Archive for July, 2013

Maybe Breakfast Really Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

July 22, 2013 — “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” has at times been considered either apocryphal advice or serious nutrition wisdom. With much research on the subject funded by breakfast food marketers, some people look at these claims with a skeptical eye. A new study published in Obesity provides some compelling data from a randomized, […]

Understanding Obesity and Art

July 21, 2013 — Obesity, like art, is something that most people think they understand on sight. Not so. Obesity is not a simple matter of body size. It’s a metabolic disease of excess adiposity (fat tissue). Understanding obesity takes far more than a visual assessment. But that hardly deters smug observers from offering advice based on a superficial […]

Healthcare Catching Up with Big Data

July 20, 2013 — Healthcare systems are playing catch-up with big data. Wal-Mart generates, analyzes, and acts on 2.5 petabytes of data every hour. That’s 2.5 million gigabytes, or a bit more than the contents of all the U.S. academic research libraries put together — collected every hour and analyzed in the service of our consumer economy. Meanwhile, clinicians […]

Business Analysts Seeing Opportunity in Obesity

July 19, 2013 — Business analysts once again see opportunity in obesity for innovation that will bring financial rewards. Some are cheering because innovation is sorely lacking in our efforts to address obesity. Others fear crass exploitation of vulnerable people affected by obesity. Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry, a trade publication, reports that the market for weight management and […]

Barbie: The Impact of a Cultural Icon

July 18, 2013 — Barbie, introduced to American girls in 1959, has become a cultural touchstone so polarizing that she has been co-opted by dozens of artists and activists over the years as a symbol for everything from beauty to materialism to women’s equality to women’s inequality to nostalgia for more peaceful times. So it’s no surprise that she […]

Boy Scouts Ban Obesity from Their Jamboree

July 17, 2013 — At their quadrennial jamboree, the Boy Scouts banned obesity this year. Saying they designed this year’s event to be too physically demanding for boys with obesity, they published guidelines saying that no one with a BMI above 40 would be allowed to participate. Those with a BMI between 32 and 40 are subject to approval […]

Obesity, Exercise, and Healthy Eating All Rising

July 16, 2013 — Business, consumer, and health research suggest that obesity, exercise, and healthy eating are all rising in parallel. How can this be? What does this say about strategies for reversing obesity trends that focus exclusively on more physical activity and healthy eating? The latest report in this vein to capture media attention is a study published […]

Mexico Surpassing America in Obesity

July 15, 2013 — America first? Not in obesity, says a new U.N. report that documents Mexico surpassing America in obesity prevalence among the world’s most populous countries. With an adult obesity rate of 32.8%, Mexico has taken a slim lead over the U.S. rate of 31.8%. Speaking on behalf of the Obesity Society, Margarita Teran-Garcia commented on this news: […]

Twinkies Are Back, With a Vengeance

July 14, 2013 — Fifty million Twinkies are on their way to stores this week, with the new Hostess Brands LLC promising a sweet comeback for this 83-year-old brand. More Twinkies in more places than ever before will be the focus of the resurrected company, along with innovation and efficiency. Late last year, the old Hostess company began a […]

Hospitals Confronting Health Insurers on Their Own Turf

July 13, 2013 — Hospital systems across the country are increasingly confronting health insurers on their turf. The bitter feud between the UPMC Health System and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in western Pennsylvania gives us a pretty good idea what this might look like. And it isn’t pretty. The UPMC Health Plan has competed with Highmark now for […]