Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Health, Politics, and Less Morning Light

March 19, 2022 — An amazing thing happened this week. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent. The amazement comes from two things. First and perhaps most obviously, it’s amazing that the Senate can do anything by unanimous consent in these contentious times. But more startling is that they could do it without a peep […]

Diving into a Culture of Trauma

February 6, 2022 — Is trauma losing its meaning? It seems that accounts of trauma are filling the news. Death and suffering in more than two years of a global pandemic has certainly been traumatic. So too is the toll of gun violence. With the return to more normal school operations, school shootings are once again popping up in […]

Drawing a Line Between Critical Thinking and Behavior

January 16, 2022 — Critical thinking is vital for progress. It really doesn’t matter whether the goal is overcoming obesity, COVID, or economic hardship. Rigorous, objective analysis allows us to recognize the truth of the situation we’re dealing with and then find solutions. But that’s not the end of the story, because the behavior that flows from critical thinking […]

Is Intolerance a Problem or a Virtue?

October 3, 2021 — “Child abuse.” When we wrote earlier this week about new data on bariatric surgery in children with severe obesity, that was one visceral response. Ten years ago, Lindsey Murtagh and David Ludwig trotted out the child abuse label with precisely opposite reasoning. They suggested that parents of children with obesity might be guilty of abuse […]

Blame and Shame at Odds with Trust and Health

September 26, 2021 — Some learning comes only the hard way. In this pandemic, we see some countries cope well while others struggle. In the process, we can learn a great deal on many fronts. But the case study of Denmark is offering an especially vivid lesson in the value of avoiding blame and shame while building of trust […]

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 […]