Posts Tagged ‘politics’

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 […]

Why Calling People Out Feels So Good

November 17, 2019 — Outrage is consuming more of our minds and more of our culture. In part, we can blame the issues we face. Immigration, racism, disparities, fractious politics – the list is long. Plus, we are wired so that calling people out feels good. Social media taps into this primitive impulse and hands us a tool for […]

The Buddy Clubs of Obesity, Nutrition, and Fitness

November 10, 2019 — Can we talk? Well, if you’re not in our buddy club, maybe not. More and more it seems like we have difficulty in listening to people who don’t think like us. If you haven’t noticed this in politics, you’re not paying attention. But we also see it happening in the study of obesity, nutrition, and […]

Record High in Severe Childhood Obesity for the UK

October 14, 2019 — The prevalence of severe childhood obesity has reached a record high in the U.K. In fact, severe obesity now affects 4.4 percent of all children in England. Among children with economic deprivation the risk is four times higher. In response, we hear lots of talk. But action has been spotty. The U.K. is making less […]

Personal, Corporate, and Public Responsibility for Obesity

October 5, 2019 — For most of the first 30 years of the obesity epidemic, the response has been simple. Address it as a failure of personal responsibility. But that hasn’t worked out so well. Marion Nestle explained this in her keynote address for the Obesity Medicine Association Fall Summit yesterday in Boston. Today’s food environment makes it socially […]

Will 2020 Guidelines Skip Tough Questions?

August 31, 2019 — Tough to solve an issue if we don’t talk about it. But a number of dietary issues appear to be off the table for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Red meat? Too hot to handle. Ultra-processed foods? Nope. Sodium? Not on the issue list. The 2020 Guidelines may just skip over some of the […]

Dietary Guidelines: Transforming Conflicts into Expertise

May 10, 2019 — This is a pretty neat trick. Conflicts of interest are now officially dead. Lobbying for high fructose corn syrup isn’t a conflict of interest for drafting dietary guidelines. It’s a qualification. Evidence of expertise. USDA has put a high fructose corn syrup lobbyist in charge of overseeing new Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This would have […]

The Value of Curiosity

March 31, 2019 — How do smart people hold onto some stupid ideas? Motivated reasoning is one very important way. People start with a belief that’s very important to them. Then, they collect information to support it. Also, they arrange their information into a rationale that supports their belief. The result is a fortress of conviction. But one thing […]

Myths, Presumptions, and Denying Access to Obesity Care

March 4, 2019 — It sounded like she was thinking about scrambling eggs. “I don’t want to crack open Medicare Part D for obesity meds,” said this bright young Senate health staffer last week. “Don’t you think a lot of this is coming from depression?” she asked. Such are the questions we hear from some policymakers about obesity care. […]

Will Eggs Replace the Endangered Cheeseburger?

March 2, 2019 — Eggs are coming on strong, but your beloved cheeseburger is under siege. Certain political pundits say that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is going to take away your cheeseburger. However, the truth is that the real threat to that cheeseburger comes from market forces. The Endangered Cheeseburger Consumers simply don’t want as much red meat these days. More […]