Posts Tagged ‘modeling’

The Bigot in the Machine

December 7, 2022 — We live in an age of algorithms and machine learning, says Professor Barbara Fister. But we should be aware that a bigot can find its way into the machine. She explains: “A provider of healthcare decision-making software that helps to manage care for some 200 million people each year wanted to create an algorithm to […]

Rising Obesity: The Third Half of the Root Cause

August 17, 2022 — For a very long time, a basic question about the rising rate of obesity has seemed to frustrate people. Why is it relentlessly rising? Some pundits seem to think people have become stupid, lazy, or undisciplined over the last several decades. “You think cake wasn’t delicious iu 1969?” quipped one self-appointed expert recently. Others are […]

Obesity in London? 100,000 Cases Prevented!

August 3, 2022 — According to a press release from the University of Sheffield, it sounds like the city of London pretty much has obesity prevention figured out. All they had to do is ban adverts for junk food from public transport. Voilà! With that simple act, says the press release, London has prevented nearly 100,000 cases of obesity, […]

Are Social Factors Driving the Growth in Obesity?

June 21, 2022 — While many researchers are having scholarly debates about their competing models for obesity, they focus primarily upon how food is doing it to us. Is it the excessive supply of hyper-palatable, ultra-processed food? Or is it all about carbs and insulin? But nowhere in these lovely models is there any focus on factors that go […]

Obesity: My Model’s Better Than Your Model

June 19, 2022 — All models are wrong, but some are useful. Quite a distinguished collection of obesity researchers are working hard to prove that these words of a great statistician – George Box – were precisely correct. One group, led by David Ludwig, suggests that their carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM) for obesity “better reflects knowledge on the biology of […]

Managing Risks, Gaining Life in Type 2 Diabetes

April 19, 2022 — The problem with doing things to prolong your life is that all the extra years come at the end, when you’re old. Bob Mankoff captured this fundamental quandary in a New Yorker cartoon years ago. But the problem of managing health and risks remains on our minds nonetheless. So a new study in JAMA Network […]

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Prevented Obesity

October 15, 2020 — The list of ways we woulda, coulda, shoulda prevented obesity keeps growing. In PLOS Medicine this week, another study is spawning headlines about a really effective tool for preventing obesity. The claim is that banning ads for unhealthy food can do the trick. The headlines are promising. For example, PLOS issued  a press release that […]

Model Assumptions for Driving Health Policy

April 22, 2020 — “I was never involved in a model. At least this kind of a model,” said our President at a recent press briefing. But now it seems that all of us are getting a crash course in modeling and model assumptions for making health policy. Perhaps we will learn to think more critically about the output […]

Sugar: Solve for the Answer You Like

September 29, 2019 — The assumption that too much sugar explains our problem with obesity has become ambient white noise. Most people just accept it. Inconvenient facts fade into oblivion. Modelers grab the megaphone claiming to have evidence that sugar is the cause and the key for overcoming obesity. It’s easy enough to solve for the answer you like […]

Obesity Solution: Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

September 8, 2019 — “The evidence is stacking up,” say Susan Jebb and Theresa Marteau. Sugary drink taxes have been so successful in the UK that the time has come to move on and tax chocolates, biscuits, and cake. And they have a modeling study to prove it. In just one year, a 20 percent tax on sugary snacks […]