Archive for the ‘Scientific Meetings & Publications’ Category

“One Size Fits All” Fails in the Age of Personalized Medicine

June 23, 2017 — The Harvard Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine never fails to nourish us with fresh thinking about obesity. In opening the course yesterday, Lee Kaplan explained that treating obesity as a disease means dealing with it as we would any other chronic health condition. And in an age of personalized medicine, that certainly means one size fits all […]

Solving the Obesity Puzzle, Learning from Cancer

June 22, 2017 — We have a complex, chronic disease in our midst. It’s a challenging puzzle. It develops over time. This disease debilitates people and dramatically diminishes the quality of their lives. It comes in many forms and it’s tough to cure. We’d rather prevent it and we’re finding ways to do that. But with millions of people […]

Who Will Care for Children with Obesity?

June 21, 2017 — Some responses to USPSTF recommendations for screening and care for children with obesity leave us shaking our head. Five million children are living with severe obesity in the U.S. Intensive behavioral therapy works to improve their weight and health status.  Less intensive advice to lose weight is largely ineffective. And yet, policymakers balk: “It could […]

Vegetarian Hype in Pursuit of a Noble Purpose

June 20, 2017 — Last week, health reporters treated us to a steady stream of headlines claiming that “a vegetarian diet is twice as effective for weight loss.” At best, these claims are vegetarian hype. From a more skeptical view, these are deceptive claims made to serve what their source believes is a noble purpose. The Source of This […]

Gulping Gorgeous Grapes and Sizzling Squash

June 16, 2017 — Will gulping more gorgeous grapes and sizzling squash cure our dietary ills? If so, marketers can clearly help. Two new studies show how classical marketing techniques can lead consumers to buy more fruits and veggies. Easy peasy. It’s basic stuff for marketers. Make It Sizzle Sell the sizzle, not the steak is a cliche of […]

Light at the End of the Obesity Tunnel?

June 14, 2017 — Obesity has many complications, but here’s one that’s entirely unnecessary – whiplash. Health reporters routinely take the public through wild gyrations of hope and despair in describing obesity trends. This week we have another round of such reporting on a new study and commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine. Spoiler alert: the light at […]

Discrimination May Be Hazardous​ to Your Health

June 13, 2017 — Discrimination in many different forms seems to be an imminent health hazard. Experiencing race, gender, or weight discrimination carries risk for poor health outcomes. A growing body of evidence links chronic exposure to discrimination with stress, inflammation, sleep disturbance, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer risks. Nothing New W.E.B Du Bois concluded in 1906 “that the Negro […]

Obesity Awareness: First Do No Harm

June 11, 2017 — Could it be that obesity awareness campaigns amount to public health malpractice? It’s a question worth thinking about. A number of recent studies point to the likelihood that persuading someone that they are overweight can do more harm than good. The fine line between fat shaming and obesity awareness campaigns is just about impossible to […]

The Fast Food Obesity Villain Is Fading

June 10, 2017 — Don’t look now, but fast food is fading from view as an obesity villain. Equal parts of boredom and pesky facts seem to be playing a role. Pesky Data Another bit of pesky data surfaced recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Seeking evidence that eating out, especially on fast food, has fuelled obesity […]

BMI Is Dead . . . Long Live BMI

June 9, 2017 — A new study in PLOS ONE looks at five ways to measure body proportions – including BMI – and proclaims a winner. It’s not BMI. The winner is waist to height ratio. WHtR beats BMI and other measures in this study because it’s a better stand-in for actually measuring excess visceral fat. Unleash the headlines. BMI […]