Archive for July, 2014

4 Corporate Wellness Trends: Sticking with Carrots

July 22, 2014 — Four wellness trends pop out of the latest survey research on employee benefits from the Society for Human Resource Management. A year ago, all the talk was about outcome-based financial penalties to tame the threat of obesity. Now reality is taking hold. Carrots seem to have more staying power than sticks. Health and Lifestyle Coaching. […]

Banishing Risk?

July 21, 2014 — Banishing risk is a tricky business — even when you’re pretty clear about the risks. Efforts to reduce the risk of accidents that cell phones add to driving provides a case in point. A new study published in Transportation Research brings further evidence that handheld cell phone bans are doing nothing to reduce traffic accidents. When the first […]

Sports Drinks ≠ Fitness

July 20, 2014 — Sports drinks are iconic at athletic events. It’s a great event marketing strategy that supports an incredible range of both spectator and participatory sports. It gives brands like Gatorade a powerful halo of health and fitness. The result is a healthy growth rate of 7% in a market where sugary soft drinks are otherwise declining. This […]

Family Matters in Health and Weight

July 19, 2014 — Families play an important role in health and weight, well beyond the fundamental starting point of biological susceptibility to obesity they share. Two recent studies provide further understanding to the role parents and siblings play. Jason Van Allen and colleagues found that parent motivation appears play a valuable role in improving the weight status of preschoolers. In […]

Organic Foods: More Money or More Health?

July 18, 2014 — Organic produce and grains deliver more nutrition and less pesticide residue than conventionally-grown crops. That conclusion — from a review of 343 peer-reviewed studies just published in the British Journal of Nutrition — has generated a lot of buzz this week. End of story, eh? But (you knew it was coming) the bottom line is not so […]

Pre-Diabetes: Medicalization or Vigilance?

July 17, 2014 — Is pre-diabetes a pre-diagnosis that crosses the fine line between pursuing good health and medicalizing all of life? In their new analysis published this week by BMJ, John Yudkin and Victor Montori suggest that it is. In challenging the need to screen and intervene to prevent progression to diabetes in people with pre-diabetes or impaired […]

Our Flickering Understanding of Inflammation and Obesity

July 16, 2014 — The understanding that inflammation and obesity are linked in an important and complex relationship is growing with a constant stream of publications that simultaneously provide answers and raise questions. Robert Considine provides a helpful commentary on one more link between systemic inflammation and obesity — activated monocytes — in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Paired […]

UK Debate: Are People with Obesity Worth It?

July 15, 2014 — Are people with obesity and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes worth a substantial investment in bariatric surgery? This question is woven into a vigorous debate about new bariatric surgery guidelines from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Under draft guidelines recently published by NICE, a much broader patient population would be considered for bariatric […]

Mickey Stunkard, Dean of Obesity Research (1922-2014)

July 14, 2014 — Albert J. Stunkard, known affectionately as Mickey, is described as the “worldwide dean of obesity research.” Stunkard, 92, died Saturday at home in Bryn Mawr after a recent bout of pneumonia. Stunkard began his obesity research in 1955 with night eating syndrome, a subject he continued pursuing late in his career. He joined the University of Pennsylvania’s […]

Who’s #1: Smoking or Obesity?

July 14, 2014 — Smoking or obesity: who wins the mortality sweepstakes? Some unsung hero of stupid headlines has set up this useless question and twisted a study of severe obesity into a headline about overweight. Whoever you are, please step forward and claim your prize for the worst health news headline in recent memory: Being Overweight Is Actually […]