Posts Tagged ‘public health’

When Obesity, COVID-19, and Health Disparities Collide

July 10, 2020 — Humans can rationalize anything. But that doesn’t make it rational. And sooner or later, reality intrudes to lay bare the irrationality of some systems that humans construct. What else should we call the deeply embedded racial and ethnic disparities in systems of healthcare around the world? They are simply irrational. By synergistically destroying the health […]

The Deadly Effects of Delayed Care in the Pandemic

July 3, 2020 — The cost of delayed care for chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – is steep in this pandemic. In fact, three separate analyses this week give us a glimpse of excess deaths in the early months of this continuing tragedy. But unfortunately, pinning these numbers down is a tricky business. However, […]

Worldwide Physical Activity Fell 27% in the Lockdown

July 1, 2020 — Stay home, save lives! When the edict went out, speculation began immediately. How much will physical activity drop in the lockdown? What will be the unintended consequences? In Annals of Internal Medicine this week, we have a few answers. Based on step counts, physical activity dropped 27 percent worldwide in a sample of data from […]

Will Opening Gyms Spread COVID-19? An RCT

June 26, 2020 — People are dying to get back to normal right now. Or at least, judging by news reports, some are certainly willing to take risks. Gyms are a particular sore spot. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been in court to prevent gyms from opening and spreading COVID-19 in her state. Other states are opening their gyms. […]

Proving an Important Point with a Lousy Study

June 24, 2020 — “In your heart, you know he’s right.” That political tagline was a loser in 1964 and it ranks as one of ten worst of all time. But it’s even worse if such thinking is applied to science. A study seems to prove an important point at a critical moment. So it’s rushed into publication. Then […]

Dietary Guidelines 2020: Plenty of Heat, Less Light

June 18, 2020 — In ordinary times, yesterday’s meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee would have been big news. They were supposed to unveil their draft report. But instead, the meeting came and went with a small thud. That’s because everyone has already staked out a position and they’re digging in. Also, it’s fair to say that […]

Eat Healthier, Move More, Prevent COVID-19 Problems?

June 13, 2020 — So simple. Dariush Mozaffarian has the answer for preventing problems with COVID-19. Eat healthier and move more. That’s it. According to him, the response to COVID-19, as impressive as it’s been, has been inadequate. He wants to know why governors aren’t telling everybody to exercise more every day and “eat a little bit healthier.” It […]

Correlation, Causality, Breastfeeding, and Obesity

June 12, 2020 — The distinction between correlation and causality is basic to any serious scientist. But in PLOS Genetics yesterday, scientists toss it out the window. Yanyan Wu et al found an association between breastfeeding and obesity. Then they lept to claim cause and effect. Right up front in their title, they make the bold claim. “Exclusive breastfeeding […]

Attention Span, Health Disparities, and Obesity

June 11, 2020 — America is having a moment. Civil unrest and a still-unfolding pandemic display a gaping wound in the public life of this nation. Disparities in justice and health are impossible to ignore and it shows up in the disparate effects of obesity on racial and ethnic minorities. Attention Span and the Possibilities for Change As distressing […]

Stumbling Toward a Rumble on Dietary Guidelines

June 9, 2020 — The expectations are low, so it’s not getting much attention. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is trying to wrap up its work on a report. That report goes into a black box at FDA and USDA. Then sometime around the end of the year, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will pop out from […]