:::: MENU ::::

ihawkes

Institute of Health and Wellbeing Early Career Researchers' Blog

Posts Categorized / David Blane

  • Feb 05 / 2018
  • 0
Current Affairs, David Blane

Adult weight management – Time for action not words

Photo by Hush Naidoo. © 2017 Unsplash. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Unsplash Photos.

By David Blane

 

We hear repeatedly that obesity is one of the biggest public health problems in the UK today.  Yet there is a stark mis-match between the newspaper column inches devoted to the nation’s waistline and the resources spent on NHS adult weight management services.  

ON the 26th October 2017, the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, launched the Scottish Government’s Consultation on a Diet and Obesity Strategy for Scotland. There is much to commend in the Strategy – prevention is better than cure, and targeting resources on more ‘upstream’ determinants of obesity (changing the so-called obesogenic environment) is rightly the focus of the new Strategy (and of Obesity Action Scotland’s advocacy).

However, for a country with one of the highest obesity rates in the world (where 1 in every 4 adults lives with obesity), there is a need for action at multiple levels.  As a recent Lancet commentary argued, the distinction between population-level and individual-level approaches is a false dichotomy. Yes, we should be restricting advertising and price promotions of junk food, but we also need high quality, accessible, multi-disciplinary treatment services for those with severe and complex obesity – and not just people with type 2 diabetes (the target of the Strategy). Continue Reading

  • Jun 29 / 2016
  • 0
Academia, David Blane

Academic Writing

© Pexels. 2014. Licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

By David Blane

Good writing is arguably the most important skill for an aspiring academic to develop.  No matter how important your research question, how novel your methodology, how rigorous your approach to analysis, academics are ultimately judged on written work, be it an 80,000-word PhD thesis or a 8,000-word journal article contributing to REF. Continue Reading

  • Nov 25 / 2015
  • 1
Current Affairs, David Blane

Time for a sugar tax?

Photo by Thomas Kelley ©. Unsplash. Used with permission.

By David Blane:

League tables are everywhere, and no-one wants to be bottom of the class.  In terms of health indicators, considerable efforts have been made across Scotland in recent years to shrug off the unfortunate title of “sick man of Europe”, but another dubious accolade is up for grabs.  With some of the worst obesity figures among OECD countries – almost two-thirds of adults and a third of children were considered to be overweight in 2013 [1] – Scotland is in danger of topping the chart as the “fat man of Europe”. Continue Reading

  • Jun 03 / 2015
  • 1
Academia, Current Research, David Blane

Public health, health inequalities and neoliberalism

Photo by Darko Stojanovic. © Dec. 10, 2014. © CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

Photo by Darko Stojanovic. © Dec. 10, 2014. © CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

By David Blane

Neoliberalism is bad for your health.  That was the take-home message from Professor Paul Bissell, the invited speaker for the Institute of Health & Wellbeing’s Maurice Bloch seminar series on April 20th 2015.  Prof Bissell began his talk by summarizing the now familiar arguments of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, from their book The Spirit Level.  Their main thesis, supported with considerable empirical evidence, is that those advanced capitalist countries with the greatest income inequality do worse across a range of health and social outcomes compared to those that are more equal (a case also made in a recent IHAWKES Election Special guest blog by Professor Andy Gumley). Continue Reading

  • Aug 13 / 2014
  • 0
David Blane, Methods

Putting the tea into theory-driven research

Image by Mark Mags. © 2016. © CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

Image by Mark Mags. © 2016. © CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

By David Blane

As early career health researchers, we IHAWKES have some familiarity with theory, whether it’s a theory of behaviour change from psychology or a grand theory like Marxism or feminism from sociology. I would suggest, however, that when it comes to applying theory to our research, many novice researchers (myself included) are a little less confident. What theory should we use? How do we apply it? Can we generate our own theory? Continue Reading