Posts Tagged ‘health policy’

Is Objective Dialogue About Sugar Even Possible?

August 18, 2020 — For the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, this was a relatively easy question. Americans typically consume too much added sugar. So the committee recommends a lower limit. In the 2015, the limit was ten percent of total calories from added sugars. But now the committee says that limit should come down to six. Not so fast, […]

Systematic Failures in Dealing with Obesity

July 28, 2020 — For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. Henry Louis Mencken wrote this in 1920, well before the the health challenge of obesity flummoxed us. But he described our systematic failures with obesity almost perfectly. Obesity is a problem of complex systems that conspire to harm our health. Simple, […]

Policy-Based Evidence for School Nutrition

July 8, 2020 — If you work with the numbers long enough, you can get the answer you want. In Health Affairs, researchers claim to have found “a 47 percent reduction in obesity prevalence” due to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Now that’s impressive evidence for the value of school nutrition! Reducing childhood obesity prevalence is indeed an impressive […]

“Big Sugar” Wants Other Sweeteners Called Out

June 7, 2020 — No fair! So says the Sugar Association. “Big sugar” petitioned FDA last week because they want food labeling to call out non-caloric sweeteners. Not just sugar. You can’t really blame them for trying. Righteous food activists have been beating up on sugar so much, for so long, that per capita consumption of sugar and caloric […]

Helping People Fear Bad Food and Beverages

June 2, 2020 — Nutrition Live Online 2020 opened with NIH Director Francis Collins and the Presidential Symposium on the ethics of eating. We had expected to be wowed by Director Collins. And of course, he is impressive. However, Harvard’s Anna Grummond impressed us even more. She explained that it’s ethically OK to put warnings on food that might […]

False Prophets of Nutrition and Quick Fixes for Obesity

June 1, 2020 — Complexity makes the brain hurt. Both nutrition and obesity present challenges that resist simple answers. There is no one healthful way to eat, though many false prophets of nutrition will preach that they have the one true way. Quick fixes for obesity are rare, though many people are eager to tell us that they know […]

Soda Consumption Plunging in Chile! Really?

February 15, 2020 — This is a spin machine that any politician would be proud to own. Chile enacted a broad set of food system regulations in 2016 that many folks in public health simply love. The intent? Put an end to this obesity thing. This week, PLOS Medicine published a study of their effects and the fan club erupted […]

Why Has Progress in Reducing Obesity Been So Elusive?

February 8, 2020 — Today we have the privilege of presenting at the Methodist Health System Digestive Institute Symposium in Dallas. Mixed in with some truly distinguished experts on gastroenterology, we’ll be exploring evolving policies on obesity. But most important, we’ll be examining why progress in reducing obesity has been so elusive. And above all, how can we make […]

A Political Campaign for Dietary Guidelines

December 31, 2019 — A band of low-carb enthusiasts is making it official. They are coming at the process for developing the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a matter of politics. Why worry about the nuances of science when you can rally a base of devoted advocates? The Low-Carb Action Network This coalition formed in December with a […]

A Glimpse of Progress in America’s Once Fattest City

April 15, 2019 — We’re not especially fond of rankings for obesity. They can spark sensationalism. Back in 2008, journalists had great fun with a CDC report that identified Huntington, WV, as “America’s fattest city.” Jamie Oliver swooped in to offer an enlightened diet to the city and its children. He sobbed for the cameras when the city didn’t […]