Archive for September, 2013

McDonald’s Going Veggie, Coke Brand Slipping

September 30, 2013 — What is happening to our freedom fries? Just a day after Burger King proudly announced their diet fries, we hear of McDonald’s going veggie. They topped the Satisfries gambit by offering to dump fries from value meals altogether for customers who would rather get a salad or fruit. On top of all this, the news […]

The Scarcity Response Linking Poverty, Hunger, and Obesity

September 29, 2013 — How can it be that Mexico has now achieved the dubious distinction of the world’s highest obesity rates for a large country, even as much of the country goes hungry? Competing cults are quick to explain this as a failure of either personal responsibility or social justice. The human response to scarcity might offer a more objective […]

Through the Looking Glass of Healthcare

September 28, 2013 — We seem to have gone through the looking glass of healthcare into Alice’s Wonderland where nothing makes sense. Consider what’s unfolding before us. One end of the political spectrum is busy selling insurance for an industry hoping to get millions of new customers. An enthusiastic hospital industry is joining the effort because they see a […]

Burger King Satisfries: Bizarre Healthy Food Halo

September 27, 2013 — Burger King announced a new addition to its line of fast food this week — low-calorie French fries. Well, not low calorie. Lower calorie. Lower than their current French fries, which measure in at 340 calories and 15 grams of fat for a small serving, compared to 270 calories and 11 grams of fat for […]

CMS Ditches Obesity Surgery Quality Standards

September 26, 2013 — Seven years after imposing obesity surgery quality standards for Medicare, CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has decided to drop them entirely. Folks with their own (competing) standards had lobbied CMS to decide that the current standards weren’t working well enough and that they reduced access to care for some patients. To the […]

Drinking the Kool-Aid in Food Policy

September 25, 2013 — Unwavering convictions may be necessary to achieve big changes. And big changes seem necessary to reverse the health impact of obesity. But could drinking the Kool-Aid in food policy lead us to press forward with strategies that just don’t work? Two days reviewing the global experience of the world’s best experts in public health and […]

AMA Obesity Decision May Sway Bosses First

September 24, 2013 — You might think that the AMA obesity decision — to treat obesity as a disease — would have a big effect, first and foremost, on doctors. You might be wrong. No doubt doctors will respond, but they are dithering and slow by comparison to what we’re hearing from big business. With remarkable consistency, the experts […]

Shopping for Obesity

September 23, 2013 — By shopping for food in huge quantities at supercenters and wharehouse clubs, are we shopping for obesity? New York Times commentator Frank Bruni seems to think so. Research on the relationship between food production and distribution bears careful consideration as we think about this deceptively simple proposition. NIH scientists Carson Chow and Kevin Hall attracted […]

Back a Losing Team, Pack on Some Pounds

September 22, 2013 — That list of 100 potential causes of obesity needs room for one more: backing a losing team. Yann Cornill and Pierre Chandon of INSEAD found a link between vicarious football losses and unhealthy eating in both retrospective analyses and controlled experiments. They found similar effects in American football fans and French soccer fans. Comparing household […]

More People Shopping for Health Insurance

September 21, 2013 — More people, in more places, will soon be shopping for health insurance. Health insurers are opening retail stores in trendy locations to be sure they get their share of the millions of people expected to buy health insurance when open enrollment begins October 1. Adding to the queue of people buying insurance are retirees and […]