Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Fixing Food Deserts: Promising or Trivial Effects?

May 24, 2022 — It seems to be an article of faith. Millions of low-income Americans live in food deserts and it puts them at higher risk for obesity. That’s a prevalent narrative to explain the link between poverty and obesity. And thus, the narrative works its way into the interpretation of research on programs for fixing food deserts. […]

Are Food Policy Wonks Giving “Big Food” a Free Pass?

May 15, 2022 — Ten years ago, PLOS Medicine published an examination of the role of “Big Food” in global health with a collection of articles. It was an indictment, to be sure, and this theme continues to resonate today. PLOS Medicine editors summed it up: “Big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark […]

Daunting Medical Words – Like Obesity

May 10, 2022 — Cancer is not just exuberant cell growth. Nor is depression simply a matter of feeling sad. Likewise obesity is not a simple matter of living in a larger body. But cancer, depression, and obesity are medical words that can be daunting and also misused. And each of them can bring stigma to complicate any efforts […]

Getting to Work on a Global Obesity Knowledge Gap

April 27, 2022 — Around the world, we have a big obesity knowledge gap in medical schools. A few years ago, Marissa Mastrocola and colleagues documented this in the International Journal of Obesity. But the good news is that people are working on closing that gap. This week, a group of medical educators published a new set of obesity […]

2025 Dietary Guidelines: Are We Ready for This?

April 16, 2022 — Yesterday, the USDA opened up the process for the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They invited us all to comment on the questions they will pose to a scientific advisory committee. Then they’ll appoint that committee and put it to work on producing a report. The report goes into the sausage grinder of policy making. […]

Personal Responsibility for Public Health

April 12, 2022 — Your health is in your hands. With these words, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky captures the essence of flawed thinking about public health. These words also capture the pervasive bias that gets in the way of coping well with both the COVID-19 pandemic and with obesity. This is the presumption that personal responsibility will take care […]

The Collapse of Trust in Top-Down Public Health

April 10, 2022 — Two years ago, 69 percent of Americans believed what the CDC had to say. Now, that number is 44 percent. After seven decades, CDC sat atop a pyramid of influence in public health. But today, top-down public health decrees meet with skepticism as often as with trust. We are living in an era when distrust […]

Population-Wide Personal Preference Policies in Obesity

April 3, 2022 — Policies to address obesity across the whole population often make perfect sense to the people who are promoting them. But often, they run into resistance from people looking at obesity from a very different place. Writing in the Guardian, Clare Finney offers a case in point: “For the 1.25 million men and women with eating […]

Justice, Kindness, Humility, and Service

March 13, 2022 — We are getting an eyeful of injustice, cruelty, hubris, and selfishness. It comes to us in examples large and small. On a catastrophic scale, it’s unfolding in Ukraine. In subtler but relentless increments, we see it in pervasive bias against people living with obesity. Dispiriting as all of this is, an antidote is available to […]

Electronic Health Records Coded with Bias

February 17, 2022 — If a patient is Black, health providers are more than twice as likely to put negative words in that patient’s health history. These are descriptors like hysterical, noncompliant, unpleasant, or uncooperative. Those word choices don’t suggest a good relationship with a patient. This conclusion comes from an analysis of records for 18,459 patients, published recently […]