Food & Obesity Podcasts

Combatting Weight Bias

E41: Combatting Weight Bias

June 2019

In an earlier podcast with Dr. Rebecca Puhl, she described the nature extent and impact of weight bias on the lives of individuals was described and clear and very moving ways. Dr. Puhl, professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, and deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, is a leading researcher and an agent for change on this important topic. She's kindly agreed to speak with us on this podcast on what might be done to prevent weight stigma when it does occur and how to reduce its impact. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E41: Combatting Weight Bias »


Cruel Impact of Weight Stigma

E40: Cruel Impact of Weight Stigma

June 2019

Think back to your time in school and try to remember how the overweight children were treated. It is possible that you were the subject of such treatment, but if not, imagine how this would feel and whether such experiences could have an indelible impact. What are the consequences of such treatment then and later in life? When people think of stigma, bias, discrimination factors such as gender, race, and age come to mind for most people, but not necessarily weight. And weight bias is a very important topic and has been the subject of an impressive body of research. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E40: Cruel Impact of Weight Stigma »


Juan Rivera on Mexico's successful soda tax

E34: Juan Rivera on the Success of Mexico's Soda Tax

April 2019

For people around the world who believe that taxing sugared beverages is a good public health policy, the country of Mexico passing such a tax was a stunning victory. There was a significant need in Mexico to be sure, given high rates of obesity, especially in children, and very high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there was also a powerful beverage industry fighting the taxes. A fascinating story unfolded as the tax was being considered with a number of courageous and creative individuals at the center. One key figure is today's guest, Dr. Juan Rivera. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E34: Juan Rivera on the Success of Mexico's Soda Tax »


Christina Roberto

E30: Christina Roberto on Food Labeling in Guatemala and Soda Taxes in Philly

March 2019

Many policies have been proposed and enacted to help improve public health by changing their diet and preventing obesity. Among the most prominent, our efforts to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, ranging from programs that educate consumers about risks to the most dramatic approach: taxing such beverages. Evaluating these other policies is critical and understanding how governments can best move ahead. Leading the charge was such evaluation as our guest today on the Leading Voices in Food Dr. Christina Roberto from the University of Pennsylvania. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E30: Christina Roberto on Food Labeling in Guatemala and Soda Taxes in Philly »


Carlos Monteiro

E24: Carlos Monteiro on the Dangers of Ultra-processed Foods

March 2019

Ever wonder how the body processes processed foods? When corn becomes Cheetos or wheat becomes Twinkies, for example, or water becomes Coca Cola? How does the body react, what are the health consequences, and who is responsible for any negative effects? These are but some of the questions that occupy our guest, Dr Carlos Montero. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E24: Carlos Monteiro on the Dangers of Ultra-processed Foods »


Linda Bartoshuk

E29: Linda Bartoshuk on Supertasters, Yuck, and the Future of Food Nutrition

March 2019

Ever heard the term supertasters? Have you wondered why some people love broccoli and others find it very unpleasant. Is family upbringing the answer to this? Or, is there a biological basis for this and for other taste preferences? The leading voice on these issues is Dr. Linda Bartoshuk. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E29: Linda Bartoshuk on Supertasters, Yuck, and the Future of Food Nutrition »


Ashley Gearhardt on Food Addiction and You..Yes, You

E18: Ashley Gearhardt on Food Addiction and You...Yes, You.

March 2019

Can some foods have addictive properties? We all have cravings for some things--chocolate, let's say? But can food really hijack the brain much as happens with classic substances of abuse? And are foods engineered by the food industry in ways that trigger addictive like reactions in the brain? Such are the questions being asked by Dr. Ashley Gearhardt. She is an associate professor of psychology and the clinical science area at the University of Michigan and a leading researcher in the field of food and the brain, food, and addiction in particular. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E18: Ashley Gearhardt on Food Addiction and You...Yes, You. »


William Dietz on Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change

E27: William Dietz on Obesity, Undernutrition & Climate Change

February 2019

It would seem at first glance that undernutrition and obesity are opposite sides of the same coin and not very related to one another and that neither of these issues would be related at all to climate change. Well, this turns out to not be true at all according to an authoritative new report for our listeners. The title of the report is The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change, The Lancet Commission Report. One of the architects of that report is Dr. William Dietz. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E27: William Dietz on Obesity, Undernutrition & Climate Change »


Thomas Farley

E7: Thomas Farley on the Real Returns of the Philadelphia Soda Tax

January 2019

Today's guest has had a fascinating career and has made significant contributions to public health in Louisiana, New York, and in Pennsylvania. He says he learned the true value of public health investigating syphilis and legionnaire's disease outbreaks while working for the Center for Disease Control's epidemic intelligence service. He's worked on the front lines to prevent and control infectious diseases such as HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, and his research on obesity led him to see the obesity epidemic in our country as an outcome of an unhealthy environment. Dr. Thomas Farley is the Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia and he led work to pass a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, seen widely as a significant success in health policy. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E7: Thomas Farley on the Real Returns of the Philadelphia Soda Tax »


Shiriki Kumanyika on Health Disparities of our Food System

E6: Shiriki Kumanyika on the Disparities in our Food

January 2019

Is it fair or ethical to allow food companies to target low-income communities with marketing for unhealthy foods? Should the health of our communities take a back seat to industry profits? These are surprisingly difficult questions we’ll explore today with Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika on The Leading Voices in Food. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E6: Shiriki Kumanyika on the Disparities in our Food »


Marion Hetherington, biopsychologist

E3: Marion Hetherington on Kids, Vegetables and Appetite

January 2019

Ever wonder why some kids like certain vegetables and some don't? Or why some people are super focused on food and others forget to eat? Explore these ideas with biopsychologist Marion Hetherington on the Leading Voices in Food podcast. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about E3: Marion Hetherington on Kids, Vegetables and Appetite »


Souring on Sweet: The Great Soda Wars, Part I

Brownell on Gastropod: Souring on Sweet - The Great Soda Wars, Part I

December 2018

Public health researchers agree: the evidence is clear that Americans consume way too much sugar, that sugar contributes to weight gain, and that rising rates of obesity in the U.S. will lead to significant health problems in the future. What's much less clear is what to do about it. In this special, first-ever two-part episode of Gastropod, we tell the story of how sugary beverages—soda, in particular—became Public Health Enemy #1. Why are politicians and scientists targeting soda? Why have most attempts to pass soda taxes failed? And do these taxes even work to reduce consumption and obesity? Duke's Kelly Brownell featured. Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about Brownell on Gastropod: Souring on Sweet - The Great Soda Wars, Part I »


Grocery shopping couple

What Health Secrets Do Our Grocery Receipts Hold?

September 2017

While Emily Oster was pregnant, she evaluated data behind many of the accepted rules of pregnancy. (Should you drink caffeine? Is sushi OK?) She says most advice given to moms-to-be is wrong. More recently, she's been studying how grocery store purchases change once a person has been diagnosed with a health challenge like diabetes. Household scanner data "helps us look at people outside of a monitored health setting, and really see in the real world what are the changes people make, what changes are impossible to make, and who is able to change a lot," she says. Emily Oster is an Associate Professor of Economics at Brown University. Her book is called Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know. Image used under a Creative Commons License. www.flickr.com/photos/photosbystan/ Music: Impromptu in Blue by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Artist: www.incompetech.com/ Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about What Health Secrets Do Our Grocery Receipts Hold? »


Soda Pop Girl

Future of Food Policy: Taxing Soda Works

September 2016

Mexico experimented recently with a 10% tax on sugary beverages. And it worked. A year after the tax was implemented there was a 12% decline in soda purchases. Barry Popkin is the director of the Nutrition Transition Research program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says the Mexico experiment is important, and other countries will follow suit. "We expect as the taxes get larger, and the effects are shown to be significant that countries will realize, they both need revenue, they need money for public health ... the benefits are enormous in getting people conscious of the cost of sugary beverages," he says. This conversation is part of a series called The Future of Food Policy. The conversations were conducted at Duke University as a part of the development of a new initiative, the World Food Policy Center. Find out more: sanford.duke.edu/articles/world%E…haul-experts-say [Image: vintage Blue/Pixabay] Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about Future of Food Policy: Taxing Soda Works »


Child Models Ways to End Obesity

Future of Food Policy: Chile Models Ways to End Obesity

September 2016

Barry Popkin is one of the world's leading thinkers when it comes to human relationship to food. He runs the Nutrition Transition Research program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When asked to point to a country that is doing things right when it comes to obesity, he points to Chile. "Chile is unique. First, they cut the cost of all non-caloric beverages," he says. (So buying a water is cheaper than buying a soda.) The country also curbs junk food marketing to children. They are now adding a marketing ban to adults as well where unhealthy food will be banned from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a "danger" sticker for unhealthy foods, and a "mega-tax" of 30 to 40 percent on such foods is likely. "So they truly will probably be the first country to turn around obesity," Popkin says. This conversation is part of a series called The Future of Food Policy. The conversations were conducted at Duke University as a part of the development of a new initiative, the World Food Policy Center. Find out more: sanford.duke.edu/articles/world%E…haul-experts-say [Image from Croc_Star via Flickr/CC] Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about Future of Food Policy: Chile Models Ways to End Obesity »


Human digestive system

Future of Food Policy: Revise Doctor Training

September 2016

The U.S. has a huge problem with obesity, yet only one in eight visits with a doctor involves healthy diet counseling. A new initiative seeks to change that. "We are proposing to do two things at the same time," says Lisel Loy of the Bipartisan Policy Center. "The first thing is to improve the way we train not just doctors but all health professionals to address issues of nutrition and physical activity. And second is to change the way we pay for that kind of care." Such changes are critical, Loy says, and it's important that the changes happen at the same time. "If you have physicians trained to do this, but that kind of care is not covered, it's unlikely doctors and others will have the incentive to provide that kind of care," she notes. This conversation is part of a series called The Future of Food Policy. The conversations were conducted at Duke University as a part of the development of a new initiative, the World Food Policy Center. Find out more: sanford.duke.edu/articles/world%E…haul-experts-say Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about Future of Food Policy: Revise Doctor Training »


Blurry Sodas

Should there be a "sugar tax" in Britain?

August 2016

The Public Health England report was released yesterday after a long delay. The report takes a close look at what can be done about rising obesity rates in the UK. One recommendation is for a price increase of a minimum of 10% to 20% on high-sugar products. This "sugar tax" is controversial. BBC host James Coomarasamy interviewed Sanford's dean Kelly Brownell about the idea. Brownell is "the American who came up with the idea of taxing fizzy drinks," said Coomarasamy. Brownell noted that in Mexico and other locations, such taxes are working, and people are drinking sugary drinks less. [Image: Mohammad Khedmati via Flickr/Creative Commons] Listen to Podcast/Read Transcript about Should there be a "sugar tax" in Britain? »