Archive for April, 2014

BMI ≠ Obesity = Excess Adiposity

April 13, 2014 — The trouble people have with a simple definition of obesity is stunning. Obesity is a disease of excess adiposity. In other words, too much adipose (or fat) tissue for good health. You can find this authoritative definition on the website of the Obesity Society — the leading professional society of people who devote their careers […]

Don’t Think Too Hard — It Causes Cancer

April 12, 2014 — Now that we have your attention, you can think again. Rest assured that headlines about lower risk of cancer death for people with age-related declines in memory and thinking does not mean that thinking causes cancer. In fact, it means that you need to think hard about the steady diet of headlines touting this or […]

7 Documented Health Benefits of a Dog

April 11, 2014 — The health benefits of a dog are pretty well established in the medical literature. So much so that the American Heart Association last year published a scientific statement detailing the impact on cardiovascular risk. Here are seven benefits that rise to the top. Longer Life. Studies have found better survival for people with cardiac disease […]

Shrinkflation: 2 Factors Making Candy Bars Smaller

April 10, 2014 — Shrinkflation is coming to a food shelf near you. Most notably, candy bars are shrinking in size and calories to plump up up profits and trim down the contribution of excessive portion sizes to obesity. This is an age-old tactic for consumer packaged goods that has special relevance today. This tactic is on the stage […]

3 Behaviors Matter More Than Weight

April 9, 2014 — Behaviors matter for helping people reduce health risks, perhaps more than weight outcomes. This rule of thumb is useful, because people have more direct control over their behaviors than they have over their weight. Good news from the REGARDS study is that they’ve found three behaviors that indeed matter more than weight in preventing another […]

Two Costs of Complacency in Childhood Obesity

April 8, 2014 — Complacency in childhood obesity is costly. It’s increasingly clear that relying exclusively on a let’s-get-those-kids-movin’ strategy won’t be enough to reverse entrenched levels of childhood obesity. Two new studies this week have made it clear that such complacency has two distinct costs. Direct Medical Costs. In Pediatrics yesterday, Eric Finkelstein and colleagues published and analysis […]

Science, Sensation, and Politics in Obesity Numbers

April 7, 2014 — Childhood obesity numbers caused quite a stir when science, sensation, and politics collided very publicly last month. The result has been considerable confusion about childhood obesity trends and concern about injecting politics into the science of epidemiology. In late February, CDC epidemiologists produced a very solid report in the Journal of the American Medical Association […]

Paleo Diet Breakthrough? Hardly

April 6, 2014 — Going into 2014, the Paleo Diet was one of the top 10 diet and nutrition trends of the year. Bring up the subject with dietitians who are expert in weight management and you’ll get exasperated rolling eyes in response. A quick look below at Google Trends data suggests that interest has not declined, but it […]

Three Holes in the Obesity Evidence Base

April 5, 2014 — Three holes in the obesity evidence base are hidden from view for many people and yet people who know the obesity literature know that they lie in wait to trap the unsuspecting. The effect is to fool people into thinking we know more than we do about obesity. People routinely accept hypotheses and preliminary findings […]

Morning Sun and Lower Weight

April 4, 2014 — Add early morning sun to the list of factors that might contribute to a healthy weight. We’ve known for some time that adequate sleep is an important factor. Sunlight can have an important influence on sleep patterns, as well as hormones that regulate weight, hunger, and metabolism. Now comes a new study in PLOS ONE […]