Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Delegating Bias and Discrimination to Computer Systems

January 1, 2022 — Should 2022 be the year that we turn over decision making to artificial intelligence? Writing in the Washington Post, Steven Zeitchik suggests it should. We could banish fears of making bad decisions, he says. But we beg to differ. A growing body of evidence tells us that computer systems can replicate the bad decisions we […]

A Decade of Framing Obesity in the British Press

December 15, 2021 — With the new year on the way, no doubt many headlines will be urging readers to set resolutions to lose the weight they may have put on over the holidays. However, the way the British press talks about weight, obesity, and health has fluctuated markedly in recent years. To learn more about these changes, we […]

How a Narrow Definition of Healthy Diverges from Health

November 21, 2021 — In her new book, How the Other Half Eats, Priya Fielding-Singh tells us good nutrition comes in many forms. But the dominant culture often presents a narrow definition of a healthy diet. This happens because we often fix our attention on the merits and faults of specific foods or nutrients. She writes: “Certain items are […]

American Heart Updates Dietary Guidance – Almost

November 16, 2021 — Dietary bias can be very slow to fade. The American Heart Association updated its dietary guidance for the first time in more than a decade. The new guidance has a lot of good things in it. There’s less emphasis on individual good and bad foods. More emphasis on healthful patterns for eating. The guidance makes […]

More Science and Care, Fewer Food Fights in Obesity

November 8, 2021 — At ObesityWeek®, we noticed a subtle shift. In past years, health policy discussions have sometimes been stuck on very detailed food fights. But this year, it seems that such food fights were less in the foreground. Instead, we saw a much greater focus than ever before on health equity, disparities, and the people who are […]

Reaching for an End to Bias

October 23, 2021 — Jessica Nordell describes something like a quest in her new book, The End of Bias. “When I began this book, I thought I was writing a work of science. My plan was to read, study, synthesize the best evidence, and share what I found. The journey would be straightforward; it would be scientific and outward-facing […]

How Hard and Helpful Is It to Admit We Don’t Know?

October 22, 2021 — “What happens when health officials tell the full truth?” asked David Leonhardt in the New York Times recently. He was writing about the value of admitting to uncertainty in public health. In a similar vein, Paul Krugman wrote recently about the power of admitting that nobody knows the right answer to a thorny problem. And […]

FNCE: The Challenge to Put Health First Over Weight

October 19, 2021 — FNCE is winding up today after four days of this virtual conference. For information on weight, health, and obesity, the agenda offered some bright spots – most especially content on the lived experience of obesity. But one subject was almost completely absent. Rigorous discussion about weight neutral care, including Health at Every Size, could not […]

Anyone Can Make Errors, Wise People Correct Them

October 12, 2021 — Progress is all around us but it’s not always obvious. Explicit weight bias is getting better, but implicit bias is as bad as ever – perhaps worse. So when people catch themselves and walk back from implicit expressions of bias, we find cause for celebration. Making errors is easy, but to correct errors – especially […]

Is Intolerance a Problem or a Virtue?

October 3, 2021 — “Child abuse.” When we wrote earlier this week about new data on bariatric surgery in children with severe obesity, that was one visceral response. Ten years ago, Lindsey Murtagh and David Ludwig trotted out the child abuse label with precisely opposite reasoning. They suggested that parents of children with obesity might be guilty of abuse […]