Posts Tagged ‘bias’

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 […]

A Dichotomy of Extremes on Obesity: Bigotry and Denial

June 5, 2020 — These are times that present us with extreme but false choices. Lives versus livelihoods. Chaos versus oppression. Add to that list an extreme, false dichotomy on obesity. At one extreme, we have two fat acceptance advocates advocates arguing that concern about obesity is nothing more than an expression of racism. At the other, a conservative […]

False Prophets of Nutrition and Quick Fixes for Obesity

June 1, 2020 — Complexity makes the brain hurt. Both nutrition and obesity present challenges that resist simple answers. There is no one healthful way to eat, though many false prophets of nutrition will preach that they have the one true way. Quick fixes for obesity are rare, though many people are eager to tell us that they know […]

Really? Low-Carb Fights the Pandemic?

May 30, 2020 — Like a dog with a bone, Nina Teicholz is not ready to let it go. She has a point to make and a book to sell. It’s all about pushing everyone to eat a low-carb diet. No matter what the problem, we find her telling us that low-carb diets, with plenty of saturated fats, are […]

COVID-19: HAES and Fat Shaming Become Cartoons

May 23, 2020 — On Friday, the BMJ released the largest peer-reviewed prospective study of risk factors for severe symptoms or death with COVID-19 to date. Age over 50, being male, obesity, and other chronic diseases stand out as important risk factors. By now, this is a pattern that is quite familiar. But it does more than just make […]

From Pelosi or Trump, Fat Shaming Is Never Cool

May 19, 2020 — Common ground is awfully hard to find right now. But here’s an easy one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a D or an R or anything else. Fat shaming is never cool. It just happened last night when Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an off-handed remark about President Donald Trump being “morbidly obese.” Please, people. This […]

An Accidental Infographic on Bias and Stereotyping

May 9, 2020 — So…this happened. The Journal of Internal Medicine published an open-source article on race and obesity. In doing so, the journal paired it with an infographic incorporating a racial stereotype, apparently lifted from a movie. Furthermore, the imagery depicted a diet of honey, soda, and cupcakes. Our primary conclusion is that the journal has published an […]

Discrimination, Denial, Obesity, and COVID-19

May 2, 2020 — Alternative facts are never helpful. This is especially true in the midst of a health crisis. People need actual, reliable facts to make good decisions – not a self-serving story. And yet, we see facts dismissed in discussions of discrimination, obesity, and COVID-19. Yet another large study emerged this week that points to real risks […]