Posts Tagged ‘causal inference’

Teasing Out Causality in Obesity and Depression

December 23, 2022 — Causality in the relationship between obesity and depression is mighty hard to discern in a rigorous way. For clinicians, it seems obvious that obesity creates a risk for depression. Likewise, the observation that depression in some patients can lead to obesity is easy to find. But understanding that causal relationship is a challenge. Mere association […]

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. […]

The Challenge of Objectivity About Alcohol Risks

March 30, 2022 — Objectivity about the risks of drinking alcohol is not easy to find. Just like sweet beverages, alcohol has been part of human culture and a source of pleasure for thousands of years. An awareness of its health risks also has a very long history. Because humans can rationalize just about anything, we embrace assurances from […]

Science and Superstition: Sweet Beverages

March 25, 2022 — Sweet drinks never cease to activate controversies. For millennia, people have enjoyed them. But that enjoyment has also long sparked a reaction from folks who find fault with enjoying them. So often, people turn to science to justify their beliefs that these sweet beverages are either a good source of refreshment or a hazard to […]

Potatoes for Breakfast, Dark Vegetables for Supper?

March 17, 2022 — Should we be having potatoes for breakfast? An interesting new study this week adds to the evidence that when we eat different foods might matter for health outcomes as much as our choice of foods. Specifically, this research was an analysis of mortality in persons with diabetes based on NHANES data from 2003 to 2014. […]

Ultra-Processed Foods: Fine Points and a Broad Brush

March 14, 2022 — “Yes, not all types of food processing are bad and not all UPF are equally bad,” writes Carlos Monteiro. He’s commenting on a new study of ultra-processed foods in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Because he is the author and a big promoter of the NOVA UPF classification scheme, his comments are notable. But the […]

Good Food, Bad Food: Almonds vs. Fries

March 10, 2022 — In the realm of health halos, almonds shine brightly. Meanwhile, French fries are at the other end of the scale – lumped with iconic junk food. But the good food versus bad food paradigm has some serious limitations. A new RCT comparing the health outcomes from consuming almonds or fries illustrates this quite well. Researchers […]

Drinking Wine Prevents Diabetes? Not Exactly

March 7, 2022 — A glass of wine is a fine complement to a good meal, but could it also be a tool for preventing type 2 diabetes? A sampling of recent headlines prompted by the American Heart Association might certainly lead you to think so. Like this one from Martha Stewart Living: Science Says Drinking a Glass of […]

More Veggies, Less Heart Disease? Not Exactly

February 21, 2022 — In this moment, food policy advocates are in love with plant-based diets. Many reasons do favor plant-based diets. In fact, the advice to eat more vegetables has been dispensed at family tables for generations. The American Heart Association promotes eating more veggies for cutting heart disease risk with great enthusiasm. But today, a new study […]

Hunting for the Causes of Obesity, and Maybe Solutions

November 11, 2021 — The chronic disease of obesity is tough to wrap our heads around. On one hand, many people consider themselves to be amateur experts. Consumer media – and our spam folder – is full of glib advice about how to “lose belly fat.” Advice about foods that cause weight gain is everywhere. But the truth is […]