Archive for April, 2016

Exactly What Do “Modifiable” and “Preventable” Mean?

April 30, 2016 — “Modifiable” and “preventable” are two words sprinkled freely in the scientific and policy literature on obesity. They can be subtly but profoundly misleading. A study recently published in JAMA Surgery analyzed the relationship between 25 “potentially modifiable” post-operative behaviors of bariatric surgery patients and weight outcomes three years after surgery. They found three behaviors that, depending […]

Exercise Strategies: Tortoise vs Hare

April 29, 2016 — Maybe slow and steady is not the only way to win the race for better fitness. A new, carefully randomized, controlled study in PLOS One finds that that one minute of intense physical activity in a ten-minute routine can do as much to improve your fitness as 50 minutes of more moderate exercise. Researchers from McMaster […]

Krispy Kreme Name to Be Struck from Children’s Clinic

April 28, 2016 — We should have known it wouldn’t last. The powers that be at UNC are apparently yielding to outside agitators who don’t understand the logic of putting Krispy Kreme into the name of their children’s specialty clinic. No more “Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Clinic.” In a UNC faculty meeting last week, the university announced that the new […]

Bernie Sanders: “Soda Tax Will Hurt Poor People”

April 27, 2016 — In the heated debate over soda taxes, traditional labels of conservative, liberal, progressive, and regressive just got a little more confusing. Bernie Sanders, the favorite of young, liberal voters is not backing down from saying that a Philly soda tax will hurt poor people and so he opposes it. In a Philadelphia town hall Monday […]

We Wish Childhood Obesity Were Declining

April 26, 2016 — Count us among the people who wish childhood obesity were declining. Unfortunately, the numbers are not cooperating. A new paper published today in Obesity by Asheley Skinner and colleagues presents a detailed analysis of childhood obesity trends in the latest NHANES analysis and finds “no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age […]

Social Status: Cause or Effect of Obesity?

April 25, 2016 — Could a rigged game of Monopoly give us insight into the complicated relationship between social status and obesity? Michelle Cardel and colleagues have published a new study in Physiology and Behavior that does precisely that. Mickey Stunkard first published landmark work on social factors and obesity more than 50 years ago. As Greg Pavella and colleagues […]

Give Me the All-Natural Fat, Sugar, and Salt

April 24, 2016 — Diet soda? No thanks. Slow-churned, low-fat ice cream? Give us the full-fat stuff. Bacon? Please. Himalayan pink sea salt? Sprinkle generously. More and more, American consumers are looking for all-natural fat, sugar, and salt in their foods. No more diet factory food for us. Edy’s Grand full fat ice cream is up 10%, while their […]

Two Strategies for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

April 23, 2016 — This is an exciting time for work on the challenge of reversing type 2 diabetes. Two new studies came at this problem from distinctly different directions and both of them delivered some tantalizing results. A small study (30 patients) of a very low calorie liquid diet (VLCD) for eight weeks showed that patients lost an […]

Time for a Brain Cleanse?

April 22, 2016 — The continuing appeal of juice cleanse and detox products is a mystery. Amazon lists 2,785 detox and cleanse products in this vibrant weight loss category. Yet no evidence for a meaningful health benefit from colon cleanse products exists. The human colon does not need cleansing. As a matter of fact, the microbiome that lives in the colon does […]

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

April 21, 2016 — Mistakes happen. Every scientific study has weaknesses. Research on obesity, nutrition, and physical activity is hardly exempt. Sometimes errors and flaws are only discovered after publication. Usually the errors are handled gracefully. An erratum is published and sometimes a paper is withdrawn. But even smart scientists are susceptible to the human impulse for self-justification. The impulse is aptly described by […]