NEWS

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

Trouble in the Paradise of Workplace Wellness

March 18, 2017 — Workplace wellness has been creating headlines this week, due to legislation about genetic testing in these programs. In a guest blog today, our friend Al Lewis writes about his concerns with the industry. This week, Fortune published a generally very skeptical review of workplace wellness, highlighting one of the few major companies (Cummins) to be moving […]

Confessing to the Truth of Complexity in Obesity Policy

March 17, 2017 — Complexity makes lousy sound bites. That basic fact of political life makes good health policy for obesity maddeningly difficult. We start with the fact that obesity is a complex, chronic disease. And then that complexity is multiplied by a complex environment. Health policies to reduce obesity must influence that environment. To make good policy for obesity, confessing to […]

Finding Healthy Food: Michelangelo and the FDA

March 16, 2017 — One fine day in 1518, Michelangelo sent out for groceries: fish, bread, fennel soup, herring, anchovies, and wine. His servant was illiterate, so he illustrated the shopping list. It’s lovely documentation for some of the ingredients in a healthful Mediterranean diet. It looks so easy and beautiful. FDA Guidance for a Healthy Shopping List FDA’s […]

Will Corporate Wellness Save Fitbit?

March 15, 2017 — Is it time to feel a bit of pity for Fitbit? For that matter, maybe the corporate wellness industry deserves some sympathy. Both of them have hit some bumps lately and some observers are suggesting they can help each other out. The Motley Fool says corporate wellness programs “could be a game changer” for Fitbit. […]

When Impulses Strike in Obesity

March 14, 2017 — A simple fact of our food environment is that food cues surround us daily. Those food cues may prompt impulses to have a quick bite to eat. And different people respond differently to those impulses. Emerging evidence suggests that impulsivity plays a role in obesity risk. And new research published in Appetite suggests that it may play a […]

Making Sense of Big Shifts in Thinking About Weight

March 13, 2017 — For some time, we’ve known that people are thinking about weight differently. Last week, JAMA made it official. In a research letter, Kassandra Snook and colleagues describe a trend of fewer adults with excess weight and obesity trying to lose weight. A 17% Drop People Trying to Lose Weight The value of this new research is that […]

Penalties for Health and Genetic Privacy at Work

March 12, 2017 — All is not well in certain parts of the wellness industry. Employers are shying away from intrusive and coercive wellness programs that employees resent. So the wellness industry is looking for a bigger stick. They’re quietly pushing a bill that would make it easier to levy big penalties on employees who don’t want their employers […]

Drink More Water, Lose More Weight?

March 11, 2017 — Drink more water, Michelle Obama told us in the Let’s Move! campaign. She wasn’t the first with that advice. It’s everywhere. The presumption is that water can substitute for sweetened beverages, fill you up, and help you lose or maintain a lower weight. Thankfully, Julia Wong and colleagues from Boston Children’s Hospital tested that advice. […]

Gluten-Free Fad Diets Might Have a Diabetes Downside

March 10, 2017 — For millions of people who don’t really need a gluten-free diet, eating less gluten might actually have a downside. Research presented at the AHA Epi|Lifestyle meeting yesterday found that people who ate less gluten had a slightly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The investigators found no difference in the risk of weight gain. […]

Too Much Sugar and Too Few Nuts?

March 9, 2017 — Too much sugar and too few nuts are killing us, apparently. That’s how press reports distilled a recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). On the other side of the globe, the messaging is similar. “Obesity has got us by our flabby throats,” says Peter FitzSimons in the Sydney Morning Herald. He […]