Posts Tagged ‘curiosity’

Whip Obesity Now – Or Maybe Not

June 12, 2022 — Talk is cheap. But history tells us that cheap talk doesn’t solve wicked problems. That’s true whether the problem is the relentlessly rising health harms of obesity or the current hot topic – inflation. The notoriously hollow Whip Inflation Now campaign of Gerald Ford seems like a model for equally ineffective campaigns aspiring to overcome […]

Public Policy Based on Anger and Fear

August 8, 2021 — Anger is circulating freely these days. It’s nothing new. But harnessing anger and its close cousin – fear – is a skill social media algorithms seem to have mastered. Thus, politicians see an opportunity and anger grows. Punitive public policy scores points with constituents stoked by anger and fear. It seldom solves problems, though. In […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]

OCW2021: Treat or Prevent Obesity? A False Choice

March 2, 2021 — Today in Obesity Care Week (OCW2021) the focus is treatment and prevention of obesity. Note that the focus is both. Not one or the other. For decades now, we have watched ineffective talk about a false choice: shall we resolve to treat obesity or prevent it? “We can’t treat our way out of this epidemic,” […]

Obesity: A Case Study in Failed Generalizations

August 10, 2020 — “I know about people like you.” Twenty-five years after visiting a church in a new community that would would soon be our new home, we still remember those words. Those words come to mind as we read the words of Larry Elliott in the Guardian. Larry Elliott is the economics editor for the Guardian. So […]

Really? Blame the Food Industry for COVID-19?

June 21, 2020 — We’ve seen quite a range of responses to the observation that obesity leads to worse outcomes with COVID-19. But most of them are unhelpful. First, of course, was denial. Now we have the anger phase. Over in the U.K., folks are murmuring that we should blame the food industry. Writing in the BMJ, Monique Tan, […]

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. […]

Captive to the Bias of an Attractive Narrative

May 11, 2020 — We’ve heard it many times before. Confronted with a daunting medical and scientific challenge, someone comes along to tell us that they can whisk away all that complexity. “I call it a beautiful puzzle,” said one person recently. He was describing how it really won’t be so hard to tame the coronavirus pandemic and get […]

The Significance of Declining Human Body Temperatures

January 27, 2020 — While the planet warms up, our bodies are cooling down. That’s right. Declining human body temperatures are a fact of the last 200 years. A new study in eLife tells us that average body temperatures have cooled by 1.6% over the last 200 birth years. If you thought that 37°C or 98.6°F is the norm […]

Five Subjects Too Hot to Handle in Nutrition and Obesity

July 30, 2019 — Sadly enough, we live in an age of angry tweets and venting spleens. So it is in nutrition and obesity (as well as politics) these days. We’ve found that five subjects – whatever you say – will attract responses that are too hot to handle. In our view, this is a reason to try to […]