Posts Tagged ‘misinformation’

Looking for Black and White Answers in a World of Gray

April 22, 2024 — Virginia Sole-Smith has black and white answers for the world of gray nuances that define the relationship of nutrition, obesity, and health. She is an outspoken advocate for fat acceptance and body liberation. Restraint is something she rejects. In a very personal profile for the New York Times, Lisa Miller describes her as both inspirational […]

Seven Points of Misinformation on American Dietary Guidelines

April 15, 2024 — “Trust no one.” This classic line sets up thrillers, mysteries, and the moment we seem to be living. Trust in institutions is low and misinformation proliferates through electronic and social media. Because we are in the middle of a very careful, transparent, and public process for developing a new edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, […]

“Don’t Listen to Those Influencers,” Cries an Influencer

February 16, 2024 — Influencers are not doctors. They can’t understand the science issues with obesity drugs. That’s not what they do. With expressive skill, a leading influencer in the fat acceptance movement put her finger on an important issue in the Washington Post this week. On this, we totally agree. If we listen to many social media influencers, […]

A Parody in Scientific American Too Early for April Fools

January 29, 2024 — Scientific American published an entertaining parody last week. It was a bit extreme and too early for April Fools’ Day, but entertaining nonetheless. This essay wove together a litany of absurd rationalizations we hear all the time to tell the tale of a medical breakthrough in obesity taking us down a road to ruin. Hilarious […]

The Tension Between Trust and Healthy Skepticism

January 7, 2024 — We are living is a time of concern about mistrust, misinformation, and polarization. Edelman has been warning us for years now about deepening distrust that promotes misinformation because people do not know what to believe. It promotes polarization because they come to trust only people with beliefs similar to their own. As we confront misinformation, healthy […]

Why Are We So Ready to Put Faith in Celebrity Health Guidance?

December 24, 2023 — Oprah Winfrey says “Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower – it’s about the brain.” This tidbit from a recent interview with People magazine is great. It’s accurate and it corrects a common misconception. No doubt, it will bring a shift away from flawed thinking about this condition that many people have been hanging […]

The Blurry Line Between Skepticism and Cynicism

December 3, 2023 — We are living in an age of low trust. Without trust, many problems in public policy confront us – polarization, disinformation, and roadblocks to progress in public health. Unhealthy cynicism begins to crowd out the healthier approach to inquiry, skepticism. The advice to trust, but verify, gives way to broad claims that everything is rigged […]

Specks and Logs, Bias and Conflicts

October 22, 2023 — “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” It is an ancient but fair question. It comes to mind as we read mind-numbing headlines asserting that the scientific advisory committee for the 2025 dietary guidelines is “rife with” and “plagued” by conflict of […]

Dishonest Research About Honesty

August 1, 2023 — What is it about research into honesty that attracts such problems? Retractions of papers about honesty in human behavior are multiplying like tribbles. Harvard is seeking retraction of three papers written by a star of behavioral research – Professor Francesca Gino. Her research was all about honesty. This is the most recent of a series […]

The Irresistible Attraction of One Size Fits All

June 9, 2023 — We say it over and over again. Obesity is a heterogeneous disease. But it seems never to sink in. Perhaps this is because of the irresistible attraction of the idea that one size fits all – or at least it ought to. To make matters worse, the one-size thinking coming at us right now for […]