Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Obesity: Learning from Public Health Mistakes

March 30, 2023 — Reuters reported yesterday that the World Health Association is considering, for the first time ever, adding a drug used for diabetes and obesity to the WHO essential medicines list. The specific drug under consideration is liraglutide. This would represent a step toward learning from public health mistakes of the past to make a course correction […]

Anecdotes and Studies of Lived Experiences with Obesity

March 19, 2023 — People want to be seen and heard. To feel like they matter. But in research and policy related to obesity, this fact was long neglected for many reasons. The principal reasons have much to do with stigma and the explicit dehumanization of people with this disease. With explicit efforts to overcome these issues, we see […]

Three Threads in Public Discourse on Obesity

March 10, 2023 — Anyone who doesn’t think a major shift in public perceptions about obesity is not underway has simply not been paying attention. Public discourse about this complex chronic disease is more intense (albeit sometimes frustrating) than we have seen in more than two decades of work on obesity. We see a pattern of three threads in […]

“Fake” Sugar, Speculation, and Health Reporting

March 9, 2023 — Reporting on supposed dangers of “fake” sugar is a self-replicating genre that seemingly never fades. The Washington Post this week published a prime example, telling readers: “The food industry says sugar substitutes help people manage their weight and reduce intake of added sugars. But studies suggest that fake sugars can also have unexpected effects on […]

Is It Possible to Fix the Hate in Literature?

February 23, 2023 — It’s interesting to watch people get riled up about the censorship of Roald Dahl. The Roald Dahl Story Company owns the rights to his books and has worked with Puffin Books to edit out offensive words so “Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today.” In collaboration with Inclusive Minds, […]

Evidence for What Works in Obesity Prevention

February 21, 2023 — “This childhood obesity prevention program works best,” says the headline from Futurity. It’s a catchy headline with a catch. The catch is that there’s absolutely no evidence in the research this story highlights regarding the effectiveness of programs for actually preventing obesity. None. Works in this context apparently means that the obesity prevention program runs […]

Comfortable Opinions, Uncomfortable Thinking

February 19, 2023 — Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy warned the graduating class at Yale that too often “We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” Public discourse on the subject of obesity right now is certainly bringing that thought into vivid view. Over and over again, we hear supposed experts expressing their comfortable […]

Are Semaglutide Supply Shortages Over?

February 3, 2023 — This is a story that’s been on repeat for well over a year. Novo Nordisk announced its business results for the full year of 2022 this week and declared that supply issues with Wegovy are over – almost. But the fact is that it’s not at all clear that the problem of supply shortages for […]

Obesity Care for the Few and the Wealthy

December 27, 2022 — It’s nothing new. Overwhelmingly and for a long time it has been true that obesity care is mainly available to the few and the wealthy. This is the inevitable result of multiple forms of bias that collide in the chronic disease of obesity. Healthcare has a bias for serving the the wealthy. Health systems also […]

The Bigot in the Machine

December 7, 2022 — We live in an age of algorithms and machine learning, says Professor Barbara Fister. But we should be aware that a bigot can find its way into the machine. She explains: “A provider of healthcare decision-making software that helps to manage care for some 200 million people each year wanted to create an algorithm to […]