Archive for May, 2014

Sensitive to Gluten-Free Claims

May 21, 2014 — Research is making it clear that far more people are sensitive to gluten-free claims than are sensitive to gluten itself. Late last year, Peter Gibson published new research showing that few, if any, people have gluten sensitivity unless they have actual celiac disease. In other words, apart from the uncommon (<1% of the population) condition of celiac […]

Safety of Contrave (Naltrexone-Bupropion)

May 20, 2014 — The safety of Contrave is the subject of a fairly glowing review just published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. This attention comes as the anticipated FDA approval for Contrave draws near. FDA is due to act on Orexigen’s application for approval in the U.S. by June 10. Contrave is a combination of two marketed drugs: […]

5 Questionable Obesity Causes

May 19, 2014 — The list of potential obesity causes seems to grow like kudzu. Why? Well, obesity develops slowly and improves slowly, if at all. Epidemiological studies provide ever more information about associations and some of these analyses are repeated so often that otherwise smart people start equating the link to a causal relationship. Familiarity bias exerts even […]

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Fast Food Edition

May 18, 2014 — The notion that fast food causes obesity is an article of faith for many food policy advocates. No doubt, the meals that are commonly served up at fast food restaurants — loaded with lots of calories, fat, sugar, and salt — can give you a magic carpet ride to obesity. But then some are tempted to make the […]

Cause or Effect? Depression in Obesity

May 17, 2014 — A new study of depression in obesity just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry finds that high BMI likely does not cause depression. The two conditions have long been associated and much speculation about a cause and effect relationship can be found. In this new study, Chi-Fa Hung and colleagues analyzed data from the […]

Exercise Treats Before Meals May Help Diabetes

May 16, 2014 — Exercise treats — short bits of intense physical activity — before meals may help with glycemic control in patients with insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes. A small, elegant randomized crossover control study just published online in Diabetologia points to a potentially promising strategy for maximizing the benefit of exercise for people with […]

Beware These 3 Nutrition Dogmas

May 15, 2014 — Nutrition dogmas are surprisingly common, with beliefs and presumptions too often driving conclusions, rather than good evidence. Here are three to beware. Low Fat. Advice to adhere to a low-fat diet became almost universal in the 80s, continuing through the turn of the millennium. This strategy was enshrined in policy through nutritional guidelines, despite limited empiric […]

3 Ways More Labeling Is Not Better

May 14, 2014 — The big fuss over labeling GMO (genetically modified organism) foods is the latest chapter of an age-old conflict over how much labeling is enough. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill last week to require food products with GMO ingredients to have that fact called out on the label. Transparency and right-to-know concerns push some to […]

NEW: USPSTF Recommends Obesity Treatment for Heart Risk

May 13, 2014 — The USPSTF (Unites States Preventative Services Task Force) has published yet another recommendation for obesity treatment — in draft form. The recommendation is behavioral counseling for people with heart disease risk and excess weight or obesity. Dietitians and other weight management professionals, take note. This will create yet more opportunities to help people with excess weight […]

High Altitude, Low Obesity

May 13, 2014 — Living at a high altitude (>1.96km  above sea level) may well be an effective way to prevent obesity. Jameson Voss and colleagues studied the somewhat random assignment of military personnel to high or low altitude posts. They found a 40% reduction in the risk of progressing from overweight to obesity for those who were assigned to […]