Archive for April, 2015

Don’t Bother Me with Facts about Harm Reduction

April 20, 2015 — Does harm reduction cause a short circuit in the American psyche? Over time, many examples have brought this phenomenon into the spotlight. The latest example in the headlines is news about adolescent use of conventional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. A new study from CDC shows a large reduction in the use of conventional burning cigarettes […]

Kinda Healthy?

April 19, 2015 — It gets harder and harder every day to be sure what foods are kinda healthy. This week, the FDA smacked the makers of the KIND brand of snack bars for labeling some of their products as “healthy” and for putting a plus sign on their products to designate that they have some extra good stuff in […]

Reaching Beyond Bias and Presumptions

April 18, 2015 — The opening day of the 2015 Weight Management DPG Symposium found dietitians reaching beyond bias and presumptions about obesity. This meeting is a gem that brings together the top dietitians in the country who focus upon weight management, thanks to the hard work of the Weight Management Dietary Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and […]

EEOC Backs Off in Wellness Program Regs

April 17, 2015 — Yesterday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lifted the veil on long-awaited regulations regarding employer wellness programs. These regs back off on the EEOC’s earlier position that excessive penalties in wellness programs make them involuntary and thus a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC’s original position really ticked off employers who want to impose […]

What’s the Difference Physical Activity Makes?

April 16, 2015 — At the Institute of Medicine, some of the world’s top experts in human physiology just spent two days describing the difference physical activity makes in exquisite detail. In a word, for most people, that difference is good health. You can find plenty of academic debate about how and how much exercise contributes to weight outcomes in […]

Soda Taxes: Progressive or Regressive?

April 15, 2015 — Soda taxes offer a dilemma for progressive politicians. On one hand, as a social policy to relieve the impact of a disease that discriminates against poor and minority communities, it has an inherent appeal to people with a progressive social bent. On the other hand, some groups that are typically allies of progressive politicians — […]

Facing Facts

April 14, 2015 — Facing facts can be tough in heated policy debates. So tough, in fact, that a minor trend of shopping for facts to support your views is at work in different ways, polluting the scientific literature. This trend is not entirely new. Both zealous advocates for a cause and business interests have always been motivated to […]

Heresy: Breastfeeding Doesn’t Prevent Childhood Obesity?

April 13, 2015 — A review of breastfeeding’s effect on childhood obesity rates caused a bit of a stir this week because its authors uttered a heresy: The concept of promotion of breastfeeding as a front-line strategy for the primordial prevention of obesity is not supported by the literature. This conclusion is not news to anyone who has been carefully following […]

Three Insights for Obesity from HIV Stigma

April 12, 2015 — In the early days of the epidemic, HIV stigma was one of the key barriers to progress on every front against HIV. While stigma remains a challenge, much has been learned and in many ways it has been overcome. The same is not true about dealing obesity stigma. If anything, the stigma and bias that […]

Will Obesity Protect You from Alzheimer’s?

April 11, 2015 — The answer is no. You better not count on obesity to protect you from Alzheimer’s disease, regardless of what you might read in the newspaper. A study just published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology led the Washington Post to proclaim that ”being fat in middle age reduces risk of developing dementia.” Of course, this is not […]