Posts Tagged ‘scientific objectivity’

Fixing Food Deserts: Promising or Trivial Effects?

May 24, 2022 — It seems to be an article of faith. Millions of low-income Americans live in food deserts and it puts them at higher risk for obesity. That’s a prevalent narrative to explain the link between poverty and obesity. And thus, the narrative works its way into the interpretation of research on programs for fixing food deserts. […]

Defining Goals for Regulating Food Marketing

April 30, 2022 — In food policy, there’s plenty that people are ready to fight about. Dairy and meat come to mind. Anyone who’s reading this will doubtless have their own list of hot topics. But one subject that gets most people nodding their heads is marketing junk food to children. So for more than a decade, the World […]

A Flicker of Curiosity About Obesity

April 26, 2022 — “The etiology of obesity is multifactorial. However, the root cause is energy imbalance: more calories consumed than expended.” This was the explanation for obesity that Dariush Mozaffarian offered in 2008. Today, he writes in AJCN that obesity is “an unexplained epidemic.” We count this as a flicker of curiosity about obesity. If it spreads, perhaps […]

How Sound Are Recommendations to Cut Added Sugar?

April 8, 2022 — We are in the midst of a great reformulation of food products. A little more than a decade ago, Robert Lustig stirred everyone up with his bold claim that sugar is toxic. So added sugar took over the role of dietary bad boy in place of fat. In 2015, U.S. dietary guidelines started recommending a […]

Rethinking a Study of the Biggest Loser

December 21, 2021 — If nothing else, we have learned in recent years that it is possible to rationalize anything. In the pandemic and in politics, we see people taking a set of facts and coming up with wildly different interpretations. Likewise in science, we have to think hard about how to make sense of new findings. With new […]

Twin Views of Obesity in Conflict

November 23, 2021 — “The way that fat people and thin people experience this conversation is worlds apart,” says Michael Hobbes on a recent episode of his Maintenance Phase podcast with Aubrey Gordon. He’s describing a heated debate about catastrophizing obesity that has been smoldering for almost two decades. This is a conflict between two views of obesity. One […]

The Moral Hazard of Demonizing the Food Industry

September 5, 2021 — The global food industry is huge – so big that people have a hard time putting firm numbers on it. But roughly, it’s worth about ten trillion dollars. It’s also very diverse. The top ten multinational food and beverage companies add up to only half a trillion dollars of those sales. Nonetheless in public health […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]