Archive for July, 2015

Do Fat Cartoon Characters Make Kids Eat More?

July 31, 2015 — An intriguing new study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology raises the possibility that fat cartoon characters might lead kids to eat more junk food. With a hook like that, it was only a matter of time before health journalists picked up this work and translated it for public consumption. After all, the popular cartoon […]

Food Marketing: Needs, Wants, and Demands

July 30, 2015 — The very core competence of any marketer is to understand the needs, wants, and demands of its consumers. Nutritious food is a basic human need for survival. Consumers may also want the pleasure that junk foods provide them, but that pleasure not a fundamental need. It is simply a desire waiting to be tapped. Skilled marketers understand consumer […]

FDA Approves 6-Month Dual Balloon for Obesity

July 29, 2015 — Late yesterday, FDA approved the first of two gastric balloon devices under review to treat obesity. The ReShape dual balloon is the first new treatment for obesity to be approved for explicitly short-term use — it must be removed after six months or less. On the plus side, it would appear to fill a significant gap […]

A Case Study in Access to Obesity Care

July 28, 2015 — Ever wonder why people who are seeking evidence-based care for obesity cite access to care as a key concern? Consider this case study in access to obesity care. A patient with with a strong family history of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke was first prescribed orlistat twelve years ago. Even after seeking pre-authorization, coverage was denied, […]

Are Americans Eating Less? Why?

July 27, 2015 — The New York Times told us on Sunday that “Americans are finally eating less.”  Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University explains this headline by saying, “I think people are hearing the message, and diet is slowly improving.” As  you might guess, the picture is not quite so clear and the reasons are not so simple. The […]

Is Obesity a Disease? 3 Answers

July 26, 2015 — It’s been two years since the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that obesity a disease that merits medical attention. What has been the impact on thinking? The answer depends upon where you look and who you ask. It’s fairly clear that the general public hasn’t shifted to viewing obesity primarily as a medical problem. ConscienHealth and […]

Obesity Solved: Toss Out the Soybean Oil

July 25, 2015 — Remember when fructose was the villain behind obesity? Then you’re from the old school. Today’s villain is soybean oil. “Soybean oil causes more obesity than coconut oil and fructose.” That word comes straight from UC Riverside — with a little help from PLOS ONE, a university press release, Medical Xpress, and plenty of other media […]

KevinMD Suggests “You Feel Sorry for Doctors Treating Obesity”

July 24, 2015 — Update: Within three hours of this publication, KevinMD removed the offensive video and claimed “success” in sparking conversation. Sheesh! Thanks to all who spoke up and especially the Obesity Action Coalition. Kevin Pho promotes himself as “social media’s leading physician voice” and his website,, is recognized as a thoughtful source for perspective from intelligent, front-line […]

A Scalable Family Strategy for Childhood Obesity

July 23, 2015 — In the midst of a preoccupation with telling parents that their children have a weight problem, it’s refreshing to hear from people offering a scalable family strategy for actually helping with overweight and obesity in children. Even better, these folks have published a study providing real evidence from a randomized, controlled experiment to show that it can […]

Lacking in Obesity: Qualitative or Quality Research?

July 22, 2015 — With a new editorial published in Nutrition & Diabetes, Arnaldo Perez and Geoff Ball make an excellent point about a missed opportunity for qualitative research to “encourage more inclusive discussions about obesity as well as provide academic venues for publishing and disseminating research of greater epistemological breadth and relevance.” But perhaps without intending to do so, they are raising […]