Archive for December, 2015

Being Different in Diabetes and Obesity

December 11, 2015 — Being different can be uncomfortable and, sometimes, rewarding. A new review in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds only small differences between a rising crop of new, once-weekly drugs for diabetes called GLP-1 agonists. The investigators found a lot of similarities between the outcomes with these drugs, along with some differences in side effects, body weight, […]

Gluten-Free: Hot and Bogus

December 10, 2015 — How can it be that Americans are simultaneously growing more enamored with gluten-free foods and more skeptical about them? As contradictory as that sounds, it describes the state of consumer perceptions about this hot, sketchy category. Between 2013 and 2015, the category has grown by 136%, now generating $11.6 billion in sales. Gluten-free foods account for 6.5% […]

Food Policy Does Not Equal Obesity Policy

December 9, 2015 — “As policymakers have denied the intricate nature of obesity, strategies to address obesity have largely relied upon food policy.” Writing in the international Jounal of Obesity, Fatima Cody Stanford and Ted Kyle point out that food policy, by itself, cannot be relied upon to reduce the considerable impact of obesity on the health of Americans. […]

Leap of Faith: Legal Marijuana Will Cut Obesity Rates

December 8, 2015 — Look for a link, turn it into a policy, and obesity is on its way to being solved. It might not be foolproof, but it’s been tried. The current supposition is that the link seen in self-reported data for marijuana use, legalization, and lower BMI can be translated into a policy for reducing obesity. If […]

Mississippi Changing Course on Obesity

December 7, 2015 — With the news that Mississippi will start paying for bariatric surgery in its Medicaid program, it seems that a shift in thinking about obesity may be taking hold there. The state’s Medicaid director, David Dzielak, recently explained, “We are pursuing all clinical options to reduce the co-morbidities associated with obesity.” He wrote in the public notice of this […]

Obesity Makes Your Sperm Weird?

December 6, 2015 — “Weird” new research published in Cell Metabolism adds to the evidence suggesting that men can pass obesity on to their children through epigenetic markers in their sperm — meaning that without changing their genetic code, obesity can change the way that genes are expressed and transmitted to their children. The research demonstrated that sperm from […]

Another Setback for Zafgen’s Obesity Drug

December 5, 2015 — This week brought another dose of bad news for everyone with an interest in Zafgen’s obesity drug, beloranib. A second patient taking the drug in a study of its use for treating Prader-Willi syndrome has died from a blood clot. Zafgen CEO Thomas Hughes said: Our thoughts are with the patient and their family at […]

Obesity Back on Top Among Health Concerns

December 4, 2015 — Remember Ebola? That was so 2014. But with that problem solved, Americans are turning their attention back to obesity, which is again at the top of the list of the most urgent health concerns for adults in the U.S. This insight comes to us courtesy of the Gallup Organization, which has been polling the public about their […]

Happy News Bias on Diabetes Rates

December 3, 2015 — Yahoo Health provides a perfect example of happy news bias in a headline this week: “The Diabetes Rate Is Actually Declining, Says the CDC.” The problem is that the CDC didn’t say it and it isn’t true. Other reports were not as blatantly wrong as Yahoo Health, but they left the same false impression. The truth is that […]

Lasting Harms from Obesity in Youth

December 2, 2015 — If you want a reason to pay attention to severe obesity in youth, look no further than the study just published in JACC Clinical Electrophysiology. Researchers led by Stephanie Chiuve found that the risk of sudden cardiac death is doubled for women who have a BMI above 30 when they are 18 and this risk remains elevated […]