Cohort study compares new symptoms months after testing either positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2


New symptoms can occur following a novel coronavirus infection, but are they occuring more than among those who tested negative for infection? This cohort study analyzed the electronic health records of hundreds of thousands of people (under age 20 and over age 20; nonhospitalized, hospitalized, and hospitalized and ventillated) who had a medical encounter between March–December, 2020; the researchers looked for new symptoms that were present 31–150 days after testing…

The dangers of ignoring the other epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic

Heavy set woman sitting on a bench

Jason Block contributes his public health expertise to this op-ed in The Washington Post on the acute (and chronic) risks of ignoring the obesity issue in the U.S. “The reason obesity is so stigmatized is that people think of weight as a choice . . . It’s especially unfair when we have a society that makes opportunities to gain weight so ubiquitous.”

Ethical considerations of food and beverage warnings; weighing the pros and cons

Display of soda bottles

Harvard Bell Fellow Anna Grummon, PhD, and colleagues (including Harvard Pop Center faculty members Jason Block and Sara Bleich) evaluate the ethical strengths and weaknesses of food and beverage warnings (aimed to help prevent obesity and improve health) by looking through the lens of a public health ethics framework. Their findings are published in the journal Physiology & Behavior. Other authors of the study include: Marissa Hall, Eric Rimm, Lindsey…

Is childhood weight linked to early exposure to antibiotics?

A study in Pediatrics contributes to the evidence that links early exposure to antibiotics with higher body weight in five-year old children. Lead author of the study is Jason Block, MD, a Harvard Pop Center faculty member and former Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar. Learn more in this news item.

Jason Block comments on US Preventative Services Task Force’s recently revised recommendations on tackling childhood obesity

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Jason Block, MD, and a colleague pen this Editorial in JAMA, sharing their thoughts on the screening, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity in the US. The new recommendations by the expert panel, as well as the Editorial in JAMA, is explored in this piece by the LA Times.

Eliminating ‘food deserts’ not a panacea for improving diet quality & reducing disparities

Harvard Pop Center faculty members Jason Block, MD, and SV Subramanian (Subu), PhD, have co-authored a paper published in PLOS Medicine that suggests that when it comes reducing dietary disparities and improving dietary quality in the U.S. there are more effective strategies than increasing access to healthy foods (eliminating ‘food deserts’). Learn more in this Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health news post, in this piece on and…

Does income level have impact on one’s response to calorie menu labeling?

Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Jason Block, MD, MPH, and former Harvard RWJF scholar Christina Roberto, PhD, have published a Reply in JAMA in response to a letter that raises the issue of calorie labeling across socioeconomic backgrounds. The letter was in response to their September 3 Viewpoint entitled “Potential Benefits of Calorie Labeling in Restaurants.”