Archive for May, 2016

Obesity: Personal, Community, and Corporate Responsibility

May 31, 2016 — Corporate responsibility in the matter of public health policy and obesity prevention has aroused considerable controversy for some time now. In a 2012 paper, Kelly Brownell warned of the “quicksand of appeasing the food industry.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, David Freedman wrote a 2013 cover story for The Atlantic describing “how junk […]

New Understanding of Obesity as a Systemic Disease

May 30, 2016 — While many people are still stuck on BMI and body size, basic research is building a deeper understanding of obesity as a systemic disease. At the European Society of Human Genetics last week, Taru Tukiainen presented another piece of the puzzle derived from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project. Tukiainen and colleagues studied the relationship between BMI […]

Plus-Size Bodies “Undesirable” on Facebook

May 29, 2016 — Facebook recently walked right into a controversy it didn’t need when it rejected an ad that featured an image of plus-size model Tess Holliday, calling the image a violation of its “health and fitness policy.” Holliday is a plus-size model and body positivity advocate. Facebook’s censors weren’t quite ready for the storm that followed. They […]

Rising Calls for Metabolic Surgery in Type 2 Diabetes

May 28, 2016 — A new international consensus publication this week on metabolic surgery calls for its consideration, even in people with mild obesity who have type 2 diabetes. The guidelines, published this week in Diabetes Care are regarded by many as historic. They have already been endorsed by the Obesity Society, the American Diabetes Association, and 43 other […]

The Harms Neglected by Childhood Obesity Campaigns

May 27, 2016 — Childhood obesity campaigns largely ignore the 4.5 million children in America who are already living with severe childhood obesity. A new study in Child Development provides a vivid understanding of how severe obesity shapes the social and emotional lives of these children by the time they enter sixth grade. While children with milder excess weight […]

New Evidence for Portion Control in Obesity Care

May 26, 2016 — A new study published today in Obesity provides good evidence that portion control can be a very simple and effective way to improve outcomes for weight management. Cheryl Rock and colleagues conducted a randomized, controlled trial of common portion-controlled, prepackaged entrées (in this study, Lean Cuisine) to enhance a typical weight management program. Everyone in the study received […]

Nutrition Policy Food Fight in the UK

May 25, 2016 — A nutrition policy food fight is bubbling over in the UK, precipitated by a report from two UK charities: the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Health Collaboration. The report advances a rather simple recommendation: “Eat fat, cut the carbs, and avoid snacking to reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.” In case that miracle cure does not […]

Explaining Cherry-Picked Childhood Obesity Statistics

May 24, 2016 — A new analysis in Pediatrics puts forward a mighty attempt to explain some cherry-picked childhood obesity statistics. Yet the analysis shows that changes in risk factors for obesity, like eating behaviors and physical activity, cannot explain a supposed drop in early childhood obesity. Beginning with a report in 2014, the folks who are working to reduce childhood […]

The Alkaline Diet: Real Science or Just Sciency?

May 23, 2016 — The alkaline diet certainly sounds sciency. And the Washington Post says it’s a “celebrity diet trend that actually has some science behind it.” On the other hand, the claims for this diet plan are pretty broad. They include cleansing the body of toxins, resetting pH balance, increased energy, healthier bones, chronic disease prevention, and weight loss. Nutrition professor […]

True Believers in Food Addiction

May 22, 2016 — The popular notion that obesity is caused by some sort of food addiction has a surprising number of true believers. Scientists can’t keep up with public enthusiasm for the concept. Though close to 75% of the public believes that food addiction causes obesity, scientists are having a hard time coming up with a definition of food addiction […]