Archive for January, 2014

Surprising Results in New Fatty Liver Drug Trial

January 11, 2014 — Surprising results in a study of a new drug treatment for fatty liver disease caused the stock of a small biotech company — Intercept Pharmaceuticals — to quadruple this week. The company has only 45 employees and no products yet, but its stock value jumped to $1.4 billion when a phase II trial of obeticholic acid […]

Big Food Shrinks Calories

January 10, 2014 — Big Food has stepped forward to remove 6.4 trillion calories from the U.S. food supply, far outpacing a commitment to reduce processed food calories by 1.5 trillion in 2015. This finding comes from an as yet unpublished analysis, independently produced by  researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and funded by the […]

Two Thousand Thanks!

January 9, 2014 — Thanks to you, ConscienHealth just earned more than 2,000 Facebook likes. More than 300 of you now subscribe by email to our daily updates. If you like what you’re reading, share it with your friends. If you haven’t liked us yet on Facebook, go on over there and send us some love by clicking the […]

FDA Approves New Diabetes Drug

January 9, 2014 — Yet another new diabetes drug — dapagliflozin, branded as Farxiga — in a class of drugs with helpful effects on weight received final FDA approval on Wednesday. The drug is the product of a joint venture in diabetes by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, soon to be wholly owned by AstraZeneca. Dapagliflozin joins canagliflozin (Invokana) in a new […]

Severe Obesity: Hiding in Plain Sight

January 8, 2014 — Severe obesity is hiding in plain sight as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) starts a three-year roundtable process on obesity solutions. Bill Dietz opened a workshop on the current state of obesity solutions in the U.S. He offered an optimistic assessment of overall obesity rates stabilizing in many segments of the population. But he offered […]

Four Surprises in Crafting Healthy Neighborhoods

January 7, 2014 — Healthy neighborhoods represent an important goal for many obesity prevention efforts. Access to physical activity and healthy food options are important for good health. But efforts to re-engineer neighborhoods to promote health have a mixed track record. Recent research makes it increasingly clear that conventional wisdom about building healthy neighborhoods may be too simplistic to […]

Urban Sprawl = Fat City? Not So Fast

January 6, 2014 — Urban sprawl has repeatedly been linked to obesity, but the link to causation remains tenuous. An article of faith in obesity prevention is that the physical, built environment is a key tool for reversing the obesity epidemic. The Institute of Medicine captured this thinking in Strategy 1-1 of their landmark 2012 report, Accelerating Progress in […]

Bad News for Bogus Weight Loss Products

January 5, 2014 — Bogus weight loss products and other dietary supplements — unfettered by regulatory approval for safety and efficacy — have been linked to a spike in liver injuries. And more trouble lies ahead for dietary supplement makers. On Tuesday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will unveil a new effort to shut down deceptive advertising for bogus […]

What’s the Point of Obesity Prevention?

January 4, 2014 — Obesity prevention is something that easily enjoys broad support. People instinctively accept that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sounds good. But what, exactly is the goal of our efforts and how will we know if we’ve met them? Sometimes the goal is expressed as crudely as “obesity is prevented and […]

Medical Students: Your Prejudice Is Showing

January 3, 2014 — First-year medical students express more explicit bias against people with obesity than they do against minorities, gays, lesbians, and poor people. Say the authors of this new study in Obesity: This relatively high level of explicit weight bias may result from low internal or external pressure to appear unbiased against obese people. These data suggest that […]