Archive for March, 2015

Six Hurdles for the Future of Obesity

March 31, 2015 — Obesity is a unique challenge for global health. Other chronic diseases present problems that yield to systematic research, treatment, and prevention efforts. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and HIV have all become steadily more manageable. People affected by these diseases — even if cures might not be possible — can often lead relatively normal lives. For […]

Processed Foods, Death, and Taxes

March 30, 2015 — Along with death and taxes, processed foods seem to be an immovable fixture in American life. Two new studies of the American food supply presented today and yesterday at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions provide some new perspective.  Jennifer Poti and colleagues from UNC-Chapel Hill found that more than 75% of the calories […]

Is It Possible to Oversell Exercise?

March 29, 2015 — How could it be possible to oversell exercise? The benefits for health are tremendous. Regular physical activity can help you live longer, feel better, keep diabetes and heart disease under control, put you in a better mood, and improve your sex life. But one selling point that exercise doesn’t deliver so well is weight loss. So […]

Picking Winners in Obesity Treatment

March 28, 2015 — As expected, Mysimba (naltrexone/bupropion, known as Contrave in the U.S.) became the second new obesity medicine to be fully approved for sale in Europe this week. This week broke a nine-year drought for new obesity medicines in Europe. Now analysts are busy trying to figure out who will be the winners in obesity treatment. Such […]

Picking Sides in the Weight Loss Civil War

March 27, 2015 — An unfortunate weight loss civil war has been simmering for some time. The latest skirmish comes in the form of a new book by Harriet Brown: Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession With Weight—and What We Can Do About It. With “Truth” in the title, you have a hint of Brown’s righteous convictions. […]

Smooth, Fashionable Nutrition

March 26, 2015 — “What else can we add to a smoothie?” asks the wellness blog at the New York Times. They answer with an absolutely beautiful deep purple blueberry smoothie with black quinoa. It’s smooth, fashionable nutrition. What’s not to love? You get the rational nutrition benefits of two “superfoods” — quinoa and blueberries. It has very little sodium […]

Woulda Coulda Shoulda Prevented Obesity

March 25, 2015 — Another experiment in preventing obesity just got added to the list of what woulda coulda shoulda worked. Seven years ago, Los Angeles banned new fast-food restaurants in South LA, where obesity was seen to be a critical problem. In a study just published in Social Science and Medicine, Roland Sturm and Aiko Hattori found no impact […]

Final Approval for Saxenda in Europe

March 24, 2015 — The European Commission granted final approval late yesterday for Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda brand of liraglutide 3mg to treat obesity. Saxenda is the first obesity treatment in nearly a decade to receive approval in Europe. Novo Nordisk is already in the final stages of preparing to launch Saxenda in the U.S., where it was approved late last […]

Antibiotics in Farm Animals Soar in Developing World

March 24, 2015 — Perhaps you thought that use of antibiotics in farm animals was headed in the right direction — down. We did. Apparently we were wrong. Despite recent encouraging news in the U.S., a new publication in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS) documents soaring use of antibiotics for the production of meat in […]

What Doctors Know About Obesity

March 23, 2015 — The gaps in what doctors know about obesity are startling — especially when you consider that obesity lies at the root of so many chronic diseases that doctors must manage every day. A new study published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice provides an objective view of where the knowledge gaps lie. Terry Ann Glauser […]