NEWS

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

Let’s Banish Food Stress from Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017 — Thanksgiving might be the ideal holiday for our times. Everyone gathers and gives thanks to whomever for whatever however it moves them. And then we enjoy a meal. Together. Perfect, except for maybe one thing – food stress. Moralizing About Food Writing in the New York Times, pediatrician Aaron Carroll tells us that “when we moralize […]

A New Call for Putting Children First in Childhood Obesity

November 20, 2017 — A big gap just closed. At long last, we will be putting children first in childhood obesity. Until today, efforts to reduce the impact of childhood obesity have been mostly silent on the issue of shame and blame that children and families face with obesity. But today, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Obesity Society […]

The Indestructible Myth of the Sugar High

November 19, 2017 — The Huffington Post asks if African Americans are “On a Sugar High?” That’s how they open a story about rising rates of diabetes. Health reporters offer advice for coming down from a sugar high. Tax cuts “Could Cause a Sugar High,” says Reuters. Oh, great! This buzz phrase connecting sugar, euphoria, and hyperactivity is so potent […]

How Reliable Is BMI After Menopause?

November 18, 2017 — BMI can be quite a useful screening tool, but it’s a lousy definition, by itself, for obesity. Want one more reason? Take a look at a new study by Hailey Banack and colleagues in Menopause. They’ve found that a BMI of 30 is not a reliable dividing line for obesity in women after menopause. Poor Sensitivity […]

Animal Agriculture: Human Versus Planetary Health

November 17, 2017 — What if everyone became a vegan? No more animals in agriculture. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Robin White and Mary Beth Hall tried to answer that question. They modeled the impact of taking animals out of U.S. agricultural production – on nutrition and on the environment. What they found was a bit […]

Soda’s Down, But Obesity’s Up. What Gives?

November 16, 2017 — We have a bit of good news and a bit of bad news in the soda-obesity war this week. The good news is that soda’s down. A new paper just published online in Obesity confirms what the industry has been saying for several years now. People are drinking less soda. In fact, they’re drinking less […]

Suddenly, Half the Population Has High Blood Pressure?

November 15, 2017 — In case you weren’t paying attention, 130 is the new 140. Before Monday, the threshold for high blood pressure was 140 over 90. Now the consensus is that it’s 130 over 80. Boom. Nearly half the population has hypertension. How’d that happen? The Landmark SPRINT Study Truthfully, this change didn’t happen overnight. The impetus to […]

Guest Post: Where Is FDA Going with Nicotine and Tobacco?

November 14, 2017 — At the end of July, FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, and his Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) Director, Mitch Zeller, announced a commitment and vision to dramatically change the impact of tobacco in the US. To understand how far-reaching this plan is, consider the following basics on the state of nicotine policy and science. 1. As a result of […]

How Bias and Discrimination Make Us Sick

November 13, 2017 — Bias and discrimination are ugly aspects of human nature. They come in many forms. Fat shaming, racism, and sexism are all very much in the news. Also in the news is the physical harm to our health from repeated, stressful experiences with discrimination. The stress of bias and discrimination is making us sick. The Stress […]

Straws: Consumption Technology Circling the Earth

November 12, 2017 — Apparently, we’re filling oceans and landfills with enough plastic drinking straws to circle the earth twice (and then some) every day. Why do we suck so much? Because we can. Those plastic tubes empower us to suck up caloric liquids everywhere, all the time. All other thoughts fade away. Mmmmm. Ahhhh. It’s the pause that […]