NEWS

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

Soda Tax Loses Its Fizz in Chicago

October 11, 2017 — The soda tax we barely knew in Chicago is fading into history. Big soda is celebrating a win. Big soda haters are nursing their wounds. In the face of intense public pressure yesterday, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to roll back the county’s tax scheme on December 1. It only went into effect […]

Another Nobel Prize That Reflects on Obesity

October 10, 2017 — Last week it was the biological clocks that rule our metabolism. This week it’s the economics of little nudges in everyday choices – like what to eat. For bringing economic and behavioral sciences together, Richard Thaler has won the Nobel Prize in economics. Thaler explained how people make decisions that do not always seem rational. He […]

Obesity and Cancer: Risks and Prevention

October 9, 2017 — Do you think the primary risks of obesity are diabetes and heart disease? Well, perhaps you should think again. The link between obesity and cancer clearly deserves your attention. A new report published in the CDC MMWR examines trends in cancers associated with obesity. Brooke Steele and colleagues found that 40% of all cancers diagnosed in […]

Why Is Respecting Patient Autonomy So Hard?

October 8, 2017 — A more intensely personal subject than body weight is hard to find. Add in the stigma of obesity and the subject becomes even more sensitive. So perhaps it should be no wonder that obesity presents some very hard challenges for respecting a person’s autonomy. The impulse to tell people what we might think is best […]

Addicted to Outrage: Can We Talk About Nutrition and Obesity?

October 6, 2017 — Outrage surrounds us. The internet amplifies it. Politicians are feeding on it. Sadly and too often, it drives policymaking. And unfortunately, it gets in the way of talking rationally about nutrition and obesity. Hank Green suggested two years ago that our culture is nursing an addiction to outrage. And events that followed have proved him […]

Antibiotics in Livestock: Time for Slimming Down the Herd?

October 6, 2017 — It’s unmistakeable. Change is coming to the business of fattening up livestock and selling meat for human consumption. Many factors are bringing change, but antibiotics are in sharp focus right now. A report in Science calls for bold global action. The authors recommend caps on antibiotic use, reductions in meat consumption, and a user fee […]

Big Breakfast Strikes Again

October 5, 2017 — The breakfast cartel is back at it, trying to get us to eat more eggs, bacon, cereal, yogurt, or whatever. This time, big breakfast is telling us that if we skip breakfast, our arteries will surely harden. In all seriousness, we don’t really believe in the big breakfast conspiracy. But two publications in the Journal […]

Diabetes Remission: Missed Opportunities

October 4, 2017 — In BMJ, Louise McCombie and colleagues are stirring up an important dialogue. They note that medical records seldom document diabetes remission. Why, they ask? To answer their own question, they say this failure reflects a prevailing bias that type 2  diabetes is incurable. That presumption is a missed opportunity for hope and for better health […]

Circadian Rhythms: A Nobel Prize and Obesity Insights

October 3, 2017 — This year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is here. For their work on the genetic basis of circadian rhythms, Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael Young are sharing the prize. They discovered a gene in fruit flies that helps explain the mechanism for just about every living thing to adapt to the rhythms of […]

Nutrition Facts Labels: Delay, Delay, Delay

October 2, 2017 — Almost five years. That’s how long most businesses can wait before they tell consumers how much sugar they’re adding to food products. The FDA announced Friday that they were adding another year and a half to the original deadlines announced in 2016 when Michelle Obama unveiled updated Nutrition Facts labels. Companies with less than $10 […]