Posts Tagged ‘food policy’

False Comparisons of Smoking and Obesity

November 13, 2022 — Analogies are a powerful tool to build a story and persuade people to adopt a preferred course of action. When it comes to policies to reduce obesity, one of the most frequent analogies employed is tobacco policy. Earlier this year, Sarah Hill and colleagues made the case for health policy to align the regulation of […]

Food Environment: Consumption Occasions

November 12, 2022 — It’s interesting to trace the slow evolution of thinking about the food environment and efforts to understand why it seems to be triggering ever more obesity. Food policy advocates have shifted from worrying about too much fat, to a focus on sugar, and now toward thinking that the problem must be ultra-processed foods with too […]

Medicalizing Food, Marginalizing Obesity Care

October 30, 2022 — An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This 19th-century Welsh aphorism is a few steps behind the current zeal for medicalizing food. Food is medicine advocates are eager to see doctors prescribe produce, medically tailored groceries, or meals. It’s a big-tent concept that feels a little bit like a faith healing revival. Certainly, nutrition […]

Estimating the Impact of Diet on the Planet

October 27, 2022 — Most of us who think about food systems have a vague sense that our diet has a meaningful impact on the health of the planet. Beef is typically thought to be a bad actor. Eating more plant based foods should help. But an ambitious new study in Nature Sustainability aims to assign specific numbers to […]

How Ultra-Processed Foods Ate the Food Supply

October 21, 2022 — Among the many interesting presentations from three days of focus on causes of obesity, a just-so story stands out. We heard a number of just-so stories this week – untested fables to explain how we came to have so much obesity. They fit neatly with with an agenda that calls for a discussion of conjectures. […]

A New Roadmap for Marketing Healthy-ish Food

September 29, 2022 — What constitutes “healthy” for a packaged food? FDA, prompted by wrangling seven years ago, is out today with a new definition that everyone can fight about. Who cares? Well, just about everyone has an opinion. But the real passion for this subject comes from people who want to sell you more units of their food, […]

Stuck on a Partial Understanding of Obesity

September 28, 2022 — The news is full of sound bites about obesity today. The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is front and center. And the 44-page report that will guide today’s meeting has plenty of good stuff in it. Most notably, it reflects a better, albeit only partial, understanding that obesity is a complex chronic […]

Ultra-Processed Food: Quantity, Quality, Diets

September 26, 2022 — Something is up with our food supply that’s helping to drive the ever-rising prevalence of obesity. But the precise nature of the problem with the food supply is open for debate. People have many strong opinions. We’re too dependent on factory-farmed meat, say some people. Others are pushing for a food supply that promotes more […]

Looking for Real Plants in a Plant-Based Diet

September 18, 2022 — One of the hottest concepts right now in dietary fashion is plant-based diets. It’s on the way to surpassing the dominant theme of the last two decades – low-carb diets. Thus, some really exceptional claims for the benefits of plant-based diets are popping up in scientific literature. Apart from the fanciful nature of some of […]

Objective Dialogue About Red Meat and Health?

September 10, 2022 — Is it possible to have objective dialogue about red meat and health? Is it easy to find? The simple answer is yes and no. In Lancet this year, a pair of letters tell the story of why it’s so hard. These letters concern weaknesses in a massive analysis of the global burden of disease from 2020 […]