NEWS

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

The Unfolding, Polarizing Soda Tax Experiment

August 7, 2017 — Add one more U.S. city to the rolling soda tax experiment. Last week Chicago began taxing sweetened beverages at a rate of a penny per ounce. A lawsuit by the Illinois retail merchants association delayed the the tax by a month. On July 28, a judge dismissed the suit and cleared the way for the […]

The Language of Respect in Health and Wellness

August 6, 2017 — More and more, respectful language in health and wellness puts people first. Now, the new edition of the AP Stylebook includes guidance on writing about addiction that advises writers to use people-first language. Addiction is a disease. AP cautions against labeling people as addicts, alcoholics, users, and abusers. Language for Writing About Chronic Diseases This […]

Moving Ahead Despite Imperfect Information in Obesity

August 5, 2017 — Yesterday, we had the privilege to present to a few hundred diabetes educators at AADE17 in Indianapolis. The subject was bias and how it interferes with progress against childhood obesity. So we spent a good bit of time talking about the abundance of imperfect information about obesity. The best question of the day came from […]

Weight Watchers Adapts to Aspirations Beyond Dieting

August 4, 2017 — Weight Watchers seems to be finding life for its brand despite the demise of dieting in popular culture. Business results for the company, released yesterday, show remarkable new vitality. Profits for the company are up by 48% for the second quarter of this year. Memberships are up by 20%, now totaling 3.5 million. CEO Mindy […]

Can Health Policies Prevent Weight Gain in Young Adults?

August 3, 2017 — We have a new target, folks. For decades now, the preferred cause has been to prevent childhood obesity. Stitch in time. Ounces of prevention. Innocent children. All that fuzzy imagery was easier for people to buy into than addressing obesity in grownups. Writing in JAMA, Bill Dietz calls for expanding that focus to prevent weight […]

Fudging Conclusions About Childhood Obesity Prevention

August 2, 2017 — “We have a pretty good idea of how to curb childhood obesity.” Such convictions run deep. And because of those convictions, prevention is a frontline strategy for dealing with childhood obesity. So it’s especially dispiriting when we see the scientific literature stained by a paper fudging conclusions about childhood obesity prevention. No Significant Effect Morphs […]

When to Have Bariatric Surgery: Early or Late?

August 1, 2017 — You can find plenty of bad advice about obesity in general and bariatric surgery in specific. One bit that’s especially harmful is the false notion that bariatric surgery should be “a last resort.” But a new study in JAMA Surgery provides further clarity. Putting off surgery while obesity gets progressively worse will stack the odds […]

What the Health: A Low-Fact Vegan Manifesto

July 31, 2017 — What the Health – a new documentary from the folks who brought you Cowspiracy – is generating quite a buzz for veganism. If you’re on board with the manifesto, you might be cheering and expecting a new wave of vegans to join you. But if you’re fussy about facts, this flick will make you fume. Wobbly Factoids Director and […]

Better Sleep, Better Health, Less Obesity

July 30, 2017 — Seven to nine hours of sleep per night might significantly improve health and reduce obesity risk. A new study published in PLOS ONE finds that people who sleep only six hours per night have a waist that’s three centimeters bigger than people who get nine hours. With better sleep, the odds of diabetes drop as […]

Boon or Bane? The FDA Cardiovascular Safety Hurdle

July 29, 2017 — Almost ten years ago, FDA set a new hurdle for approving new diabetes drugs. Before one of these new drugs could be approved, the sponsoring company would need an expensive cardiovascular safety study. How expensive? The price tag might run as high as a billion dollars. FDA laid this same requirement on new obesity drugs, […]