Archive for August, 2015

Fat Letters Aren’t Helping

August 12, 2015 — One of the murky mysteries of obesity policies is exactly why anyone ever thought it would be helpful to send fat letters home from school to parents. Now we have two studies that find no benefit to students for BMI screening and notification at school. The first, published by Kristine Madsen in 2011, found no […]

Name Calling in the New York Times

August 11, 2015 — The number one most emailed story from the New York Times this weekend is one that fell just short of name calling against three different scientists. The narrative behind this story is that funding for research and dialog about the health effects of physical activity is a key ploy by Coca Cola to persuade people […]

Can We Have a Little Middle Ground on Nutrition?

August 10, 2015 — Middle ground on nutrition is hard to find. Disciples of various nutritional dogmas make it scarce. There’s no scarcity of nutrition causes for people to argue and two of them are in the news this week: breastfeeding and the Paleo Diet®. National Breastfeeding Week is just behind us and hopefully the phenomenon of shaming mothers who are unsuccessful will […]

Halfway There in Developing Obesity Care?

August 9, 2015 — Progress in developing obesity care options is very encouraging, and at the same time frustrating. Friday, Novo Nordisk reported on early results from introducing Saxenda — the fourth new obesity treatment in as many years — into the U.S. Uptake is encouraging, with prescriptions that are growing steadily at a volume comparable to other recent introductions. For […]

Reason to Rethink Obesity Awareness Campaigns

August 8, 2015 — An intriguing new study of the relationship between obesity awareness and subsequent weight gain has stirred up important questions and a few stupid headlines. Eric Robinson and colleagues studied self-perception of overweight as a risk factor for subsequent weight gain or loss. Since many public health campaigns aim to raise awareness about obesity, it’s well […]

A Distracting Debate About Taxing Sugar

August 7, 2015 — After two decades of fighting obesity, policymakers are still guessing about what will work. The polarized debate about taxing sugar provides a vivid example in the BMJ this week. A debate continues because evidence about the real world effects of such a tax is inadequate. But for people with obesity, such debates are, at best, a […]

Another Balloon Crosses the Finish Line – Orbera Approved

August 6, 2015 — Late yesterday, FDA approved the Orbera gastric balloon as a short-term treatment for obesity. This makes two FDA approvals for medical devices to treat obesity – booth gastric balloons – in one week. Counting the Maestro VBLOC system approved in January, we now have three devices approved this year after more than a decade passing […]

Spinning Out of Control

August 6, 2015 — Is scientific spin spinning out of control? Shall we blame reporters, journal editors, university press officers, researchers, or an old favorite, industry? The most recent case in point emanates from the New England Journal of Medicine. That venerable publication assiduously cultivates an image of stodgy, conservative, academic credibility. But they also have a YouTube channel to prove […]

A Hard Look at Quality of Life

August 5, 2015 — Finding an objective view of quality of life for adolescents who choose to have bariatric surgery is not easy. So it’s worth taking a look at a new publication in Obesity that examines this very subject in 88 adolescents followed for two years after gastric bypass surgery. These were kids who had severe obesity (average […]

Obesity Economics: 4 Insights

August 4, 2015 — Tucked away in the July issue of PharmacoEconomics is a treasure trove of insights into obesity economics. Some of the world’s top experts on economics and obesity have contributed 13 papers that provide a remarkably complete resource on the subject and support four key insights. A Big Burden. With a third of the world’s population […]