Archive for July, 2013

Nasal Allergies, Self-Care, and Paternalism

July 31, 2013 — The FDA Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee voted 10-6-2 Wednesday to recommend that Nasacort AQ nasal spray for nasal allergies be approved for sale in the U.S. without a prescription. Nasacort AQ is one of a group of nasal steroid sprays that experts generally agree are the most effective products for treating nasal allergies with an […]

Freedom to Drink Big Sodas Upheld Again in NYC

July 31, 2013 — Big sodas and the freedom to buy them in New York City won another day in court Tuesday. A panel of four judges from the state’s Appellate Division ruled unanimously that the city’s Board of Health exceeded its authority in banning the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. The judges said that the […]

Headlines That Bite: Mosquitoes Cause Childhood Obesity?

July 30, 2013 — Obesity headlines too often bring more sensation than information on the subject. Coverage this week for a study of the impact mosquitoes have on children provides a good case in point. Headlines in USA Today and an embarrassingly large assortment of other publications declared that mosquitoes might cause childhood obesity. Oh my! Unfortunately, the study had […]

Imagine Curing Obesity

July 29, 2013 — Curing obesity is something hard to imagine. Because obesity is a chronic disease, finding effective ways to manage it is hard enough. If someone tells you they have a cure, hold onto your wallet. But it’s worth thinking about what a cure would be. Mostly what we have are implicit assumptions on this subject. The […]

Food Addiction: Pop Hype & Emerging Science

July 28, 2013 — Food addiction is a concept firmly entrenched in pop vernacular, but still emerging as a concept of medical science. In the realm of tobacco policy, scientific soundbites comparing nicotine to cocaine provided a tipping point that opened the way for more aggressive and effective public policy measures. So food policy activists are trying to borrow from […]

Health Reform: Kill the Beast or Save the System?

July 27, 2013 — Health reform has presented a vexing dilemma from the beginning. With a system that everyone knows is broken, should we kill the beast and start over? Or take a more conservative approach and build something better from what we have now? Liberals wanted to scrap it all and create a single-payer system. President Obama opted […]

Psyched Out by Weight Bias

July 26, 2013 — You might think that academics in a graduate school of psychology would not be susceptible to weight bias. You would be wrong. A recent study of admissions interviews for a graduate school of psychology found that the interview process favored thinner candidates. Consistent with weight bias in other settings, the impact was greatest on female […]

The Wall Around Obesity Treatment

July 25, 2013 — A new study in Obesity documents an apparent wall around obesity treatment for many people with this chronic disease. David Arterburn and colleagues from the Group Health Research Institute surveyed 295 members of Group Health who had severe obesity and were not seeking bariatric surgery. Group Health is a large health system in Washington state. […]

Five Stages of Accepting Obesity as a Disease

July 24, 2013 — More than a month has passed since the AMA decision accepting obesity as a disease, and the media is still full of reports on the subject. Folks seem to be going through a grieving process as they let go of beliefs about obesity that must have given them comfort. Every stage of the classic grief […]

Genes and Reasons for Obesity

July 23, 2013 — New evidence of genes for obesity reminds us that a thin line separates reason from rationalization. Last week in Science, investigators led by Joseph Majzoub, chief of endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital, published their discovery of a gene mutation that may help explain how different people consuming precisely the same food can gain very different […]