Archive for February, 2020

Meat Sticks Rise from Junk Food to Foodie Food Health Food

February 22, 2020 — Food and health fashion never ceases to amaze. Remember Slim Jims? Those processed meat sticks, shelf-stable forever, that people used to buy out of desperation at a convenience store? Well, suddenly they’re trendy and you can even buy upscale, grass-fed versions. We never would have guessed that processed meat sticks could become health food. A […]

Study Versus Headlines at Breakfast

February 21, 2020 — Most often, when the media mangles science, the blame goes to the health reporter. Reporters either misinterpret the research or don’t think critically about how PR is spinning the results. But this week, we have an exceptional case of a top-tier journal publishing conclusions to a study that the data simply do not support. The […]

Milk: Love It, Hate It, or Whatever?

February 20, 2020 — Just in case you’ve grown tired of fighting about meat, Walter Willett and David Ludwig would like to have a word with you about milk. With a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, they tell us we don’t need so much of it: In our opinion, the current recommendation to greatly increase consumption […]

What Do Late Bedtimes for Toddlers Tell Us About Obesity?

February 19, 2020 — A new study this week in Pediatrics for the first time shows that children with late bedtimes have a higher risk of obesity. That association is even stronger if a child has parents with obesity. It’s not totally clear what this tells us – if anything – about cause and effect. But it’s reasonably clear […]

The Nonexistent Evidence for Herbal Weight Loss

February 18, 2020 — The strongest defense of a scammer often comes from the people who fall for the scam. For inexplicable reasons, people sometimes like sweet little lies and insist that liars are dispensing truth. So it is with herbal supplements for weight loss. People desperate for help in overcoming issues with obesity latch onto these scams. They […]

The Evolution of an Obesogenic Food Supply

February 17, 2020 — Why do we have so much obesity? One possible answer is evolution. By this, we don’t mean human evolution. Rather, we mean commercial evolution – of an obesogenic food supply. Many have suggested that the problem lies with addictive foods. Michael Moss tells a slick story about the evil food industry engineering hyperpalatable food that […]

Examining the Pollution in Our Fat

February 16, 2020 — It’s a disquieting thought. Pollution in our fat is a real, measurable thing. But that’s precisely why it deserves a closer look. Vicente Mustieles‍‍ and Juan Arrebola explain in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Fat tissue is an important endocrine organ. And it’s also the place in our bodies where endocrine disrupting chemicals […]

Soda Consumption Plunging in Chile! Really?

February 15, 2020 — This is a spin machine that any politician would be proud to own. Chile enacted a broad set of food system regulations in 2016 that many folks in public health simply love. The intent? Put an end to this obesity thing. This week, PLOS Medicine published a study of their effects and the fan club erupted […]

FDA Requests Lorcaserin Withdrawal, Scant Disclosure

February 14, 2020 — FDA yesterday requested that Eisai withdraw lorcaserin (Belviq®) from the market due to a small increase in cancer observed in a large cardiovascular safety study. Eisai disagreed with the request but complied with the request nonetheless. We have no data to help us understand what is going on. Is FDA over-reacting to a spurious observation? […]

Aerobics, Weights, and Weight

February 13, 2020 — Which is more important? Aerobics or weights? Which type of fitness activity might do more to help you maintain a healthy body weight? An important new study in Obesity this month confirms that this is a false choice. Aerobics, weights, and weight go together. The combination of both aerobic and strengthening exercise helps more with […]