Archive for September, 2013

Beating Obesity without Risking Eating Disorders

September 10, 2013 — A new publication in Pediatrics calls attention to a concern that doesn’t get much discussion — how to address obesity without risking eating disorders. Pervasive weight bias and a focus on appearance over health creates problems for people concerned about obesity and eating disorders alike. But more robust dialog between advocates for people with eating […]

Googling a Healthier Workplace

September 9, 2013 — Programs to promote wellness and obesity reduction can be a tricky business for employers. Aided by a growing wellness industry, employers are gearing up to prod employees toward better health through financial incentives for things like weight loss and other health outcomes. But a new study in the Journal of Health Economics shows the limitations […]

Irresistible Obesity News from the Gut

September 8, 2013 — The irresistible obesity news this week was all about fecal transplants from thin humans to fat mice. Researchers from Washington University and a host of other institutions added some compelling evidence to the role that bacteria play in obesity with a new publication in Science. The researchers found twins who were distinguished from each other […]

Prepping the Queue for Health Exchanges

September 7, 2013 — Health exchanges will open October 1 for uninsured people to buy health insurance in a competitive marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And activity to prepare for this launch is building to a fever pitch. All 50 states will have exchanges up and running: 27 will be run by the federal government, 15 states […]

Skipping Breakfast: Evidence, Beliefs, and Bias

September 6, 2013 — Faith is the belief in things unseen. Science is something quite different because science relies on evidence. Belief that skipping breakfast causes weight gain is something that many health writers and scientists seem to share. According to a new publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this belief has led to biased research reports […]

Biting Humor: Food Cartoons from Marion Nestle

September 5, 2013 — Marion Nestle’s newest book is filled with something you probably wouldn’t expect from a nutrition expert: cartoons. Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics looks at what Americans eat and how we feel about it through the eyes of cartoonists. The book, which was created in collaboration with the Cartoonist Group, contains more […]

Inflammation as a Marker for Unhealthy Obesity

September 4, 2013 — Since AMA declared this summer that obesity is a disease, much discussion has focused the difference between unhealthy obesity and good metabolic health at a high BMI. Inflammation might be essential for understanding this distinction. About one in five people with a BMI in the range of obesity have normal metabolic health. They will live […]

Obesity’s Political Affiliations

September 3, 2013 — Obesity’s political affiliations have been pretty bipartisan over the years. George W. Bush made obesity a key health issue in his administration, with his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, still advocating for better approaches today. First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity a signature issue. So why are some social scientists […]

Good, Bad, and Ugly Nudges for Healthier Shopping

September 2, 2013 — Nudges for healthier behaviors can become rude shoves when practitioners of behavioral psychology cross a line and activate resistance in the people they are trying to influence. The story of behavioral scientists working with a supermarket chain to nudge people to healthier choices offers some good insights into fostering better choices. But it also elicits […]

Investing in Obesity

September 1, 2013 — Investment analysts have been bubbling over with advice for years about investing in obesity. And much of the advice has been pretty unrealistic, looking at new drugs, devices, and services as potential breakthroughs that might solve the problem once and for all. That’s not how it works with a complex, chronic disease like obesity. Outdated […]