Archive for February, 2013

Junk Food Inkblot Test

February 28, 2013 — Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Moss published a provocative account of the science behind addictive junk food in the New York Times Magazine this week. It quickly became the hottest story on the Times website. And it also became a powerful test of just what you see in the food industry. The vivid description of the […]

Physician Beliefs about Obesity Affect Advice and Care

February 28, 2013 — Physician beliefs about the causes of obesity shape the advice they give their patients. A study in the February Preventive Medicine journal found that the advice primary care physicians (PCPs) offered their patients depended upon their own beliefs about the relative importance of portions, restaurant foods, and sugar-sweetened beverages. The authors found an opportunity for […]

Lower-Calorie Menu Items Help Restaurant Sales

February 27, 2013 — Restaurants and other establishments can help their sales by offering lower-calorie menu items because consumers are selecting fewer calorie dense foods and sugary drinks. A new analysis found that restaurants with more lower-calorie menu items had an average 5.5% growth in same-store sales compared with a 5.5% decrease among establishments selling fewer lower-calorie servings. What […]

Gaining Weight with Age Takes a Toll

February 26, 2013 — Gaining weight with age is more typical than not and many people age 65 or over are not concerned with this additional weight. Previous scientific studies indicated that elevated Body Mass Index (BMI)) at retirement age and older did not affect a person’s lifespan, and some studies found elevated BMI may even extend it. The […]

Sunshine Act May Be Partly Cloudy

February 25, 2013 — The Physician Payments Sunshine Act in Obamacare requires medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to publicly report gifts and payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals. This law is intended to bring more openness to the healthcare market when physician data is published on a new public website on or before September 30, 2014. The Sunshine […]

Air Pollution Can Trigger Asthma Through Genetic Changes

February 24, 2013 — Research presented yesterday at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) further explains how air pollution can cause new cases of asthma by triggering genetic and immune system changes. The senior investigator, Kari Nadeau, said,  “We’ve shown that the gene being changed is directly associated with asthma and severity of the asthma.”  Nadeau […]

Obesity Genes We Share with Mice

February 24, 2013 — You know the type: they eat and eat and never gain any weight. You, on the other hand, gain weight at the first M&M. Have you found yourself blaming obesity genes? Well, you may be right. In a recent study in Cell Metabolism, 100 different genetic strains of mice were given a regular diet for […]

Confused About Good Fats? No Wonder

February 23, 2013 — Do you have your doubts about simplistic advice to eat more good fats? That’s probably wise. A new British Medical Journal (BMJ) study found that replacing saturated animal fats with omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats may lead to an increased risk of death in people with heart disease. In this re-analysis of a previous clinical trial […]

Even Healthy Food Games Stimulate Unhealthy Eating

February 22, 2013 — Even healthy food game apps your children download may be do more harm than good. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition asked children aged 8 to 10 to play an online food game featuring a popular brand of candy, to play an online food game that featured fruit, or to play […]

The Costly Drive for Healthcare Profits

February 21, 2013 — A provocative economic commentary, suggesting patients at nonprofit healthcare organizations receive better care than patients at for-profit enterprises, was recently published by Eduardo Porter in the New York Times. Handing over social services to private enterprise is often considered a good idea, one that can lower costs and drive more efficient delivery. But that assumption […]