Archive for May, 2014

Shoving Health Down the Throat

May 31, 2014 — Any junior marketer — or mother — can tell you why shoving health down the throat doesn’t bring out the desired behavior. The phenomenon is called reactance. When you threaten someone’s autonomy with controlling language or actions, they respond instinctively with resistance. It’s a classic in toddlers and teens. This effect is playing out to […]

Global Obesity 2.1 Billion: A NICE Concern in the UK

May 30, 2014 — As global obesity hits 2.1 billion people, NICE (the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) finds itself under some criticism for new guidelines to treat obesity. A new analysis and commentary published this week in Lancet concludes that global obesity has roughly tripled since 1980 and that it now affects 2.1 billion people. The U.S., […]

Doctors Get the Final Say on Wellness

May 29, 2014 — Under regulations for employer wellness programs, doctors get the final say on wellness. This key point floats to the top of a lengthy point-counterpoint discussion just published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Both Morgan Downey and John Cawley seem to agree that the provisions for employer wellness programs under the Affordable Care […]

8 Mistaken Answers to Obesity

May 28, 2014 — Conventional wisdom gives us an ample supply of mistaken answers to obesity. Roland Sturm, a senior economist with Rand, provides an outstanding accounting of some of these flawed presumptions in a CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Here are some that he highlights: Disparities Cause Obesity. Some researchers have suggested that rising social and economic […]

Science and Superstition of Sweeteners

May 27, 2014 — Superstition about no-calorie sweeteners routinely flows from some otherwise credible sources of health information. A new study just published in Obesity provides some good science to dispel those superstitions. John Peters and a host of well-respected obesity scientists studied the effects of water versus beverages with no-calorie sweeteners (e.g. diet soda) in a randomized, controlled 12-week […]

Free Us from School Nutrition

May 26, 2014 — Politicians are playing with food lately, or more specifically with school nutrition standards. In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act became law and USDA standards for more nutritious foods at school have been taking effect ever since then. Approximately 90% of schools are meeting these higher standards, says the USDA. But with backing from some […]

California Sugary Drink Warning Advances

May 25, 2014 — Sugary drink warning legislation is advancing in the California senate, with a vote in the full senate expected as early as Wednesday. After that, the legislation would have to pass the state assembly and then go to Governor Jerry Brown for final signature. If passed, all bottles and cans of sugary drinks sold in California […]

Should Schools Send Fat Letters Home?

May 24, 2014 — “Fat letters” is the derisive label parents use for the BMI reports that many schools send them if their children are judged to have an unhealthy weight. It should be no surprise that they’re unpopular. This week, the New York Post published a story and photograph of a slender third grader in Staten Island, whose […]

Born to Run — On a Wheel

May 23, 2014 — A fascinating new study indicates that wild mice were born to run — on an exercise wheel — just for the pure joy of it. Johanna Meijer and Yuri Robbers showed that running on an exercise wheel appeals to mice in the wild just as much as it does to lab mice in a cage. […]

UK’s Biggest Retailer Cutting Sweets

May 22, 2014 — The UK’s largest retailer is cutting sweets from the checkout line in every one of its UK outlets by the end of the year. Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier […]