Archive for September, 2014

FDA Expert Panel Says Yes to Liraglutide for Obesity

September 11, 2014 — Yes is the word from an FDA expert panel that today considered liraglutide 3mg for treating obesity. The Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 14-1 that the risk/benefit profile was favorable. Efficacy data for liraglutide was not really up for much debate. FDA statistician Bradley McEvoy raised a methodological issue with the way that […]

Contrave Finally Clears FDA

September 11, 2014 — Late yesterday, Contrave became the third new obesity treatment to be approved by FDA in the last two years. All three of these drugs went through FDA advisory committee hearings in 2010. At the time, Contrave was the only one of the three that the expert panels recommended for approval. Yet in 2011, FDA ruled that […]

Obesity Week at FDA: Two Milestones

September 10, 2014 — FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, not Fuji Dream Airlines) has set two big milestones for this week in obesity. They both fall on Thursday. Though the real Obesity Week is not until November 2, FDA is creating its own version this week. The first is a bit of old business that is really […]

Knowing What We Know & Don’t Know about Obesity

September 9, 2014 — A remarkable core of scientists and clinicians devote themselves to knowing everything they can about obesity and caring for the people who have it. These people have amassed tremendous knowledge about the disease of obesity. A whole new medical specialty — obesity medicine — is emerging with the leadership of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. […]

What’s the Risk/Benefit of a Home-Cooked Dinner?

September 8, 2014 — Lots of seemingly wholesome and harmless strategies for fighting obesity — like a home-cooked dinner — are routinely promoted without the same kind of rigorous analysis that would go into new medical or pharmaceutical technology. What’s the harm, after all? Much of this is as wholesome as apple pie. Sociologists from North Carolina State University are […]

Does Confidence = Competence in Obesity Care?

September 7, 2014 — A new study in Obesity tells us that allied health professionals with a lower BMI believe they are more successful in helping people with obesity lose weight. This research from Sara Bleich and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health complements an earlier study. In that one, they showed that physicians with a lower BMI […]

3 Ways Much of Obesity Policy Is Like Human Sacrifice

September 6, 2014 — Reporting on the state of obesity in America this week leaves the impression that much of obesity policy is like ancient human sacrifice rituals. Here are a few reasons: It’s our custom. The response to rising rates of obesity has followed an unwavering formula since the trend was first detected. We promote the current notion […]

Blocking the Hunger Nerve

September 5, 2014 — Entrepreneurs at EnteroMedics developing a new treatment for obesity by blocking the “hunger nerve” (the vagus) have had a bumpy ride along the way. This week, the results of their pivotal clinical trial were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Alongside this publication was a commentary on the state of the […]

Trauma, Abuse, and Obesity

September 4, 2014 — Two recent publications draw our attention to the need for a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that link trauma, abuse, and obesity. In an analysis of 23 studies of 112,708 subjects, Erik Hemmingsson and colleagues found an increased risk of obesity in adulthood for people who experienced abuse in childhood. The overall increase was 34%, […]

Low Carb or Low Fat: Does It Matter?

September 3, 2014 — Two studies this week give sharply contrasting answers to people wondering whether low carb or low fat diets are superior for weight loss. The first study, a randomized, controlled 1-year study, found that people who were assigned to a low-carb diet lost significantly more weight (12 pounds) than people assigned to a low-fat diet (4 pounds). […]