Posts Tagged ‘scientific discourse’

No, You’re Not Entitled to Your Opinion

May 20, 2022 — Authored by Patrick Stokes, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Deakin University Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. Firstly, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning. Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve […]

An Aspirational Agenda to Curb Food Industry Excesses

May 16, 2022 — ConscienHealth enjoys the good fortune of attracting readers who might disagree with some of the words we share here. So yesterday, when we suggested that food policy wonks might be “giving ‘big food’ a free pass,” it was not entirely surprising to hear from a notable persona in food policy – Marion Nestle. Ever so […]

Daunting Medical Words – Like Obesity

May 10, 2022 — Cancer is not just exuberant cell growth. Nor is depression simply a matter of feeling sad. Likewise obesity is not a simple matter of living in a larger body. But cancer, depression, and obesity are medical words that can be daunting and also misused. And each of them can bring stigma to complicate any efforts […]

2025 Dietary Guidelines: Are We Ready for This?

April 16, 2022 — Yesterday, the USDA opened up the process for the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They invited us all to comment on the questions they will pose to a scientific advisory committee. Then they’ll appoint that committee and put it to work on producing a report. The report goes into the sausage grinder of policy making. […]

Fighting Diet Culture with Sweet, Simple Answers

January 9, 2022 — “Know that BMI is BS.” On NPR’s Life Kit podcast, that’s the advice for coping with the boogeyman of diet culture. Whatever diet culture is, in this season of anxiety about weight and health, it certainly seems to be on the minds of many influencers. So if one defines diet culture as a preoccupation with […]

Scorn for Scoring Foods for Health

November 9, 2021 — A few weeks ago, nutrition researchers at Tufts released Food Compass. It is a complex algorithm for scoring the healthfulness of foods on a scale of 1 to 100. I’ve not yet heard a positive assessment from RDN colleagues. The tool has generated anger and rage on Twitter, which is to be expected. Personally I […]

Serious Questions About Saturated Fat Guidance

September 24, 2021 — Julia Child may have had it right. Way back in 1990, she had serious questions about dietary guidance to avoid saturated fat. At a food event in 1990, she described the response to her renowned cooking: “I hear them saying, ‘Here comes Julia, with all the cream and butter.’ “Everybody is overreacting. If fear of […]

Food Addiction: Adding to Obesity Stigma?

September 20, 2021 — The concept of food addiction holds strong sway in popular culture. You can find tips for overcoming it. WebMD will tell you how to diagnose and treat it. Psychiatrist Anna Lembke has a book to sell you. In Dopamine Nation, she describes the source of addictive behaviors linked to food, phones, and sex. It was […]

Obesity: Chasing a Simple Answer in Carbs and Insulin

September 14, 2021 — Simplicity sells while complexity crashes. So for years, a simple idea has dominated our thinking about obesity. It is merely a matter of letting the balance of calories in and out – energy balance – get out of hand. For decades, scientists have known that the story is more complex, but simplicity has staying power. […]

Academic Bullying Doesn’t Belong in Public Health

July 17, 2021 — Back in 2005, new obesity research from CDC produced an unexpected finding. JAMA, a first-rate journal, carefully peer-reviewed and published it. But Harvard’s Walter Willett didn’t like what the data showed. So he mounted an offensive to discredit the researcher and her work. We would call this academic bullying. He called it necessary because his […]