Archive for October, 2016

Blowing Off Steam Will Give You a Heart Attack?

October 12, 2016 — Here’s a clue for reading health news. When you see “linked,” “associated,” or “increased risk,” your antennae should go up. The report you’re reading might be science fiction. Case in point: sloppy reports about an observational study of self-reported emotions recalled after a heart attack. Circulation published the study yesterday. In this study, people who […]

Today Is World Obesity Day.
Does Anyone Care About Finding a Cure?

October 11, 2016 — On this World Obesity Day, the World Obesity Federation is calling for government action to end childhood obesity. The call to action is threefold: Governments need to strengthen their leadership to prevent, manage, and treat childhood obesity with national childhood obesity strategies. Local services need to take action to prevent childhood obesity. Health services must […]

Can We Please Stop Medicalizing Chocolate?

October 10, 2016 — Medicalizing chocolate really isn’t necessary. It’s a simple, harmless, and pleasurable treat. Even a small bit of it is enough to bring a smile. In fact, a new study published in Appetite demonstrates that very fact. Researchers from Gettysburg College conducted a randomized, controlled trial of eating chocolate (the comparison was crackers) and found: Chocolate […]

Fleeing the Golden Arches for What?

October 9, 2016 — Healthy-ish food at fast casual restaurants like Panera and Chipotle has been capturing consumers who began turning away from the Golden Arches in the 1990s. Better, presumably healthier food has been the alluring promise. But Danielle Schoffman and colleagues have nicely documented that this promise might be false. Their study in the latest issue of the […]

Sowing Anxiety and Confusion about Food

October 8, 2016 — “Sandwiches are wrecking your diet.” “The sugar you can’t resist is killing you sweetly.” These headlines from consumer media represent an anxious theme easily found in reports about nutrition research. Writing in Appetite, Antonia Dodds and Kerry Chamberlain analyze messaging to consumers about food and conclude that at least some nutrition advice may be sowing […]

War and Peace with the Food Industry

October 7, 2016 — Depending upon what you read this week, First Lady Michelle has either rolled over for the food industry or brilliantly changed the industry’s direction. In our polarized world, the same facts fit neatly into two stories that go in opposite directions. Michael Pollan – famous for suggesting that we “eat food” – serves up a lengthy accounting […]

LED Streetlights: An Improvement or a Health Hazard?

October 6, 2016 — St. Cloud, Minnesota, is investing seven million dollars to improve their streetlights. The city is installing those bright, snazzy, new LED lights. Public Services Director Pat Shea says that most of the feedback is positive: The LED lights are more durable, have a longer life and use 40 percent to 60 percent less electricity than their […]

Healthy Labels, Healthy Food Sales, Healthy People?

October 5, 2016 — FDA wants to know what it means to call a food product “healthy.” They have a definition that dates back to 1992. Based on that definition, fat-free, high carb foods counted as healthy. Foods with beneficial fats, like avocados and almonds, didn’t meet the definition. FDA Director Nutrition and Food Labeling Douglas Balentine knows that change […]

Three Kinds of Health Advice for Wishful Thinkers

October 4, 2016 — Wishful thinking is pretty easy to find when the subject is fitness, nutrition, health, and obesity. Another label for it might be magical thinking. Unfortunately, health writers promote wishful thinking far too often. Here are three notorious forms of it: Exercise for Weight Loss. The myth that working out is a great way to lose weight is […]

Stress Can Thwart a Healthful Diet

October 3, 2016 — A casual reading of consumer health advice provides a mountain of tips about “stress-busting” diets., for instance, offers up “12 superfoods for stress relief.” But a new study suggests that we might have this concept reversed. In a randomized controlled trial, investigators observed that stressors might blunt the benefits of a healthful meal. The researchers randomized their subjects between […]