Archive for October, 2013

Latest Health Food in Europe: Fructose

October 20, 2013 — A new health food claim decision by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will allow food makers to claim a health benefit for fructose. The approved claim reads: Consumption of foods containing fructose leads to a lower blood glucose rise compared to foods containing sucrose or glucose. Nutrition and public health experts are upset, to […]

Oreos = Cocaine (Huh?)

October 20, 2013 — The Flying Leap of Faith Award™ this week goes to intrepid health reporters and editors who filled the media with headlines saying “Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine.” Someone please call the DEA. The basis for the headlines — hundreds of them — was a press release from Connecticut College about undergraduate research soon […]

The Hated White Whale of Obamacare

October 19, 2013 — This week it seems that the Republican party has had a tough time going after the hated white whale of Obamacare. A centerpiece of Obamacare, the website hit the public stage as an absolute train wreck on October 1. But Republicans kept that train wreck out of the headlines by creating a crisis with […]

Who Cares about Money?

October 18, 2013 — A lot of ink and electrons are devoted to proving that money biases research. Research requires funding and funders all have criteria for what they fund. So this point is tough to dispute. The problem is that considerations of bias tend to be selective and superficial. Marion Nestle provides a good example in discussing a […]

Normal Weight Obesity: More Than Meets the Eye

October 17, 2013 — Normal weight obesity is one more reminder that obesity is not a simple visual diagnosis. Approximately 30 million Americans have a BMI considered healthy by epidemiologists (BMI 18.5-25), and yet have all the metabolic features and risks of obesity. Estefania Oliveros and colleagues have just published an excellent overview of normal weight obesity in Progress […]

Ask Taft: Is Obesity a Disease?

October 16, 2013 — Long before the AMA decided obesity is a complex, chronic disease, our 27th President and 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Taft, sought treatment for obesity from an obesity medicine physician. In 1905, Taft hired British physician Daniel Yorke-Davies out of concern for the effect obesity might have on his health and his […]

McDonald’s: Love ’em or Hate ’em

October 15, 2013 — Objectivity in food and nutrition policy is hard enough to begin with. Everyone comes to the subject with personal experiences and bias. But when the subject is McDonald’s, perhaps objectivity is impossible. Recent reactions to corporate responsibility efforts by McDonald’s certainly lead us to think so. Reacting to a recent announcement that McDonald’s will de-emphasize […]

From Skinny Kids to Childhood Obesity

October 14, 2013 — Through most of the twentieth century, the worry for children and their nutrition was to be sure they were big and strong, not skinny. How did we shift the concern from skinny kids to childhood obesity? Susan Levine and Faye Flam offer helpful perspective. Levine charts the history of school lunch in School Lunch Politics, […]

Obesity in Medical School: Put It on the List

October 13, 2013 — An internal medicine physician in training recently told us, “Honestly, I don’t have much sympathy for patients with obesity.” This bit of candor brings to life the need for training on obesity in medical school. James Colbert and Sushrut Jangi offer a detailed description of this need in the New England Journal of Medicine this week. […]

Obamacare Glass Half Full?

October 12, 2013 — Right now, almost two weeks into enrollment, it’s hard to tell: Is the Obamacare glass half full, empty, or just a bloody mess? It does seem like the team behind Obamacare has avoided the nightmare scenario of having no takers. Health insurance exchanges have been flooded with millions of people shopping for health insurance. They’ve […]