NYT “First Person” Podcast: How Do We Treat Obesity?

Frank Racioppi
4 min readJan 19, 2023

Interview podcasts are as common as hidden fees in today’s world. Think about it. They’re cheap to produce, easier to set up than on-location recording, and enable the guest to fill in most of the script with their comments and observations.

Most interview podcasts market themselves as having culturally relevant conversations on topics of social importance. The reality, however, is far different from the hype.

Interview shows like Something You Should Know and The Jordan Harbinger Show are solid interview podcasts with interesting guests a host that knows how to ask probing questions, then listen to the response and follows up.

The New York Times’s interview podcast, First Person, is one of the best in the genre. The show’s tagline is: “Every opinion starts with a story. Intimate conversations about the big ideas shaping our world, hosted by journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro. From New York Times Opinion.”

Garcia-Navarro has Ira Glass-level interviewing skills, and the topics chosen resonate with listeners. Consider some of the recent episodes.

Why Does Big Tech Make It So Hard to Fix Your Devices? — The C.E.O. of iFixit is fighting for your right to stop shopping and start repairing.

Veteran Outing Domestic Extremists — Veterans are valuable recruits for far-right groups. Kris Goldsmith wants them to fight back.

A Librarian Spoke Against Censorship. Dark Money Came For Her. — Now she’s fighting back.

In the most recent episode of First Person, host Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, a professor at Harvard Medical School and Obesity Medicine Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

When Dr. Stanford entered medical school in the early 2000s, obesity medicine was not part of the curriculum, even though obesity rates in the United States have been steadily rising since the 1980s.

Since then, she’s spent her career pushing for changes in the way the medical establishment thinks about and treats obesity, calling for interventions that recognize the condition as a disease, not simply a failure of willpower.

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Frank Racioppi

I am a South Jersey-based writer who manages Podcast Reports on Blogger and have a book available on Amazon about podcasts and podcasting called “Ear Worthy.”