Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Is Weight Bias More Acceptable Than Racial Bias?

February 22, 2019 — This week, we’ve watched two vivid examples of biased thinking unfold in medical forums. In one case, we saw demeaning racial stereotypes offered up in Neurology. In another, we have demeaning body weight stereotypes presented by an editor at Medscape. The case of racial bias led to a swift retraction and a resignation. But in […]

Overcoming Bias with a Passion for Objectivity

February 20, 2019 — Objectivity is tedious. When survival is at stake, snap decisions can confer an advantage. Friend or foe? Fight or flee? We might not have time to collect and analyze data. And thus, humans brains are wired with shortcuts for making instant judgments. But those shortcuts come at a cost when we live in a modern […]

Teaching Contempt for People with Obesity?

February 19, 2019 — We see it on display with dismaying regularity. Contempt for people living with obesity. Where does it come from? New research in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that it comes from ignorance. But fortunately, ignorance is more readily curable than obesity. Contempt on Display in Medscape The latest galling display of contempt for people […]

What Presidential Checkups Tell Us About Self-Reports

February 13, 2019 — Our president just had his annual medical exam and that ritual is providing us an important reminder. Self-reports – especially about obesity, nutrition, and physical activity – are not very reliable. That’s because most people misremember or shade the truth. We’re all lighter, taller, eating healthier, and more active when we do the reporting ourselves. A Long […]

How Weight Bias Is Harming Us All

February 2, 2019 — People who live in large bodies find themselves the target of fat-phobic and body shaming messages on a daily basis. Ellen Maud Bennett died of cancer on May 11, 2018, and she used her obituary to ask the medical profession to stop fat-shaming the ill. She is not alone. Weight bias is everywhere in our […]

Nicotine, Obesity, and Moral Panic

January 31, 2019 — A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine is stirring up a complex mixture of feelings with some objective data about vaping. The study shows that e-cigarettes are 83 percent more effective than nicotine replacement products for helping people quit smoking. In the U.K., the reaction is positive. In the U.S., the reaction is […]

Thin Privilege from Skinny Genes

January 27, 2019 — New research in PLOS Genetics provides deeper insight than ever into the role that skinny genes may play in protecting an individual from obesity. Senior investigator Sadaf Farooqi sums it up: This research shows for the first time that healthy thin people are generally thin because they have a lower burden of genes that increase a […]

Cutting Sugar Clears Up Liver Disease in Children?

January 25, 2019 — JAMA grabbed some headlines this week on a popular subject – cutting sugar consumption for kids. Fatty liver disease is a serious problem and the headlines point to a simple solution. “To fight fatty liver, avoid sugary foods and drinks,” said the New York Times. How did researchers prove that? All it took was a randomized […]

Facing Obesity: Unarmed in a Rock Fight

January 12, 2019 — In a most compelling way, Tommy Tomlinson describes his lifetime of experiences facing obesity: Losing weight is a f***ing rock fight. The enemies come from all sides: The deluge of marketing telling us to eat worse and eat more. The culture that has turned food into one of the last acceptable vices. Our families and […]

25 Years of Research on Viruses Causing Obesity

January 8, 2019 — In 1982, Michael Lyons published the first finding that a virus could cause obesity. More than a quarter century later, quite a pile of evidence has accumulated. And yet, the notion of viruses causing obesity seems far from the mainstream. Why is this so? The Long Road for a Counter-Intuitive Finding It’s been more than […]