Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Lean or Not, Who’s a Good Dog?

July 9, 2020 — Blame and shame for obesity, it seems, is not just for humans anymore. In fact, a new study in the International Journal of Obesity documents significant bias toward dogs with obesity and their owners. What’s more, these attitudes are strikingly similar to what humans endure. Who’s a good dog? According to some veterinarians, not a […]

Thin Privilege and White Fragility

July 4, 2020 — “I’m tired of people suggesting I should feel guilty about racism,” someone told us recently. That sentiment is a near-perfect expression of white fragility. Many people enjoy the unearned privileges of being white in a racist society. But they don’t like to think about it. Likewise, many people who are fit, able, and thin enjoy […]

Bing! One Less Dose of Explicit Weight Bias

July 4, 2020 — Change comes in increments. Because humans are wired for bias, the bias against people at higher weights is especially hard to escape. But we take heart from explicit signs of such bias erased. Small victories count, too. This week, one such victory came when Bing took down an appalling entry for childhood obesity, filled with […]

The Tortured Pathway for a New NASH Treatment

June 30, 2020 — It’s tough getting good information these days. Good, factual information. Everybody wants to spin it. That’s undeniable in public policy. But it also seems to be true in drug development. Yesterday, the FDA definitively rejected an application from Intercept Pharmaceuticals for a new drug to treat NASH – nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The company was shocked. Its […]

Racism Baked into Health and Obesity Care

June 22, 2020 — We are in a moment when life and death and race and ethnicity are forcing conversations that White people politely avoid. It’s uncomfortable. But the brutal deaths of Black people at the hands of police have become impossible to ignore. And in the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Latino people are dying in numbers that make […]

Really? Blame the Food Industry for COVID-19?

June 21, 2020 — We’ve seen quite a range of responses to the observation that obesity leads to worse outcomes with COVID-19. But most of them are unhelpful. First, of course, was denial. Now we have the anger phase. Over in the U.K., folks are murmuring that we should blame the food industry. Writing in the BMJ, Monique Tan, […]

What If the Traffic Light Doesn’t Work?

June 20, 2020 — The concept of a traffic light diet is a mainstay for clinics that treat childhood obesity. It seems to be useful for shaping healthy childhood eating behaviors. In its Evidence Analysis Library, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says it’s effective. In fact, it even says the evidence is strong for it. But if you […]

The Odd Case of Tobacco, Nicotine, and COVID-19

June 14, 2020 — In the early reports of patients in the hospital for COVID-19, careful observers noticed an odd pattern. COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory syndrome and smoking badly damages lungs. But hospitalization was not more likely for smokers. In fact, it was less likely. This correlation kept appearing in sample after sample  – though with substantial uncertainty. […]

Correlation, Causality, Breastfeeding, and Obesity

June 12, 2020 — The distinction between correlation and causality is basic to any serious scientist. But in PLOS Genetics yesterday, scientists toss it out the window. Yanyan Wu et al found an association between breastfeeding and obesity. Then they lept to claim cause and effect. Right up front in their title, they make the bold claim. “Exclusive breastfeeding […]

Attention Span, Health Disparities, and Obesity

June 11, 2020 — America is having a moment. Civil unrest and a still-unfolding pandemic display a gaping wound in the public life of this nation. Disparities in justice and health are impossible to ignore and it shows up in the disparate effects of obesity on racial and ethnic minorities. Attention Span and the Possibilities for Change As distressing […]