Archive for September, 2014

Health Insurance Games: Adolescent Edition

September 21, 2014 — It seems that even children who are seeking help with severe obesity cannot escape the games that health insurance companies play. A new study in Obesity documents the difficulty with health insurance that adolescents who have severe obesity experience, even when they have a well-documented need for bariatric surgery. Thomas Inge and a team of […]

Metabolic Effects of the Biggest Loser

September 20, 2014 — Who knew that any evidence base existed for the metabolic effects of The Biggest Loser? A new study just published online in Obesity compares effects of participating in The Biggest Loser to bariatric surgery. In fact, this is the second publication of data from The Biggest Loser collected by researchers from the NIH, Pennington Biomedical […]

Don’t Feed High-Dose Saccharin to Your Mice

September 19, 2014 — We’re getting a series of headlines this week about  saccharin and other low-calorie sweeteners, declaring: “Zero-Calorie Sweeteners Can Raise Blood Sugar” “Artificial Sweeteners May Lead to Diabetes” “Artificial Sweeteners Could Cause Spikes in Blood Sugar” “Low-calorie Sweeteners Found in Diet Drinks RAISE the Risk of Obesity and Diabetes”  What is this ground-breaking research that has […]

Can Obesity Be Growing if BMI Isn’t?

September 18, 2014 — BMI is a just a number, but it’s one that people love to hate. A new research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) gives more ammunition to BMI critics. Earl Ford and colleagues from CDC analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to find that waist circumference […]

Big Food: Progress to Celebrate or Regret?

September 17, 2014 — Two studies of the impact big food companies have made in efforts to reduce calories in the American food supply were finally published today. They provide the detailed numbers behind headlines last January that said the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) had far exceeded its commitment to reduce calories and done it sooner than promised. These publications in […]

Favoring Innovation in Obesity

September 16, 2014 — For people favoring innovation in the treatment of obesity, we passed an important milestone last week. A headline in the Financial Times yesterday made it unmistakable: “U.S. More Open to Obesity Drugs” That headline summarizes an interview with Lars Sorensen, CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Novo Nordisk. Last week an expert […]

Good Intentions or Good Outcomes?

September 15, 2014 — Good intentions for obesity prevention don’t always translate into good outcomes. It’s hard and uncertain work to dig out of the mess of excess obesity we have. That’s why it’s critically important to distinguish between a good idea and a proven intervention for obesity prevention. A new study in Preventive Medicine illustrates this issue quite well. The […]

Four Ways Bias Blocks Progress in Obesity

September 14, 2014 — Bias blocks progress toward evidence-based approaches to addressing obesity in a number of ways highlighted by recent publications. One is a commentary by Rebecca Puhl and Ted Kyle published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Another is a study of 2,944 British adults over the age of 50 and their experiences with fat shaming. Here are […]

To Prevent Obesity, Just Be Sure to Floss

September 13, 2014 — Sometimes critical thinking isn’t evident when the subject is obesity and its prevention. Publications linking dentists and dental floss floss to obesity risk serve to illustrate the phenomenon. Without a hint of irony, people were publishing headlines recently that proclaimed “Dentists Help in the Fight Against Obesity.” All this mindless activity stemmed from an analysis […]

Extending the Membrane

September 12, 2014 — In this guest post, our good friend and innovative thinker Joe Gitchell challenges us to think about ways for extending the membrane of community to reduce stigma and bias. In perusing TED talks for information on evolution, I watched this video from University of Virginia professor Jonathan Haidt on transcendence and humans as cooperative creatures. It is […]