Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Truth, Power, and Misinformation in a Health Crisis

March 27, 2020 — Knowledge is power, said Sir Francis Bacon in the 16th century. But today, that aphorism has morphed. Now it seems that misinformation is quite powerful. Governments and politicians have learned that they can censor information simply by overwhelming truth with noise. However, misinformation in a health crisis can be deadly. Truth and public trust are […]

Rising Conflict: Reason and Emotion in Health Policy

March 25, 2020 — We’re witnessing some intense interchanges on health policy right now. Reason and emotion are in vivid conflict. Jolting comments collide with disturbing facts. The new coronavirus “will disappear like a miracle,” says one policymaker. In addition, we hear promises of “packed churches all over our country” in just a couple of weeks. But then, a […]

The Importance of Distinguishing Science from Ideology

March 14, 2020 — Must everything be tribal and ideological? We think not. Yet avoiding this tendency is certainly hard for humans such as ourselves. Facing the health threat of COVID-19, we see a prime example of the importance of distinguishing science from ideology. It’s handwashing. The Most Effective Way to Prevent Transmission This is a matter scientific fact. […]

Alternatives to Dealing with the Truth in Health

March 12, 2020 — When it comes to dealing with the truth of our health, sometimes we humans have a tough time. Sometimes we avoid the truth. We’d rather not talk about or face difficult subjects. At other times, the truth is difficult to find or know. Perhaps it’s unknown and, under present circumstances, unknowable. But on the important […]

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 […]

Warning People About What Not to Eat in Mexico

January 31, 2020 — The Associated Press calls it a win for anti-obesity activists in Mexico. A decade of fighting about food warning labels has brought a victory. Front of pack labels in Mexico will put big black stop signs on products with too much sugar, salt, or saturated fat. Finally, people will learn what not to eat. But […]

Solving the Problem of Too Many Fruits and Veggies at School

January 21, 2020 — Late last week (we call it a Friday news dump) the USDA proposed new rules for school nutrition. The administration calls it regulatory reform. Flexibility to reduce food waste. But childhood nutrition advocates call it a move for more pizza and fewer veggies at school. USDA says it “did not intentionally announce this proposed rule […]

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 […]

They Is the Word of the Year for 2019. Are We Glad?

December 25, 2019 — Merriam-Webster’s word of the year seems perfect for our time. On one hand, it’s very nice to see this humble word rise up from obscurity. English needs a gender neutral singular pronoun. So people are getting comfortable with they for this purpose. It’s also handy for people who want to specify a non-binary pronoun for […]

Is Grinch Cutting SNAP or Promoting Work?

December 5, 2019 — Just in time for Christmas, the Trump administration has new rules for food assistance. They’ll tighten work requirements for single adults getting food stamps. The effect? Most likely, says USDA, they’ll be cutting SNAP benefits for 688,000 adults. According to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, however, this is not about cutting benefits. Rather, it’s about promoting […]