Archive for January, 2017

Can We Stop Faking the Answers to Obesity?

January 21, 2017 — Let’s get something straight. We do not know the answers to obesity. This observation is neither bad nor good. It’s simply true. U.S. News offers a harsh assessment of progress against obesity during the Obama administration: Obesity increased overall despite an administration that made addressing it a priority. Progress against obesity has been limited, and rates […]

The Evidence for Caring in Healthcare

January 20, 2017 — Is your doctor spending more time with your electronic medical record than he’s spending with you? If so, you’re not alone. But you’re also probably not receiving the most effective care possible. A growing body of evidence suggests that genuine empathetic caring may be essential for good health outcomes. Empathetic caring is especially scarce for […]

Health Guidance in an Age of Low Public Trust

January 19, 2017 — Perhaps you’ve noticed that public trust has evaporated this year. Recently, Edelman reported that trust in government, business, nonprofits, and the media dropped across the board and around the world in 2016. In nearly two decades of tracking public trust, Edelman has never before seen such a broad and dramatic drop. A vigorous discussion about the […]

Sometimes Food Choices Are Not Really a Choice

January 18, 2017 — Popular nutrition advice often holds that careful, healthy food choices pave the ideal path to good health. But sometimes, food choices are not entirely a matter of choice. Consider the case of people with ARFID – avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. This diagnosis is relatively new. Before the publication of DSM-5 in 2013, these people might just be labeled […]

Avoiding Gluten Remains a Popular Pursuit

January 17, 2017 — Gluten-free everything was on a hot streak in 2014. But if you thought it was the flavor of the month, sure to fade, you were wrong. New research in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds that more than three million Americans are avoiding gluten without a specific medical diagnosis that requires it. Ten years ago, says […]

Orange Juice: Sugary Hazard or Healthful Beverage?

January 16, 2017 — Remember when “breakfast without orange juice was like a day without sunshine”? The Nutrition Source at Harvard, consistent with many public health nutrition experts, presents a different view these days. It classifies fruit juice alongside alcoholic beverages as something to be consumed sparingly. Whole milk gets the same treatment, by the way. Consumer Reports tells us that “fruit […]

Big Sugar Nutritionists

January 15, 2017 — Gary Taubes has a new book to sell. So he needs an enemy. Big sugar is the big enemy in his book, The Case Against Sugar. But in this polarized age, we need fresh enemies to hate all the time. And in today’s edition of the New York Times, he makes the case that we should […]

Forget Paleo, Here’s a Genuinely Ancient Diet

January 14, 2017 — Has the Paleo Diet lost its luster? Are you looking for a new ancient diet to seize upon? Then ponder the ancient wisdom of Roger Bacon, Doctor Mirabilis of thirteenth-century England. Bacon was a Franciscan friar and natural philosopher who advocated for empirical study of natural phenomena. In his Opus Majus (vol 2, p 625) he […]

No, Childhood Obesity Is Not Plateauing

January 13, 2017 — People opine every day about childhood obesity. Some of the words inform and some inflame. But most disturbing is constant flow of wishful reports that childhood obesity is plateauing. In December, headlines flowed with “good news” about “fewer chubby babies.” The cause was a study published in Pediatrics that, according to its authors, “cannot be considered representative […]

The Perception Gap in Obesity Care

January 12, 2017 — When does a benefit not feel like a benefit? In the case of obesity care, that feeling comes with the perception that it’s just out of reach. Even though insurance coverage for obesity care is improving, a significant gap remains. And part of the problem is a perception gap. A new study published in Obesity […]