Archive for September, 2015

Strong Evidence Links Chemical Exposure to Obesity

September 30, 2015 — You can be forgiven for believing that the global epidemic of obesity is simply a “preventable” problem caused by unhealthy behaviors of “dietary patterns and physical activity.” The World Health Organization, CDC, and innumerable other authorities have repeated this supposition enough so that it has assumed the status of a fact. Thus, the notion that chemical exposure […]

Mixing Sensation with Science in Dietary Guidelines

September 29, 2015 — As we’re coming down the home stretch toward finalizing 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the British Medical Journal is again mixing sensation with science by publishing a journalist’s analysis of the recommended guidelines. Unfortunately, it’s looking like BMJ followed neither scientific standards for peer review nor journalistic standards for error checking. The journalist who authored the […]

What a Word Like “Elephant” Reveals

September 28, 2015 — A good friend pointed us to a recent commentary that carries the title of “The Elephant in the (Class) Room: Campus Obesity.” The choice of words got our attention and lurking below the surface were a number of issues: weight bias, false assumptions about obesity, and problems with peer review are at the top of the list. The […]

The Persistent Mythology of Sweeteners

September 27, 2015 — The mythology of sweeteners seems impervious to facts. Once more, a systematic review of the available evidence — this one just published in the International Journal of Obesity — concludes that: The balance of evidence indicates that use of low energy sweeteners in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced energy intake and […]

Is a Place to Sit a Human Right?

September 26, 2015 — As airlines test the limits of how small and cramped they can make their seats, the question is hard to dodge. At what point are they simply denying access to public transportation for people who don’t fit? Two organizations — Travelers United and FlyersRights — are waging a campaign to define a place to sit as a […]

Christie Issues a Reprimand for Obesity

September 25, 2015 — The awkward news of the week has to be Governor Chris Christie issuing a reprimand for obesity to the man he appointed to lead the New Jersey National Guard. Christie has declined to discuss the matter, but his spokesman told the Washington Post that Christie has given Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff 90 days […]

Relating Obesity to Brain Health

September 24, 2015 — Is obesity a neurologic or a metabolic disease? Truthfully it’s a condition that defies tidy definitions, perhaps because it comes in many different forms. But in the past few weeks, we’ve been treated to a stream of new studies that relate obesity to brain health. A new study in Molecular Psychiatry found a significant risk […]

Obesity Innovation: Not for People Who Need It

September 23, 2015 — Over the past five years, the pace of obesity innovation has noticeably quickened. But health plans are clearly not keeping up in providing access to evidence-based care for obesity. In a new commentary published by the American Journal of Managed Care, Ted Kyle and Fatima Cody Stanford point to a growing gap: Responding to the […]

Our Children Are Watching

September 22, 2015 — A surprising bit of truth popped out at a Washington, DC, area high school late last week. At Northern High School in Calvert County, MD, a student summed up a lot of unspoken health policy regarding obesity with a poster he or she displayed in the school’s health club. It was up for about five […]

Good Results in Small Packages

September 21, 2015 — Small packages can yield big results for changing food consumption. That’s the word from a new, exhaustive evidence review published by the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration. Researchers led by Gareth Hollands analyzed 72 studies over the last 35 years and found that smaller portions, packages, and tableware consistently lead people to consume less food and drink. […]