Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Trash Talk About Causality, Personality, and Obesity

February 15, 2017 — Causality captivates people when the subject is obesity. The appetite for understanding factors that cause obesity grows more insatiable as its health and economic impact grows more devastating. That appetite surely spurred a new publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Gulay Avsar and colleagues developed a random effects model to […]

Why Can’t We Just Quit Sugar?

February 14, 2017 — The New York Times has a new food writer, Yotam Ottolenghi. In his first column for the Times, this British chef and author makes a radical confession about sugar: I rarely go a day without a bite or slice or square of something sweet. If it’s not cake, then it’ll be a cookie, a slice of […]

Ready to Move Past Little Fibs in Eating Patterns

February 11, 2017 — Little fibs are among the biggest challenges in nutrition research. These little fibs show up in food diaries – self-reports of what a person in a nutrition study has eaten. People misremember, they fudge, or they might write down what they wish they had eaten. Mostly, people try to be honest, but little fibs add up […]

Obesity Policies: Punishment, Care, or Neglect?

February 9, 2017 — We now have four decades of dramatic growth in obesity prevalence behind us. We have spent two of those decades bemoaning the problem and calling for urgent action. But obesity policies to date – however well-intended – have not even stopped the upward trend. Reversing the trend seems like a fantasy. Perhaps part of the problem is […]

Sensible Public Health or Sugar Shaming?

February 6, 2017 — A new solution for obesity, proposed by Michael Goran and Emily Ventura, is floating through the opinion pages of newspapers all over the world. They say that we should wake up to risks of “secondhand sugars” for infants and young children. If we see a pregnant woman drink a soda, we should worry for the unborn […]

Neglecting Social Rank in Obesity Prevention Strategies

February 4, 2017 — By any objective measure, our current obesity prevention strategies are failing. Former CDC Director Tom Frieden said it bluntly in JAMA this week. “There has been no progress in reducing childhood obesity.” The latest obesity statistics in Mexico show the problem is still growing. That’s true even though Mexico passed a tax on sugary drinks and highly […]

Big Soda: Carnage or Engagement?

February 2, 2017 — This week,  CDC released data showing that the steady decline in sugar-sweetened beverages, ongoing since 1999, has slowed. The reaction from some public health folks was hyperbolic. Big soda “causes carnage” and “cares nothing” about it, says Walter Willett. Comparisons to alcohol, tobacco, and guns flowed freely. Oddly enough, folks sounding these alarms did not acknowledge declining sugary […]

No More Free Refills in France

January 30, 2017 — The French say “non.” No more free refills. As of last Friday, selling unlimited servings of sugary soft drinks for a fixed price is illegal in France. This move continues a steady path of measures intended to curb the rise of obesity there. In 2004, France banned vending machines from schools. In 2011, school cafeterias […]

Can Reduced Antibiotic Misuse Prevent Childhood Obesity?

January 28, 2017 — A new study published this week in Obesity raises an important question. Can reducing antibiotic misuse for infants be an effective obesity prevention strategy? This study by Melissa Poulson and colleagues is the first study ever to measure how much prenatal and early childhood antibiotic use might contribute to the risk of obesity. Using the […]

Apples and Oranges, Soda Taxes and Surgery

January 27, 2017 — Here’s an unusual comparison. It contrasts the value of two different options for childhood obesity: a tax on sugary beverages versus bariatric surgery for adolescents. Steven Gortmaker and colleagues published this analysis in Health Affairs. Gortmaker presented the data yesterday in Washington, DC. Calling this an apples and oranges comparison would be generous. The basis for this comparison has two dimensions. First […]