Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Drug Labeling That Fails People with Obesity

August 31, 2023 — It is hard to believe. But a new commentary in Health Affairs Forefront tells us once again that drug labeling fails to assure safe and effective use for many important drugs by people with obesity. These are drugs for conditions other than obesity. But people with obesity may represent half or more of the people […]

Carcinogenicity: Oh No! Obesogenicity: Meh.

August 18, 2023 — Health disrupting chemicals are spreading to the farthest reaches of the planet. Even on the remote Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, they’re showing up. Through carcinogenicity or obesogenicity, they can wreak havoc with our health. But as we follow the public discourse about the bad actors, one thing becomes quite clear. Carcinogenicity prompts alarm […]

Obesity, Opioids, and Guns Rank as the Top Health Threats

August 18, 2023 — “Of the following what do you think is the number one threat to American public health at this moment?” Given a list that included guns, alcohol, cancer, COVID, obesity, opioids, smoking, driving, or something else, three top choices were clear. Opioids (chosen by 26%), obesity (23%), and guns (20%) outpaced everything else. The others were […]

30 Years of UK Obesity Policy, 14 Strategies, Little Success

August 17, 2023 — A recently published report by the Institute for Government offers a succinct dissection of UK obesity policy in the past 30 years in the UK, culminating with recommendations for reform. Context and Complexity As a fairly new clinical academic, caring for real people and trying to produce relevant research to influence change, I am relatively […]

Nutrition 2023: Taking Food Is Medicine Seriously, Not Literally

July 24, 2023 — Sloganeering inevitably plays a role in advocating for policy changes. But it can be a very blunt tool. Food Is Medicine is one of these blunt tools, currently popular with some nutrition policy advocates and it got a good hearing at Nutrition 2023 in Boston yesterday. Underneath the problematic umbrella of this slogan, enthusiastic advocates are […]

Homeopathic Behavior Change in Public Health for Obesity

July 23, 2023 — Slowly, but surely, the world is waking up to realize that obesity is not a problem of bad behavior by the people who live with it. Of course, this is not to say that healthy behaviors are unhelpful for our well-being. Good health habits can benefit anyone. But thinking that behavior change can reverse obesity, […]

Compelled to Assign Moral Responsibility for Obesity

July 6, 2023 — “Whose fault is obesity? Most of the blame rests with one culprit.”  In the Washington Post, Tamar Haspel perfectly captures the overwhelming compulsion to assign moral responsibility for obesity. She espouses a popular view: “The lion’s share – I’ll go with 61 percent (and, yes, of course I’m totally making this up to give some […]

WHO Prepares a Cancer Warning for Aspartame

July 5, 2023 — IARC, the agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) responsible for research on causes of cancer, is preparing to issue a determination that aspartame is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It will have lots of company on their lists of definite, probable, or possible carcinogens. Cell phones, sunlight, red meat, and hot dogs all enjoy this […]

Does Low Education Bring an Earlier Death?

July 3, 2023 — A new Mendelian randomization study brings a disciplined look at the question of why social and economic status correlates with lifespan. Such questions are hard to answer with certainty, so this new publication in Nature Human Behavior is quite welcome. Chao-Jie Ye and colleagues found a causal association between education and longevity in populations of […]

Repositioning Food for Health, Not Pleasure

July 2, 2023 — The impulse to attach health claims to food is growing stronger among many advocates and agencies for food and health policy. The FDA is moving to put nutrition information on the front of food packages. This news comes in addition to the agency’s seven-year quest to define healthy for food marketing claims. The Food Is […]