Archive for June, 2015

The Diabetes Industrial Complex

June 10, 2015 — An objective look at the global burden of disease might lead you to conclude that the diabetes industrial complex is destined to dominate public health worldwide. It’s a bit of a good news, bad news story. Around the world, infectious diseases are being controlled, they are claiming fewer lives, and thus people are living longer. But as […]

Adequate Evidence for Dietary Guidelines

June 9, 2015 — Today, as the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans is moving toward completion, the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has published a fundamental debate about adequate evidence for dietary guidelines and nutrition research. In a review of the data on American dietary behavior, Edward Archer, Gregory Pavela, and Carl J. Lavie conclude that it is “pseudoscientific and inadmissible in scientific […]

Should You Buy into an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

June 8, 2015 — One of the hot concepts in the pseudo-science world of pop dietary advice is the anti-inflammatory diet. At, you can find more than 300 books related to anti-inflammatory diets. Interestingly, many of these books tie this concept to another trendy concept — clean eating. But unlike “clean eating,” the anti-inflammatory diet starts with a scrap […]

Do You Need a Smarter Desk?

June 7, 2015 — A smarter desk can be yours today for just three or four thousand dollars! It goes up and down and gets to know you. It has bluetooth, WiFi, tidy storage for all your cords, and a really nifty touchscreen. Who knew that your desk could be a high tech imaginary friend and wellness coach? But […]

Obesity Care: Fad, Niche, or Sleeper?

June 6, 2015 — It’s a bumpy ride right now for people who are trying to make a business of providing obesity care. This really applies to all segments — consumer weight management, medical obesity care, pharmaceuticals, surgery — but the most visible evidence of bumpiness is playing out in the pharmaceutical segment of obesity care. On one hand, […]

Billions for Magical Wellness

June 5, 2015 — Want a lucrative gig? Tap into any one of a dizzying array of segments of the magical wellness industry. It’s stunning when you start adding up all the dollars flowing through the U.S. economy from people who are chasing the magic of wellness. Abby Ellin does a fine job of explaining this in the New […]

Is Boredom Fueling Obesity?

June 4, 2015 — Boredom can certainly be a factor in eating, but is it a significant factor in obesity? Clinicians will tell you that mindless eating when bored is something they frequently see in people with obesity. But in fact, boredom’s role in obesity has received relatively little attention in research. Experts in the subject tell us that the potential for boredom […]

Peer Review: Stressed or Broken?

June 3, 2015 — Lapses in peer review, scientific integrity, and reporting on scientific studies have been getting extraordinary attention lately. Is this a sign of rigorous attention to an important matter or a sign of a system that isn’t working quite right? Two incidents have garnered particular attention. First was the recent retraction of research on changing attitudes […]

What’s the New Smoking?

June 2, 2015 — People seem desperate to find something that they can call “the new smoking.” The head of England’s National Health System made headlines yesterday by saying: The new smoking is obesity. One in five cancer deaths is now caused by obesity. I do think we’re going to need reformulation to take sugar out of foods, in the […]

Problem Solution Perception Gap

June 1, 2015 — A classic form of persuasive communication is problem solution advertising. Countless consumer brands built their fortunes by laying out a problem — for example body odor — and offering up a brand — like Lifebuoy deodorant soap — as the solution. It’s simple and relevant communication that solves a problem by selling a solution. Unfortunately, too much public health communication […]