Archive for August, 2013

Fat-Bashing Prof Censured

August 22nd, 2013

Psychology Professor Geoffrey Miller has been formally censured by the University of New Mexico for a tweet he published in June telling Ph.D. candidates who are obese not to apply to his program.

At first, Miller claimed his tweet was part of a research project but the Institutional Review Board at New York University, where he was a visiting professor, and the IRB at UNM concluded that was not correct.

As part of the censure, Miller cannot serve on any admission committee for the duration of this time as a faculty member, must work with co-advisors to develop a sensitivity training program as it relates to obesity, be assigned a faculty mentor for three years with whom he will meet on a regular basis to discuss potential problems, have his work monitored by the chair of the Psychology Department and apologize to the department and colleagues for his behavior.

The investigation by UNM found no evidence Miller had discriminated against people who are overweight. In light of the concerns raised by his tweet, the university is bringing an obesity stigma expert to UNM to help educate the community on obesity stigma. Miller can appeal the decision.

NYU is allowing Miller to complete his contract until August 31.

A study in the May issue of Obesity found that applicants to graduate school in psychology who were obese fared worse when they had face-to-face interviews than when they had telephone interviews. This relationship was stronger for females than males. Higher BMI was related to more positive adjectives in letters of recommendation.


Obesity Mortality Estimate Sharply Up

August 22nd, 2013

In a new analysis, researchers have determined that mortality due to obesity is much greater than previously estimated, perhaps some 4 times as higher as previous estimates. The new analysis is based on looking at age, race and gender cohorts between 1986 and 2006.


ObamaCare Starts Now

August 22nd, 2013

While the ‘exchanges’ will not be operational until October 1, individuals in 34 can now start the enrollment process by going to this site.


US probes anti-psychotics in children

August 22nd, 2013

US Probes overprescription of anti-psychotics to children in Medicaid Program, Wall St. Journal reports. Many anti-psychotics are known to cause weight gain. A study just out in JAMA Psychiatry found a three fold increase in type 2 diabetes in children and youth prescribed anti-psychotics.


4 in 10 Americans use calorie info on menus

August 22nd, 2013

UPI reports that, according to a Gallup survey,  4 in 10 Americans report using calorie information on menus. While some commentators say this is a low figure, actually it is pretty much in line with other surveys showing about half of adult Americans are dieting at any time.


New UK Map of Childhood Obesity

August 22nd, 2013

The Guardian has published a cool interactive map of obesity in England which allows users to compare obesity rates by levels of poverty, education, etc.