Archive for June, 2015

Three Sources of Obesity Confusion

June 20, 2015 — Delivering the 2015 Blackburn Lecture in obesity medicine Friday, David Allison presented an engaging description of three sources for obesity confusion in the application of evidence to policymaking. While describing considerable advancement in the evidence base for obesity, Allison pointed to persistent myths and presumptions that get in the way of making policies that reflect […]

How Did We Get All This Obesity?

June 19, 2015 — One of the most common questions about obesity is: how did we get all this obesity? And the answer is seldom satisfying because it’s so complicated and so much remains unknown. Yesterday at the 2015 Blackburn Obesity Course in Boston, Lee Kaplan defied that generalization and presented a compelling distillation of what is known about […]

Sacrificing Privacy in the Name of Wellness

June 18, 2015 — Are new rules for corporate wellness programs sacrificing privacy in the name of wellness? A growing number of advocates for people living with chronic diseases are raising this concern about a proposal from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The proposed rules would relax requirements intended to protect employees from being compelled to disclose sensitive health […]

Finally Banned: Trans Fats

June 17, 2015 — FDA issued its final ruling Tuesday to effectively ban trans fats from the U.S. food supply. With people fighting tooth and nail about dietary fat recommendations, it’s remarkable that there’s not even a whimper of protest about this ruling. Businesses will have three years to comply. Everyone saw it coming and the evidence on health problems […]

Consumer Pressure on Big Food Brands

June 16, 2015 — Big food brands have a problem. Consumers increasingly don’t trust them. Consider this description of the situation: Most of our food supply comes from factory farms, is dependent on GMOs and chemicals, and is not sustainably grown or raised. This observation comes not from radical food policy activists, but rather from the Kashi division of […]

Miracle Nuts

June 15, 2015 — We’ve been treated this week to a remarkable assortment of headlines proclaiming that just half a handful of nuts can save us all from an early death. Nut marketers rejoice! This joyous news comes from an observational study in the International Journal of Epidemiology that neglects to discuss the limitations of this study’s observational design […]

Who Knows Why Obesity Doubled?

June 14, 2015 — Speculation abounds alongside some (unsubstantiated) convictions about why obesity doubled over the last few decades. So it’s refreshing to read an objective analysis from a new perspective on the subject. In Review of the Economics of the Household, Charles Baum and Shin-Yi Chou take on the question in a methodical, quantitative way, as economists are wont to […]

Half-Baked Advice for Mothers

June 13, 2015 — A certain amount of half-baked advice for mothers is being offered in the name of preventing childhood obesity. Two recent publications bring two examples into sharp focus: breastfeeding and Caesarean births. In JAMA Pediatrics this week, Lisa Smithers and colleagues reviewed evidence for an effect of breastfeeding on obesity and intelligence. She notes claims for […]

Shelf Marketing, Food Waste, and Obesity

June 12, 2015 — Shelf marketing is core competency for anyone who makes a career of selling food. It also has a potential relationship to food waste, food purchasing, and obesity that is largely overlooked or misunderstood. A recent study in PLOS ONE hints at a scientific basis for this relationship. Charlotte Hardman and colleagues describe a series experiments they conducted to […]

Are Mothers Key to Preventing Obesity?

June 11, 2015 — Research presented this week at the Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association adds to the growing understanding that mothers may be key to preventing obesity in children. As this knowledge becomes increasingly solid, a major re-thinking of efforts to prevent childhood obesity will be inevitable. Kristen Boyle and colleagues from the University of Colorado found […]