Posts Tagged ‘scientific curiosity’

Foraging for a Root Cause in the Tangled Mess of Obesity

April 7, 2024 — Almost two centuries ago, the world was in the midst of a cholera pandemic and the prevailing belief was that “bad air” was the cause. Near Broad (now Broadwick) Street in London, an especially bad outbreak occurred, killing 616 people. The key to stopping it was to figure out that it was not bad air. […]

Weight Regain in the Real World vs a Placebo-Controlled Trial

January 30, 2024 — It created quite a stir last week when Epic Research published an analysis suggesting that weight regain in the real world does not look the same as a placebo-controlled trial. After all, regain is quite an important subject. Obesity is clearly a chronic disease, requiring chronic care. But lots of people try to avoid this […]

The Rise of Contempt Above Curiosity and Reason

January 28, 2024 — In public life and unfortunately, in science and health policy, we find too often that contempt takes over from curiosity and reason. It is obvious in politics and likely to get painful this year. But it is not confined to the political realm. In nutrition and obesity research, we find that people are often ready […]

Seeking Truth, Finding Problems, Rethinking Dietary Health

January 15, 2024 — Gary Taubes has a new book – Rethinking Diabetes: What Science Reveals About Diet, Insulin, and Successful Treatments. The problem of this book is right there in the title. It all but promises the truth about dietary health. Definitive Truth? The problem, of course, is that the science of dietary health is not so good […]

Should We Care That We’re Drinking Nanoplastics?

January 13, 2024 — A new study this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science tells us that every bottle of water we’re drinking has hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics. Should we care? A Blank Slate, Tough to Study This study is important simply because it fills a void in knowledge about how much these nanoplastics are […]

Dreaming of Long-Term Success in Overcoming Obesity

December 29, 2023 — Right now, the public and policy makers are grappling with innovations in obesity that we already have. But scientists are peering over the horizon. They are dreaming – asking important questions about long-term success in overcoming obesity. Stat News describes this as a “quest to eradicate obesity” – a frame for this work that misses […]

How Do GLP-1 Agonists Help with Inflammation?

December 19, 2023 — For some time now, scientists have noted that GLP-1 agonists have effects on more than just blood sugar and body weight. They seem to have an effect on systemic inflammation. For more than a decade, researchers have been exploring their anti-inflammatory effects. But a key question has remained: exactly how do GLP-1 agonists help with […]

The Blurry Line Between Skepticism and Cynicism

December 3, 2023 — We are living in an age of low trust. Without trust, many problems in public policy confront us – polarization, disinformation, and roadblocks to progress in public health. Unhealthy cynicism begins to crowd out the healthier approach to inquiry, skepticism. The advice to trust, but verify, gives way to broad claims that everything is rigged […]

Elegant Explanations for Obesity Causes? Fuhgeddaboudit

September 11, 2023 — John Keats seems to be guiding a great many people trying to make sense of the stubborn rise in obesity. His advice that beauty is truth has surprising power. So we look for elegant solutions to all challenges. David Ludwig has an elegant explanation for the cause of excess obesity in the carbohydrate insulin model. […]

Does It Matter Why the Population Has So Much Obesity?

September 2, 2023 — Ask any parent. They can tell you that “Why?” can be the most wonderful question a child can bring them. It can also be the most annoying. And so it is with the question of why the population has so much obesity. But it just won’t go away, and in fact the question seems to […]