Archive for December, 2015

Will Food Marketing Poison the Well?

December 21, 2015 — Consumers are bombarded with food marketing that puts lots of tasty (some would say addictive) food at their fingertips. And increasingly, that marketing relies on claims that the food is healthy to prompt people to eat it. But our research suggests that consumers have become confused and cynical about these claims. As the word cloud above […]

The Shiny Distraction of Childhood Obesity

December 20, 2015 — Let’s face it. For policymakers, obesity is a fraught issue. The problems run deep culturally and scientifically, while the understanding of obesity is quite shallow. One solution is to focus on childhood obesity in isolation, with an ambition to prevent it. Former New York City health commissioner Thomas Farley points out in the New York […]

Does Gene Therapy for Obesity Offer a Possible Cure?

December 19, 2015 — New research is pointing to the possibility that gene therapy might eventually offer a cure for people with some forms of obesity. Publishing their research in Cell Reports, Akinori Takahashi and colleagues have found that by manipulating two genes in mice — Cnot7 and Tob — they could make mice burn more of their fat stores […]

Is Low-Fat Yogurt a Healthy Choice?

December 18, 2015 — Low-fat yogurt has a healthy halo that is seemingly cast in stone. But if you look closely every now and then, you’ll see a crack in that halo. One such crack showed up this week with a prospective study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. Researchers followed 4,545 individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease and […]

Apostasy in the International Journal of Yoga

December 17, 2015 — It would be hard to find something more trendy right now than yoga. There are more flavors than you can count: doga yoga, cat yoga, laughter yoga, and the list goes on. Check into a boutique hotel and you’ll find a yoga mat in the room. It seems to offer important health benefits. For the scientifically inclined, you can […]

No, Plus Size Models Are Not Driving Obesity Trends

December 16, 2015 — Clickbait from a marketing study — should we be surprised? A study of the initial consumer responses to advertising that features plus size models has morphed this week into an assertion that plus size models “may be partly to blame for rising obesity rates.” A press release that suggested a non-existent link to obesity rates helped health […]

Is the Paleo Diet Taking Jeb Down?

December 15, 2015 — Interest in the Paleo Diet and interest in Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign have been fading on parallel paths. Paleo was the hot ticket in 2012, peaked in 2013, and has been fading since. Bush announced early this year that Paleo is his secret to success for losing more than 40 pounds on the campaign trail. His poll […]

Five Dimensions of Obesity in America

December 14, 2015 — With so much health reporting about obesity that’s superficial, thoughtful reporting on the subject is worth noting. Last week, WBUR spent the entire week reporting on five dimensions of obesity in America. Despite significant gaps, the information they present is worth hearing. Click on each of the five links below to listen for yourself. The Threat to Public […]

Chasing After Healthy Food Claims

December 13, 2015 — Back in April, the FDA smacked Kind Bars for making healthy food claims for some of their snack bars that didn’t meet FDA guidelines. Now Kind LLC is smacking back by questioning the guidelines in a citizen’s petition. And they’ve recruited some interesting help in making their case. Kind has recruited Walter Willett, David Katz, and a host of […]

Obesity Like Terrorism?

December 12, 2015 — The British press is full of headlines this week about the annual report of the Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom on the health of women. Dame Sally Davies says: Tackling obesity in the whole population is an accepted public health priority. However, I advocate recognising obesity at the level of a “national risk.” What exactly does this […]