Archive for September, 2016

This Is Why They’re Called Fitness Trackers

September 21, 2016 — A new randomized, controlled study published yesterday in JAMA found that fitness trackers added to a 24-month weight loss program did not help with weight loss. In fact, adding them actually resulted in less weight loss. People in the control arm with a standard weight loss program lost an average of 13 pounds after 24 months. […]

Confounded by Big Data and the Obesity Paradox

September 20, 2016 — We live in an age of big data. That big data brings the possibility of big new insights in nutrition, obesity, and health. It also brings the possibility of big mistakes as people try to translate associations they find into cause and effect relationships. Especially with big data sets, the possibility of confounding errors looms large. Confounding […]

The Elusive Price for Obesity

September 19, 2016 — Conversations about obesity almost inevitably come around to its costliness. Look for references on obesity costs and you’ll get a million results. But despite so much attention to economic analysis, putting a price on the diagnosis of obesity turns out to be quite a messy task. Even the relatively simpler matter of estimating direct medical costs […]

Obesity Score 3-2 for the Affordable Care Act

September 18, 2016 — Speaking at the 13th Annual Bariatric Summit in Nashville yesterday, Ted Kyle tallied a score of three pluses and two minuses for people living with obesity under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. On the plus side of the ledger, Kyle identified three key gains: More People Have Insurance. For the first time in recent history, […]

Surveillance without Caring for Obesity

September 17, 2016 — Surveillance for obesity keeps popping up in the news this week. Caring for obesity? Not so much. The starting point was a study and commentary in Pediatrics that identified a potential problem with guidelines for universal BMI screening for childhood obesity. The problem is that once children are screened and labeled with the diagnosis of obesity, […]

Slip, Skip, Lapse, and Relapse

September 16, 2016 — Every now and then, conventional wisdom turns out to be more than legend. A new study in the Obesity journal confirms a bit of wisdom about how a little slip in dietary plans can undermine long-term weight management goals. In an elegant analysis, Molly Tanenbaum, Kathryn Ross, and Rena Wing confirmed that people really do tend to skip […]

Fear of Industry Shaping Food Policy

September 15, 2016 — Having an enemy to fear is a great tool for moving people into action. It can help them put aside all that pesky critical thinking, which gets in the way when you know what you want. And so it is that fears of the food industry shape many food policy debates. It used to be that […]

Does Routine Childhood BMI Screening Help or Hurt?

September 14, 2016 — A new study in Pediatrics raises a critical question. Do the current guidelines for routine childhood BMI screening and counseling help more than they hurt? Leslie Sim and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of BMI screening and counseling in pediatric primary care. Their analysis of ten randomized  controlled trials and two quasi-experiments found little effect on BMI […]

Big Fat Sugar Science Arouses Passions

September 13, 2016 — Nothing in nutrition arouses so much passion right now as concerns about sugar science. The runner up would likely be dietary fat. Put them together – as JAMA Internal Medicine did yesterday – and you have fuel for some really juicy headlines. William Randolph Hearst would be pleased. Researchers from the University of California at […]

Prioritizing Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Care

September 12, 2016 — As the epidemic of type 2 diabetes has grown in parallel with unprecedented rates of obesity, physicians have long prioritized controlling blood glucose over helping a patient manage his weight. Type 2 diabetes care typically takes priority over obesity care in a primary care setting. In some ways, this has been a perfectly rational choice for […]