NEWS

Follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health policy and obesity

Ignorance About Obesity Is Common and Reversible

April 11, 2018 — A colleague recently asked: How do you keep doing what you do in the face of so much awful stuff? By awful stuff, she meant flagrant examples of weight bias. Like the Guardian’s recent Op-Ed by Lizzie Cernik, proclaiming “It’s not fine to be fat.” The short answer to our friend’s question is this. Bias […]

Can You Outrun Bad Genes for Heart Disease?

April 10, 2018 — You can’t outrun a bad diet. So says the wisdom of the internet. But a new study published yesterday in Circulation suggests that maybe you can outrun bad genes for heart disease. Emmi Tikkanen and colleagues found that fitness, strength, and physical activity might erase some – but not all – of the risk for heart disease, […]

Cultivating a Sweet Tooth: Fact or Presumption?

April 9, 2018 — It’s a favorite rationale for avoiding anything sweet. Even if it has no calories it will drive you to want more sweet foods and drinks. Sweet stuff will give you a sweet tooth, says the Harvard School of Public Health on its website: The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to eat more. By […]

Modeling How Obesity Moves Through the Population

April 8, 2018 — Questions of how and why the pandemic of obesity has progressed through the whole earth’s population defies simple answers. Even more vexing is the question of how to change these dynamics. In Obesity, Keisuke Ejima, Diana Thomas, and David Allison have published new modeling that offers clues for answering these questions. Genetic Susceptibility Obesity moves through […]

Really? Germs Love Diet Soda?

April 7, 2018 — We’ll say it again. You don’t need a scientific reason to hate artificial sweeteners. It’s OK. But even so, people keep coming up with speculation, dressing it up with science, and making unfounded claims about the bad effects of sweeteners. Today, Moises Velasquez-Manoff is telling us in the New York Times that germs love diet soda. […]

Flaws in Pushing the Idea of Harmless Obesity

April 6, 2018 — So much energy goes into amping up the “crisis” of obesity that an equal and opposite reaction is natural. Surely, can’t a person be fat and fit? Aren’t there certain situation where a bit of extra adiposity can actually help a person’s health? But a series of recent papers challenges two concepts of harmless obesity […]

Does the Netherlands Have Obesity Under Control?

April 5, 2018 — Headlines tell us that the Netherlands has obesity under control. The most recent dispatch comes from BBC. Earlier this week it ran a story telling us “How Amsterdam is reducing childhood obesity.” We wonder. Has the Netherlands found the secret sauce for reversing obesity trends? Objective Evidence Is Important This cycle of Mission Accomplished headlines […]

What’s the Real Harm of Repeated Weight Cycling?

April 4, 2018 — The common presumption is that losing weight and then regaining it will slowly, but surely cost you in terms of health. Reading, writing, and responding to your thoughts yesterday about Cass Elliot provided a stark reminder of this. Elliot – just like many other people who live with obesity – could lose large amounts of weight […]

Defining the Incredible Talent of Cass Elliot

April 3, 2018 — A brilliant flash of popular music in the middle of the 1960s came from the Mamas and the Papas. And the most memorable performer from that group was Cass Elliot – also known as Mama Cass. This was well before anyone thought about obesity as a medical condition. The group sang naive lyrics about “no […]

Ready Already to Fight About 2020 Dietary Guidelines

April 2, 2018 — Ready to rumble? Well, like it or not, the cycle is starting for USDA and HHS to develop the 2020 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And so, people are already ready to go for a win on their hot button issues. This time around USDA and HHS asked for public input on the scope […]