Archive for September, 2016

The Fat Shaming Wisecrack that Just Won’t Fade

September 30, 2016 — Here we are at the end of the week that started with the most-watched presidential debate of all time, and people are still talking about a fat shaming wisecrack from Donald Trump. When Trump mentioned a hacker “sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” Monday night, it seemed like an afterthought. But now, people […]

Profiles in Advocacy Courage

September 29, 2016 — When a small group of international advocates for people living with obesity  gathered in Copenhagen this week, we noted a huge gap. In HIV, cancer, and diabetes, for example, patients are at the center of policymaking. In obesity, we are often shunned or ignored. It takes courage to advocate in this realm. Support for change […]

Fitness Trackers Work – For Fitness

September 28, 2016 — Last week, JAMA published a randomized, controlled study that showed fitness trackers don’t help people lose weight. This week, Obesity published a systematic review and meta-analysis of how well fitness trackers work for their intended purpose – promoting fitness activities. Surprise, surprise: adding a fitness monitor to fitness programs seems to yield more physical activity. Herman […]

Hope for Understanding Obesity?

September 27, 2016 — Getting discouraged about deep public misunderstanding of obesity is way too easy. So waking up to two thoughtful reports in top tier news media – the New York Times and The New Yorker – was a pleasant surprise yesterday. Good reporting can lead to better understanding obesity. First, Gina Kolata wrote a lengthy article in the Times […]

Gratuitous Fat Shaming

September 27, 2016 — We really don’t need this. In Monday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump threw up a little fat shaming, just for the heck of it, in the midst of a conversation about cyber security: She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. But I don’t—maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It […]

Obesity Health Risks: Up, Down, or Sideways?

September 26, 2016 — Speculation has been bubbling for years now about trends in the health risks associated with obesity. Maybe, according to this speculation, the risk of death and other bad outcomes from obesity are going down as obesity and its complications are becoming more common. Maybe better medical care is reducing those health risks. In a very smart […]

A Moral Code Against Obesity Care?

September 25, 2016 — Why is it so difficult for a person with obesity to find evidence-based care from a knowledgeable physician? For insight, read the moral code for obesity care presented by Gordon Schiff in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Schiff advises for exclusive reliance on prescriptions of diet and exercise. He recommends […]

Magical Thinking about Diet and Exercise

September 24, 2016 — Another study – this one published in Diabetes – tells us that air pollution might contribute to insulin resistance and ultimately to diabetes. It addresses a genuinely interesting subject for scientific inquiry. But it doesn’t tell us that a healthy diet and exercise is the antidote for the harms that air pollution might cause. Nevertheless, the New York […]

Weight Discrimination, Even Without Excess Weight

September 23, 2016 — Weight-based discrimination at work is a familiar problem for people living with obesity. But new research suggests that the problem might even affect people who don’t have obesity. Dennis Nickson and colleagues found weight-based discrimination against women even with BMI in a range considered to be healthy. In fact, they found that a woman with BMI of […]

In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data

September 22, 2016 — Don’t trust research funded by industry. Two publications advocated for that idea in JAMA Internal Medicine last week. Advancing a more objective view, Andrew Brown wrote yesterday in Slate that bias comes into nutrition research from many sources: Nutrition is uniquely suited to more personal attachments. After all, everyone eats. And then, as with any other […]