Archive for March, 2021

Vitamin D Helps with Respiratory Infections – But COVID?

March 31, 2021 — Public enthusiasm for vitamin D during the COVID pandemic has been impressive. An ardent fan base follows every twist and turn in this saga. Observational studies find lower risk in people who have higher vitamin D level. Then an RCT comes along to muddy the water by finding no benefit. Two new studies provide new […]

The Art and Science of Precision Medicine for Obesity

March 31, 2021 — Editors note: after this post appeared, significant questions arose about errors in the Acosta paper described below. We will offer more information when more is available. Precision medicine will transform healthcare. So say Francis Collins and Joshua Denny with a new commentary in Cell. It’s all about accounting for the individual in healthcare by accounting […]

Wild Variance in Views of Obesity and the Pandemic

March 30, 2021 — We all have great skill for seeing what we want to see in just about any situation. It flows from confirmation bias. Often, believing is seeing. Not the other way around. So the wild variance in views of obesity and the pandemic should not surprise us. Recent posts from Jane Brody and Anthony Warner serve […]

Bariatric Surgery and the Risk of Cancer

March 29, 2021 — Cancer is one of the risks of obesity that many people do not appreciate. Diabetes and heart disease have links to obesity that many people understand. But cancer as a complication of obesity has not made the charts. Nonetheless, obesity clearly raises the risks of 13 different kinds of cancer. A new study in Gastroenterology […]

Factoids and Links: Deceiving with the Truth

March 28, 2021 — Are we entering a new golden age for obscurantism? Truth seems elusive at times in public discourse. But the pursuit of it is receiving a great deal of attention. So we have social media enterprises exploring ways they can slow the spread of misinformation. In response, folks who persist in spreading it are becoming more […]

Obesity Screening in School: Can We Please Stop Now?

March 27, 2021 — In the new issue of Childhood Obesity, Sarah Armstrong and Ted Kyle tell us the time has come to stop screening for obesity in school. The reason is simple. This screening harms children, but offers them no benefit. Telling a child or the child’s parent they are fat doesn’t help. It does nothing for their […]

Better-for-You Bunk: False Advertising?

March 26, 2021 — In case you haven’t noticed, many entrepreneurs are ready to sell us bunk to enhance our health. Sometimes it comes in the form of alternative medicine, as Tim Caulfield so aptly describes. Very often, the better-for-you bunk comes in the form of ultra-processed foods with claims like GMO-free and all-natural – to help people rationalize […]

Vaccines, Doughnuts, and Pandemic Weight Gain

March 25, 2021 — After a year of this pandemic, the mashup of news can be jarring. Many people are focused on the vaccine as more and more people say they’re ready to step up and get their jab. For those who are reluctant, there are incentives. Wives and daughters are reportedly offering bribes and threats for certain reluctant […]

Semaglutide in JAMA Again: Maintaining a Benefit

March 24, 2021 — If you had any doubt about prior reports that semaglutide is likely to be a “game changer” for obesity care, perhaps you should look at JAMA today. Just one month after another paper in JAMA, semaglutide is back in the journal. This time, it is a 68-week study that shows the value of maintaining therapy […]

Facts and Feelings: COVID, Vaccines, and Vitamins

March 23, 2021 — Bias comes in many forms. People express bias when they hold to a partial perspective about a person, group, thing, or idea. With bias comes the refusal to consider different points of view. Feelings, not facts, drive our biases and we all have them. On the subject of  COVID-19, vaccines, and vitamins, this is especially […]