Archive for November, 2016

 Let’s Move Past Simplistic Happy Talk on Childhood Obesity

November 20, 2016 — Commenters are churning out lots of commentary about elitists and populists these days. We would prefer a turn toward realists. And for a dose of reality about childhood obesity, voices from Appalachia might be worth hearing.  Amidst a lot of happy talk about obesity rates dropping in toddlers, West Virginia’s Parkersburg News and Sentinel has some […]

Nudges Needed in Food Pantries

November 19, 2016 — The American holiday of Thanksgiving is coming up. So we have a moment to reflect upon how we distribute the bounty of food around us. Some families make a tradition of serving in a soup kitchen while others are celebrating a more private bounty. A pair of new studies, on food pantries and the nutrition they […]

Will Trump Bulldoze the White House Vegetable Garden?

November 18, 2016 — A certain amount of angst is bubbling up around the subject of food policy under President-elect Donald Trump. That angst crystallizes in speculation about the possibility that Trump would bulldoze the White House vegetable garden. But beyond that symbolic question, many nitty gritty policy details will tell the full story. Certainly, plowing under the vegetable […]

Plant Milks: Junk Food or Health Food?

November 17, 2016 — When is a processed, packaged food product thought to be a healthy choice? Hard to say, but you might look at plant milks for some insight. The category is booming. Global sales will grow at a stunning 13% annual rate through 2022, say industry analysts. Consumers opting for the health and sustainability image of a […]

Dancing Around Dairy Fat Health Effects

November 16, 2016 — Nutrition gurus seem deeply engaged in a delicate dance around the health effects of dairy fat. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides some insight. Researchers examined three large cohorts of U.S. adults. They found that “dairy fat intake was not significantly related to the risk of total cardiovascular disease.” But they […]

DNA, Destiny, Health, and Obesity

November 15, 2016 — Let’s face it. Americans don’t like the idea of accepting a preordained destiny. Nope, we’ll have none of that. We choose our own destiny here, thank you. So naturally, if the New England Journal of Medicine tells us that DNA is not destiny when it comes to our risk of heart attacks, we love it. […]

Liking, Craving, and Food Addiction

November 14, 2016 — Perhaps you’ve seen Ricky Ricardo bringing Lucy pickles and sardines to go with her milkshakes on that classic episode of I Love Lucy. That’s a memorable depiction of craving foods that you might not really like. A new study in Appetite tackles the subject in a slightly more scientific way. Sarah Polk and colleagues set out […]

Guarding the Floodgates Against Obesity Care

November 13, 2016 — Last week we met a brave physician guarding the floodgates of demand for obesity care. He told us: “If all the patients that need bariatric surgery demanded it, they would bankrupt our health system.” This is a jarring perspective from a primary care physician in leadership at a large, nonprofit health plan. He confirmed that they are quite […]

Will Big Soda Lead on Food Policy for Trump?

November 12, 2016 — Here’s a story for people who nurture dark fears about the food industry. Quartz reports that a veteran lobbyist for the American Beverage Association – “big soda” – will lead the transition team on food policy for President-elect Donald Trump. Michael K. Torrey is point man for Trump’s team at the USDA. Torrey collected more […]

Family Obesity Extends to Our Beloved Critters

November 11, 2016 — For two days in Atlanta, we are seeing a nearly perfect intersection between personal health, family health, and the health of our beloved critters in obesity. Two days of paired presentations – animal health and human health – are exploring the full spectrum of physiological, sociological, and psychological aspects of obesity. The parallels are stunning. Rates […]