Archive for February, 2015

Forgetting the Difference Between Mice, Men, and Women

February 28, 2015 — The difference between mice, men, and women is eluding health journalists who are churning out headlines about common food ingredients — emulsifiers — causing obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. The study that prompted this enthusiastic reporting probes the effects of two very common emulsifiers — cellulose gum and polysorbate — on the microbiome […]

Does Bariatric Surgery Lead to Safer Pregnancies?

February 27, 2015 — A new study of whether bariatric surgery leads to safer pregnancies is stirring some excitement, because it offers the best insight yet on this question. The trouble is that the findings don’t fit neatly into a sound bite or a headline. It looks like the pregnancy is safer for the mother. But for the baby, the […]

Striving to Do Less Harm in Medical Care

February 26, 2015 — Money talks, even in healthcare it seems. These days, patient satisfaction scores are having a big impact on the profitability of health systems. So the harm in medical care that results from neglecting human needs for comfort, dignity, and respect is starting to get attention. It brings down patient satisfaction scores, which brings down the money a […]

Waking Up to a PA Capitol Forum on Obesity

February 25, 2015 — Early yesterday, Women in Government sponsored a capitol forum on the comprehensive treatment of obesity in Harrisburg, hosted by Pennsylvainia State Representatives Vanessa Lowery Brown and Donna Oberlander. Representative Brown shared a personal perspective on the human impact of obesity and the importance of treating it seriously and respectfully. Ted Kyle, Obesity Action Coalition Chairman, presented […]

Trial and Error in Food and Nutrition Policy

February 25, 2015 — Is trial and error in food and nutrition policy inevitable? Or is there a better way? A week has not yet passed since 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued their 571 page report with recommendations for new guidance that will be issued later this year. Already, people are lining up to praise the report or warn […]

New Perspective on Pregnancy, Weight Gain, and Obesity

February 24, 2015 — Despite growing evidence about the impact of obesity on the health of both mother and child, there’s been a near total lack of guidance on pregnancy, weight gain, and obesity — until now. Today in Obesity, researchers are publishing data from McGee-Womens Hospital that provides new perspective on the subject. The study is the first to provide […]

Closing the Gap in Obesity Treatment?

February 23, 2015 — Policymakers urging people with obesity to do something about it are a dime a dozen. And most people with excess weight would dearly love to do something about it. Largely out of their own pockets, Americans spend more than 50 billion dollars on products and services for controlling their weight. But the real problem is […]

Purity, Pragmatism, and Bias in Public Health

February 22, 2015 — It’s interesting to see purity, pragmatism, and bias collide in public health, whether the subject is tobacco, nutrition, or obesity. One example came in news this week that Reynolds American Tobacco is pushing forward with new plans to develop products designed to help more people stop smoking. Pinney Associates — a Bethesda consultancy that has been at the […]

Coffee and Eggs Are In, Sugar and Meats Are Out

February 21, 2015 — Is it a coincidence that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued their report during Fashion Week? Probably so, though it’s hard not to think about the changing fashions in nutrition advice. Coffee and eggs are definitely back in after years of being unfashionable. Added sugars and meats are decidedly out. The committee even went so […]

Mortality Benefit in Surgery for Super Obesity?

February 20, 2015 — A new analysis of cross-sectional data for bariatric surgery patients provides a case study in the hazards of punchy headlines for complex medical issues. Daniel Schauer and colleagues constructed a model for survival benefits from bariatric surgery. Their model raises the possibility that bariatric surgery for super obesity (BMI>60 in this case) might not help people live longer. […]