Archive for March, 2015

Weight Bias Stinks — Literally

March 22, 2015 — As fat shaming is increasingly being called out and rejected, explicit weight bias might become less common. That begs the question of implicit — unspoken — weight bias. Researchers from UCLA have just published a study with a novel way of measuring such bias. It turns out that weight bias stinks. The researchers asked people […]

Denial, Doubt, and Prevailing Bias

March 21, 2015 — Denial, doubt, and prevailing bias create a confusing stew of conflict in nutrition, obesity, tobacco, and environmental policy. The new documentary Merchants of Doubt gives that stew a good stir. The director of Food, Inc has woven together a compelling story about the business of sowing doubt in the service of corporations threatened by the intersection […]

Eat Righteously

March 20, 2015 — Should you be ashamed to have Kraft Singles in your refrigerator? To eat righteously, must all such processed foods be eliminated from your pantry and fridge? Headline writers and humorists this week seem to think so. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics finds itself in damage control mode after becoming the butt of jokes by […]

Obesity and Depression — Co-Conspirators

March 19, 2015 — A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND) points to obesity and depression as co-conspirators undermining the health of people in low-income neighborhoods characterized as food deserts. In a sample of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participants, Karen Flórez and colleagues examined the relationship between depression, dietary quality, and body mass index. […]

Meta Confusion about Glucomannan

March 18, 2015 — Maybe you’ve heard of glucomannan — a so-called “super fiber” that Dr. Oz hypes as “nature’s skinny sponge.” Maybe you read a systematic review and meta-analysis in Nutrition of the effect of glucomannan on body weight that concluded it “may help reduce body weight.” As it turns out, that analysis was wrong. The study was […]

Preventing Strokes with Folic Acid: An Elusive Truth

March 17, 2015 — Preventing strokes for just a penny a day is a pretty good deal. It took a very careful study design and execution to finally prove that folic acid could reduce the risk of strokes by 21% in people with hypertension. The study that did it was a randomized, controlled study of 0.8mg of folic acid […]

Logical Obesity Solutions with Illogical Effects

March 16, 2015 — The world abounds with logical obesity solutions that aren’t really solving anything. The time has come in he evolution of the obesity epidemic when just about everyone who is susceptible to the current conditions that foster obesity has developed it. So naturally, policymakers are claiming that whatever policy they’ve championed has stopped the growth of […]

Need a Fitness Tracker?

March 15, 2015 — The announcement of the Apple Watch this week is one more example of how options for tracking your own physical activity are exploding. Also growing is the amount of money you can spend on a fitness tracker. And it seems that your employer’s interest in tracking you is growing, too. Apple’s Watch is pegged to be […]

A Cure for Pervasive Bias

March 14, 2015 — We learned this week of yet another instance when pervasive bias distorted nutrition policy. In PLOS Medicine, Cristin Kearns and Stanton Glantz analyze documents from the 1960s that the sugar industry submitted to a committee formulating research priorities for the National Caries Program. They conclude that the industry successfully diverted the panel’s attention away from research into […]

Mom, Homework Is Making Me Fat

March 13, 2015 — A new study published in Obesity begs the question: does homework contribute to childhood obesity? In a cross-sectional cohort study, Isabelle Michaud and colleagues found significantly more symptoms of obesity in boys with a higher workload of homework combined with stress related to school. The authors comment that: Current findings are in line with previous studies […]