlines of this pandemic are facing difficult decisions […]

Combining the Risks of Coronavirus with Obesity

March 16, 2020 — Two things are now very apparent about the coronavirus epidemic. First, it affects all of us. But second, the health affects are wildly different for different people. For many people, the symptoms are mild, sometimes even negligible. However, it can also be deadly – especially for people older than 60 or people who have other […]

Telemedicine for Obesity: Get Used to It

March 15, 2020 — Ready or not, it’s time to get comfortable with the idea of telemedicine for obesity care. Because the unfolding coronavirus pandemic is making it a fact of life. Wired describes it as a safety valve for a strained healthcare system. In addition, less personal contact is a tool for slowing the spread of this virus. […]

Embracing Failure in Behavioral Obesity Care

March 13, 2020 — Through the last four decades of relentlessly rising obesity, we’ve had two clinical strategies in play. The first approach – arguably dominant – has been to overlook obesity and merely treat the complications as they appear. The other is intensive behavioral treatment. But clearly, neither of these have been adequate. The burden of chronic diseases […]

Are Cow Farts Really Killing the Planet?

March 10, 2020 — Frank Mitloehner wants you to know that it’s not cow farts that are killing the planet. The big bovine brouhaha, he says, is a bit overblown. Really, we need to pay attention to the carbon released from carbon fuels. Of course, this line of thinking doesn’t go down well with angry vegan activists. “Let dairy […]