Archive for February, 2015

Do People Need More Incentives for Weight Management?

February 19, 2015 — The idea that people need monetary incentives for weight management just won’t die. Proposals that reflect this flawed thinking come in two forms: penalties for people with obesity or payments for people who lose weight. But they are two sides of the same coin. And they reflect an assumption that people with obesity need prodding to do something about […]

Prevailing Bias at Odds with Scientific Integrity

February 18, 2015 — The prevailing bias in nutrition, health, and obesity appears to work in cycles. Sometimes conviction about what must be true gets out ahead of the data we actually have to support our presumptions. The last cycle kept us focused on dietary fat and cholesterol for decades. In the current cycle, sugar is public enemy #1. […]

The 10 Most Annoying Clichés of Obesity

February 17, 2015 — Novel ideas, phrases, and metaphors have a way of turning into annoying clichés. The more interesting an idea is, the more likely it is to get overused so that it becomes trite or irritating. So it is with these top 10 clichés of obesity. Thanks to all of you who have helped us identify them. […]

Scientists Discover Children Are Impulsive and Immature

February 16, 2015 — In a stunning breakthrough, scientists have discovered that children are impulsive and immature. Publishing their findings in Eating Behavior, Astrid Junhans and colleagues uncovered “the necessity of improving children’s self-regulatory skills to support their desire to remain healthy.” In other words, they found that kids need to grow up. They made this discovery by comparing […]

The Big Lie of Diet and Exercise

February 15, 2015 — Let’s start with the truth of diet and exercise, which is that with careful attention to diet and exercise, most people can significantly improve their health. But the lie is that diet and exercise offers a reliable cure for obesity. In a commentary in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Christopher Ochner, Adam Tsai, Robert Kushner, and Thomas […]

The Very Personal Genetic Inheritance of Obesity

February 14, 2015 — The largest genetic map of obesity ever constructed promises to reveal much deeper insight into the very personal genetic inheritance of obesity. An international team of scientists have analyzed the genomes of more than a quarter million people. Some of the learning from this work is summarized by two papers published in Nature this week. This […]

From Smart Phones to Smart Insulin

February 13, 2015 — Who says scientists can’t be clever marketers. If you doubt it, consider the folks who came up withe the concept of “smart insulin.” This catch phrase conveys so much more than “insulin with aliphatic phenylboronic acid conjugates” ever could. In a time when everybody seems to be carrying a smart phone, why would anybody want dumb […]

Proposal to Make Childhood Obesity Worse in Puerto Rico

February 12, 2015 — Puerto Rico is now debating one of those childhood obesity proposals that leaves us scratching our heads. The idea is to punish the parents of children with obesity through fines that could add up to as much as $1300. Like other bone-headed ideas, this proposal would put schools in charge of policing the weight of […]

Who Cares About Cholesterol Anymore?

February 11, 2015 — It’s hard to find anyone who cares about cholesterol anymore — at least the cholesterol in your diet. Word came late yesterday that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is removing excess dietary cholesterol from its list of dietary concerns for public health. The committee’s report — due within a few weeks — will be the basis […]

Where Can We Buy an Ounce of Obesity Prevention?

February 10, 2015 — Perhaps we have Ben Franklin to thank for a pervasive bias that an ounce of obesity prevention is more valuable than many pounds of treatment. But a new review of overweight and obesity prevention in children and youth concludes that only “small improvements in weight outcomes with questionable clinical importance were found. No intervention strategy consistently […]