Archive for April, 2016

A Scorecard for Food Labeling

April 20, 2016 — Is food labeling “a surprising failure” as Omri Ben-Shahar suggests in Forbes this week? Or is the truth of food labeling that “knowledge is power,” as Emma Axelrod suggests in the Brown Political Review? The strongest example of a failure for food labeling that Ben-Shahar cites is the case study of restaurant menu labeling. The […]

How Well Does Scolding Work?

April 19, 2016 — A new study in Appetite raises a question worth considering: how well does scolding work to improve eating habits and prevent obesity? The authors of this study observed how mothers express restrictive feeding behaviors: with negative or positive tone. They analyzed the characteristics of mothers and children that were associated with negative, positive, and total […]

Fast Food Cause and Effect

April 18, 2016 — Why is cause and effect such a tough concept for health reporters? The Washington Post screamed in a headline Friday about finding “an alarming new side effect from eating fast food.” The reported side effect is exposure to phthalates – chemicals used in plastics and suspected to be endocrine disruptors. The Post’s headline was wrong. […]

Portion Control: Pop Sensation or Real Solution?

April 17, 2016 — If you’re looking for a hot concept in weight management and food policy, portion control is a good pick. But what are the distinctions between misleading hype and real scientific outcomes. Few scientists have studied this question as thoroughly as Barbara Rolls. So it was a rare privilege at the WM DPG Symposium to have […]

Enough Kvetching about the Dietary Guidelines?

April 16, 2016 — Alice Lichtenstein has heard enough kvetching about the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That’s the clear impression from her excellent presentation at the annual symposium yesterday of  Weight Management DPG in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lichtenstein, who directs the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts, spent two years chairing the expert committee that reviewed the […]

Confusion and Progress in Obesity Care

April 15, 2016 — Ample confusion and progress can be found right now in the work of developing and delivering new medications for obesity care. Though we have some good options for treating obesity, we have a tremendous gap of unmet need between the extremes of behavioral therapy and surgical treatments for obesity. Though four new obesity meds have […]

Throwing More Saturated Fat into the Fire

April 14, 2016 — A randomized clinical trial that started more than 50 years ago is inflaming passions about the effects of saturated fats on health. Newly published in the BMJ this week, these data went unpublished for decades. The study, intended to test the hypothesis that replacing saturated fat in the diet with polyunsaturated linoleic acid, would lower cholesterol […]

Is Obesity Becoming an Economic Issue?

April 13, 2016 — It might be that U.S. business leaders are finally ready to take on obesity as a serious economic issue. At a workshop of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions at the National Academies in Washington Tuesday, diverse leaders from business, government, and even the banking system made the case that obesity is standing in the way of having […]

Less Pain and Better Function after Obesity Surgery

April 12, 2016 — The tremendous growth in understanding obesity as a metabolic disease makes it easy to lose track of the physical aspects of this chronic, debilitating disease — but not for the people who suffer from it. The fact is that severe obesity extracts a terrible toll of physical pain and impaired mobility. So it’s great to […]

Low-Fat Dairy: Zombie Guidance?

April 11, 2016 — We have come to wonder why the guidance to choose low-fat over whole dairy products is still standing. Two more studies gained considerable attention in the last week, saying that whole dairy products are linked with a lower risk of health issues than low-fat dairy products. Yet across-the-board guidance to choose low-fat dairy marches on […]