Posts Tagged ‘evidence-based policy’

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 […]

How Sound Are Recommendations to Cut Added Sugar?

April 8, 2022 — We are in the midst of a great reformulation of food products. A little more than a decade ago, Robert Lustig stirred everyone up with his bold claim that sugar is toxic. So added sugar took over the role of dietary bad boy in place of fat. In 2015, U.S. dietary guidelines started recommending a […]

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 […]

Homogeneous Policies for a Heterogeneous Disease

March 29, 2022 — For decades now, health policy advocates have been pursuing a solution to the growing effects of obesity on public health. The banners shift over time, but the goal is pretty consistent. It’s better diets and more physical activity across the population to reverse the trend in obesity prevalence. Low fat everything! Let’s Move! Tax and […]

Still Looking for the Health Effect of SSB Taxes

March 28, 2022 — A new study in Health Economics reminds us we’re still looking for evidence for the health effect of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes. It hasn’t shown up yet. But we’re still waiting hopefully. This latest study comes from John Cawley, Michael Daly, and Rebecca Thornton. They estimated the effect of an SSB Tax in Mauritius on […]

Controlled Study Shows How to Sell Less Easter Candy

March 26, 2022 — Not every study in PLOS Medicine is thoroughly impressive, but this one is pure genius. Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered that if grocers don’t promote Easter candy, they will sell less of it. But wait, there’s more. Those same researchers showed that promoting “healthy items” – like low fat potato chips – […]

Searching for Effective Policies in Obesity

March 8, 2022 — From the perspective of public health, we have a tremendous burden of obesity – and it’s growing all over the world. Decades of work to bend the curve of rising prevalence has had no discernable effect. Large and persistent disparities in diet quality mirror disparities in obesity prevalence. We might be good at nudging the […]

100,000 More Diabetes Deaths, More of Same Policies

February 1, 2022 — It is a familiar pattern, but no less disappointing because of that. A government commission issues a report and cries out for action. “Another health crisis challenges the U.S.: diabetes mellitus,” says the report issued yesterday by the National Clinical Care Commission. The report correctly identifies obesity as a key driver of rising deaths from […]

TMI About Health with Too Little Trust

January 23, 2022 — Increasingly, we find ourselves burdened by TMI about health, much of which we cannot trust. Such an overload of dubious information makes it hard to make good decisions. Evidence of this is everywhere we turn. People are dying needlessly from COVID after choosing to refuse vaccination. And to be sure, the subject of obesity, weight, […]

Following the Science into 2022

December 29, 2021 — Following the science is a catchphrase in wide circulation throughout this past year with good reason. Scientists have been warning us about a number of threats to humanity and, at times, we seem to have dismissed those threats. Of course, COVID-19 and climate change are two very prominent examples that come to mind. But many […]