Archive for June, 2013

Equal and Opposite Reactions to Obesity’s Burden

June 30, 2013 — Obesity’s burden sparks intense, equal, and yet opposite reactions in two groups of people who deny the medical nature of the problem. Last week, U.S. News and World Report invited the AMA, the Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), a UCLA sociologist concerned with fat acceptance, and […]

CMS Questions Value for Bariatric Centers of Excellence

June 29, 2013 — In a proposed decision memo, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and  Medicaid (CMS) services concludes that certification requirements for bariatric centers of excellence “do not improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries.” And thus, CMS is proposing to remove the requirement for bariatric centers of excellence to receive reimbursement for Medicare patients. This proposed decision was […]

Massachusetts Considers Weight Discrimination Law

June 28, 2013 — The Massachusetts legislature is considering a weight discrimination law to follow the lead of Michigan in protecting people from employment discrimination based on weight and height. At a hearing Tuesday, representatives of the Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, the Binge Eating Disorders Association, and local advocates for people affected by obesity testified about the […]

Obesity Diagnosis: More Than Meets the Eye

June 27, 2013 — One thing has been clear in the public discussion about obesity this week — everyone seems very sure they know what an obesity diagnosis is or isn’t. And they all disagree. That’s not to say they’re all wrong, but most seem to have a very incomplete picture that makes dealing with obesity as a health […]

Cheers and Jeers for the AMA Vote on Obesity

June 26, 2013 — When the AMA vote on obesity overruled a report of their Council on Science and Public Health and declared that obesity is a disease, who would have guessed we would still be talking about it a week later? Reactions have ranged from cheers to jeers to shoulder shrugs. “Take the stigma away so insurers will […]

Evidence-Based Weight Control in the VA Health System

June 25, 2013 — One of the greatest challenges for addressing obesity is delivering evidence-based weight control at a scale that will have meaningful impact. Oh, and we’d like it to be affordable. At the 2013 Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago yesterday, a team of researchers presented data suggesting they can do just that in […]

Examining Restaurant Menu Calorie Counts

June 24, 2013 — When restaurant menu calorie counts were proposed in New York City, quite a hubbub resulted. The restaurant industry sued. A president-elect of the Obesity Society resigned because he made the political mistake of asserting very publicly that the move might do no good or even cause harm. Now it’s been five years since these rules […]

Immigration Causes Obesity?

June 23, 2013 — It’s just possible that immigration causes obesity. A recent systematic review found that immigration and acculturation into the U.S. leads to higher BMI. How does that square with a conviction that obesity is driven solely by personal choice and responsibility (or a lack of it)? Could it be that immigration to America is an unhealthy […]

Health Insurance Exchanges Missing Milestones

June 22, 2013 — News was both good and bad this week on the implementation of health insurance exchanges under Obamacare. The bad news was that the Government Accountability Office reported that rolling out the systems and training for the exchanges is falling behind on important milestones, with time to recover growing short. “Much progress has been made, but […]

Big Brother: Families, Loyalty, and Obesity

June 21, 2013 — Lionel Shriver is known for exploring difficult topics in her books, and Big Brother is no exception. Shriver plays with our pre-conceived notions about food, fad diets, and weight — stirring the passions of her readers, as usual, no matter how they feel about the subject. Without suggesting easy answers, Shriver makes us consider the role […]