Posts Tagged ‘politics’

The Great Failure of Experts in a Bubble

September 12, 2021 — The failure of experts unfolding around us right now is spectacular. In health and public policy, experts have stumbled in very visible ways. Thus, public confidence in expertise is shaky and people are doing some absolutely wacky things, harming themselves and others. But why? No doubt, the reasons are many. However, part of the pattern […]

Exploiting Kids with Obesity for Political Mudslinging

August 17, 2021 — Nothing rankles quite so much as exploiting kids living with obesity for raw political purposes. Right now, a conservative group is using  images of kids with obesity in a campaign against companies that speak out on voting rights. In this case, they are targeting Coca-Cola with political attack ads, calling the company Woka-Cola. But to […]

SNAP Catches Up with the Cost of a Healthy Basic Diet

August 16, 2021 — A century ago, the iconic image of hunger was the bread line. Today, it is the line at a food bank, swamped by demand because of the pandemic. And for more than a decade now, the SNAP program has been inadequate for providing healthy nutrition to families facing food insecurity. But today, that will change. […]

Giving Angry Nonsense a Megaphone

August 15, 2021 — Angry nonsense in denial of factual reality seems to be a growing presence. A school board facing difficult decisions to keep children safe in the new school year faces angry threats from people who want to get their way. “We will find you,” say people who are in a frenzy, thinking that wearing a mask […]

Public Policy Based on Anger and Fear

August 8, 2021 — Anger is circulating freely these days. It’s nothing new. But harnessing anger and its close cousin – fear – is a skill social media algorithms seem to have mastered. Thus, politicians see an opportunity and anger grows. Punitive public policy scores points with constituents stoked by anger and fear. It seldom solves problems, though. In […]

Tax the Poor to Overcome Obesity

July 23, 2021 — The UK has a proposal for a new national food strategy, but it seems to be sailing in some very choppy waters. The most noted feature of this plan is its proposal to tax the sugar and salt that goes into processed, restaurant, and catered food to help overcome obesity. In addition, there’s a proposal […]

When a Dictator Loses Weight

July 1, 2021 — There’s a familiar thread in news media about public figures losing weight. Rebel Wilson and other celebrities are eager to tell the world about their hard work to lose weight and gain health. But the PR is different when a dictator loses weight. The case in point comes from North Korea. Supreme Leader Kim Jong […]

Science, Sentiment, and 38,368 Guideline Comments

June 18, 2021 — What happens when a careful consideration of science collides with strong sentiment in 38,368 dietary guideline comments? The short answer is public policy. Without a doubt, it’s messy. Simply wading through all those comments is a huge task. A new paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tries to make sense of them, using […]

Facts and Feelings: COVID, Vaccines, and Vitamins

March 23, 2021 — Bias comes in many forms. People express bias when they hold to a partial perspective about a person, group, thing, or idea. With bias comes the refusal to consider different points of view. Feelings, not facts, drive our biases and we all have them. On the subject of  COVID-19, vaccines, and vitamins, this is especially […]

Salt: Can We Live with Less of It?

February 1, 2021 — A long, long time ago, the FDA proposed voluntary goals for reducing salt in processed, packaged, and prepared foods. But that was 2016 and a new administration came the following year with less interest in this subject. So naturally, this went nowhere. It took little more than this idea coming from the Obama team to […]