Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Regulating Soda, Crack, and Menthol Cigarettes

May 7, 2021 — Late last week, the FDA announced that it intends to ban menthol cigarettes. This is in part because these are the cigarettes that Black smokers prefer. Smoking takes a bigger toll on Blacks than Whites, so maybe this will help reduce a source of health disparities. Indeed it sounds like a good idea. Except that […]

Are Obesity Disparities Invisible in Medical Education?

April 17, 2021 — Obesity is growing more prevalent for all. But at the same time, racial and ethnic disparities are growing wider. In the U.S., 42 percent of adults have obesity. For Black women, that number is 57 percent. Despite this high prevalence and wide disparity, though, medical education board exams skip right over obesity and disparities. The […]

Foodies, Stylists, the Biased, and Denialists

April 16, 2021 — We are on the cusp of great progress for anti-obesity medicines. Writing in Cell Metabolism, Fiona Gribble and Stephen O’Rahilly call it the end of the beginning. They have high hopes for new medications to treat obesity – one of the most common and difficult chronic diseases we face. But these advances fly in the […]

Grasping Synergistic Pandemics: COVID-19 and Obesity

April 6, 2021 — From the very early days COVID-19, we saw clues that two pandemics might be interacting – COVID-19 and obesity. But we are not fans of catastrophizing health health problems. So the question becomes, how can we come to terms with these synergistic pandemics? Can we do it in a way that brings us closer to […]

Obesity Screening in School: Can We Please Stop Now?

March 27, 2021 — In the new issue of Childhood Obesity, Sarah Armstrong and Ted Kyle tell us the time has come to stop screening for obesity in school. The reason is simple. This screening harms children, but offers them no benefit. Telling a child or the child’s parent they are fat doesn’t help. It does nothing for their […]

Facts and Feelings: COVID, Vaccines, and Vitamins

March 23, 2021 — Bias comes in many forms. People express bias when they hold to a partial perspective about a person, group, thing, or idea. With bias comes the refusal to consider different points of view. Feelings, not facts, drive our biases and we all have them. On the subject of  COVID-19, vaccines, and vitamins, this is especially […]

One Clear Value for BMI: Ticket to a Vaccine

March 19, 2021 — BMI stinks. That’s the lead on a lot of stories about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment right now. This is a perfect example of mixed messaging. But it also reflects our very mixed feelings about this measure that’s now almost two centuries old. A BMI of 30 is the threshold for a population-based […]

“Let Them Choose Not to Eat Cake…”

March 12, 2021 — Let them choose is a seductive maxim for guiding health policy. In one sense, it seems perfectly reasonable. You get to choose. We respect personal agency.  But it can also be quite punitive. You made your choices, now you have a chronic disease. You’re on your own. Sorry. A new paper in the Future Healthcare […]

Racism and Obesity: Where Does the Problem Lie?

March 8, 2021 — The overlap between systemic racism and obesity is unmistakable. Obesity is a condition that burdens the health of Black, Hispanic and Indigenous people more than others. It is a key factor that has made these communities more susceptible to severe symptoms and death from COVID-19. A new paper in the Journal of Internal Medicine offers […]

Recognizing Systemic Racism in Obesity Care

February 15, 2021 — This is not hard to see. But recognizing and dealing with effects of systemic racism in obesity care is not so easy. Black and Hispanic communities have a much higher prevalence of obesity and its complications. But they have much less access to effective obesity care. The outcomes for that care are worse in these […]