Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

Flummoxed by an Imaginary Concept of Healthy Food

April 21, 2019 — Have Dietary Guidelines for Americans gone seriously awry? In a newly published doctoral thesis, Adele Hite suggests they have. As an RDN and a scholar of how public health and policy makers frame issues of nutrition, she brings a unique perspective. The definition of a healthy diet has shifted subtly, but profoundly. No longer is […]

From Abstractions to Reality at the PHA Summit

April 2, 2019 — The Partnership for a Healthier American (PHA) came from a desire by First Lady Michelle Obama to do something about the ever rising levels of childhood obesity. It was the private complement to her Let’s Move! campaign. But here’s the thing. The word obesity was absent from the vocabulary of PHA. It’s been all about […]

The Value of Curiosity

March 31, 2019 — How do smart people hold onto some stupid ideas? Motivated reasoning is one very important way. People start with a belief that’s very important to them. Then, they collect information to support it. Also, they arrange their information into a rationale that supports their belief. The result is a fortress of conviction. But one thing […]

Discovery of a Vast Anti-Health Conspiracy

March 20, 2019 — Scientists at the University of California at San Francisco have discovered that tobacco companies once owned food and beverage companies. Philip-Morris bought General Foods in 1985 and then Kraft in 1988. This arrangement lasted until 2007 when Philip-Morris sold all of its ownership of Kraft and the old General Foods brands. RJ Reynolds acquired Pacific […]

Childhood Obesity: Talking Crisis While Acting Casually

March 12, 2019 — Crisis. It’s a time of intense difficulty. Or it’s a time when a difficult, important decision must be made. And finally, it can be a turning point toward either failure or recovery. For decades now, all the talk about childhood obesity has been about crisis. That crisis talk is spreading around the world as childhood […]

Aiming the Obesity Blame Game at Working Moms

March 11, 2019 — An old and reliable bit of clickbait has just surfaced from a rather obscure journal. In SSM – Population Health, Emla Fitzsimons and Benedetta Pongiglione claim to have “causal evidence” that a mother’s employment effects a child’s BMI. Naturally, British headline writers went nuts. So now we have another round of the obesity blame game […]

Myths, Presumptions, and Denying Access to Obesity Care

March 4, 2019 — It sounded like she was thinking about scrambling eggs. “I don’t want to crack open Medicare Part D for obesity meds,” said this bright young Senate health staffer last week. “Don’t you think a lot of this is coming from depression?” she asked. Such are the questions we hear from some policymakers about obesity care. […]

How Hard Can It Be? Write It When You Bite It

February 25, 2019 — “Is the most effective weight-loss strategy really that hard?” Shucks, no, says the University of Vermont in a press release on a new study in Obesity. All it takes is just 15 minutes per day. “Write it when you bite it.” “Would-be weight-losers can’t muster the willpower to do it,” says this sunny bulletin. Suddenly, […]

A New Expert Committee for New Dietary Guidelines

February 23, 2019 — We have an interesting climb ahead. Yesterday the USDA announced members of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Clearly some groups are very happy. Unhappy campers – we know you’re out there – haven’t spoken up yet. Happy Bakers Among the happy campers was America’s Baking industry. The American Bakers Association celebrated with a press […]

Overcoming Bias with a Passion for Objectivity

February 20, 2019 — Objectivity is tedious. When survival is at stake, snap decisions can confer an advantage. Friend or foe? Fight or flee? We might not have time to collect and analyze data. And thus, humans brains are wired with shortcuts for making instant judgments. But those shortcuts come at a cost when we live in a modern […]