Archive for October, 2013

Trick or Treat with Fat Letters: A Credible Hoax

October 31, 2013 — Massachusetts has bowed to pressure from parents and stopped sending out so-called “Fat Letters” home with students who have a high BMI, but a Fargo radio station filled the gap. In what is likely a hoax, they had a woman call in to say she will be dispensing candy to children she judges to be […]

Healthy and Unhealthy Wellness Programs

October 30, 2013 — Healthy and unhealthy wellness programs are taking shape for the new year as new laws and regulations governing them come into effect. Advocates for reducing the impact of obesity caution that penalties and incentives based on body weight can easily become a hidden form of discrimination that will only make the problem worse. CBS News […]

Consumer Preference Trumps Soda Taxes

October 29, 2013 — Consumer preference is accomplishing something that activists have had a tough time doing through legislation and regulation. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have lost in court on the Big Gulp ban, but consumers are getting the message and carrying it forward anyway. Industry observers say that bottled water sales will soon surpass soda. Sugary […]

Junk Food Tax Fight Moves to Mexico

October 28, 2013 — Called to action by Mexico’s new top ranking in the world for obesity, charismatic president Enrique Peña Nieto is ready to take on the junk food tax fight. He may find a rough road ahead. The experience with junk food tax fights has been extremely unproductive to date. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has had many successes with […]

Rebel Wilson: An Uncontrolled Study of Obesity Treatment

October 27, 2013 — Australian actress Rebel Wilson, star of Bridesmaids and the new CBS series Super Fun Night, is reportedly being pursued by several weight loss companies that would like her to lose weight on their product. Wilson was a weight loss spokesperson for Jenny Craig in Australia in 2011 when she lost a reported 22 pounds. She […]

Drugs, Bugs, and Cows

October 26, 2013 — Drugs, bugs, and cows are the subject of intense passions and fierce lobbying. In a new report published this week, leadership from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future find little progress since a landmark study of industrial meat production was issued five years ago. They conclude that consensus recommendations to reduce the impact […]

Qsymia: One Pill or Two?

October 25, 2013 — Qsymia, one pill that combines phentermine (PHEN) and topiramate in an extended release formulation (TPM-ER), raises a question for doctors and pharmacists who have a preference for generic drugs. Can’t we just use generic phentermine or topiramate pills and get the same effect? Well, not exactly. First of all, a new study published for early […]

Obesity Surgery, Diet, and Exercise

October 24, 2013 — Obesity surgery, diet, and exercise are often set up in subtle and misleading opposition. An excellent new study in the British Medical Journal finds that surgical treatment of obesity leads to greater weight loss and remission of diabetes than non-surgical treatment. But the headlines go like this: “Surgery trounces diet and exercise for treating obesity […]

Obesity Hurts at Work

October 23, 2013 — Obesity hurts at work, and not just because of employment discrimination. A new study in PLOS ONE finally provides prospective, longitudinal evidence that confirms obesity leads to more injuries on the job. Anne Kouvonen and colleagues followed nearly 70,000 public sector employees between 2000 and 2008. Women comprised 80% of this cohort. Obesity led to […]

Competing Quality Ratings for Obesity Surgery

October 22, 2013 — Quality ratings for obesity surgery are in a state of change — or perhaps hot competition. A group of Michigan researchers recently and successfully persuaded Medicare that established quality ratings for obesity surgery were unnecessary. Now, that same group has published two studies showing the importance of their own quality measures in explaining serious complication […]