Archive for May, 2013

Water Spouts to the Top of the Beverage List

May 21, 2013 — Good-bye, soda. Hello, water. Sitting atop Beverage Digest’s recently-released annual rankings of America’s most consumed drinks was a old favorite: water. Carbonated soft drinks, which have enjoyed the #1 spot since the 1980s, fell to #2. In its heyday, soda was consumed by Americans at a rate of 54 gallons per year versus just 42 […]

Wellness Program Says Jump — Employees Say, How High?

May 20, 2013 — Data from the Healthy Blue Living wellness program was just published online in Translational Behavioral Medicine. And the wellness program presents a sunny picture of compliant employees with obesity wearing a pedometer that uploads their physical activity to the employer’s wellness program. But the fact is, these employees must participate and meet daily step count […]

Healthy Kitchens or Health Hazards?

May 19, 2013 — Health advocates, food activists, dietitians, and, increasingly, pediatricians are proclaiming that healthy kitchens can be a potent factor for obesity prevention. A recent randomized, controlled trial suggests that reshaping the home food environment may lead to improved results for behavioral weight loss programs. Perhaps this thought is taking hold. In Nutrition Journal, researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill recently […]

Consumer-Driven Healthcare: Driving Blind

May 18, 2013 — Consumer-driven healthcare plans combine high-deductible health insurance with a health savings account for routine care. The goal is to give patients a direct stake in the cost of medical care. Fans of this strategy hold a firm conviction that it can harness market forces to control healthcare costs. A recent report highlights a significant gap […]

100 Trillion Friendly Germs: Some Might Control Your Weight

May 17, 2013 — Somewhere among the 100 trillion friendly germs that make up your microbiome — the microbes that live in your body — we just might find the key to healthy weight regulation. Plenty of people are looking. The role of the microbiome in obesity is a theme woven throughout a lengthy essay by Michael Pollan in the New York Times […]

New Diabetes Treatment Standards Put Obesity Up Front

May 16, 2013 — New diabetes treatment guidelines published by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) provide a central role for obesity treatment. These guidelines are the result of a trend that has taken shape over the last five years as the role of obesity in the growing prevalence of diabetes has become impossible to ignore. Five years […]

Sweet Self-Deception

May 15, 2013 — Add self-deception to the powerful effects of sugary drinks in the news this week. People who defend these drinks and people who attack them seem equally susceptible. On one end of the spectrum, we find a nearly obsessive focus on sugary drinks as the villain of our obesity epidemic, despite new CDC data showing that most of […]

Ignoring Obesity May Drive Healthcare Spending Up

May 14, 2013 — New analyses of healthcare spending bring two sharply contrasting trends into focus. It’s becoming increasingly clear that factors other than the weak economy and cost shifting to patients is holding back healthcare spending. Health economists are increasingly optimistic that these trends can be sustained. At the same time, Emory health economist Ken Thorpe presents a […]

An Evidence-Based Wellness Program: Pets

May 13, 2013 — Employer wellness programs are all the rage lately, even though solid evidence for sustainable improvements in health is lacking for most of these programs. For a more robust option, let’s consider the benefits of pets, especially dogs. The American Heart Association has just published an exhaustive review of the scientific evidence, concluding that owning a […]

Parental Thinking About What Kids Eat

May 12, 2013 — When it comes to what kids eat, it seems like the proof is in the pudding — or maybe the Skittles. According to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, a large gap exists between what parents report kids eat and how they characterize their kids’ […]