Archive for June, 2021

Science, Sentiment, and 38,368 Guideline Comments

June 18, 2021 — What happens when a careful consideration of science collides with strong sentiment in 38,368 dietary guideline comments? The short answer is public policy. Without a doubt, it’s messy. Simply wading through all those comments is a huge task. A new paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tries to make sense of them, using […]

Focusing on a Single Cog in the Vast Obesity Machine

June 17, 2021 — It is a vast machine that produces the excess of obesity afflicting public health. Yet over and over again, we see a very narrow vision for reversing it. It’s the high fat foods! No, it’s the sugar! Tax soda! Sugar, salt, and fat in ultra-processed foods make the problem! But following these rallying cries yields […]

Do Vegan Diets Produce Shorter Kids & Weaker Bones?

June 16, 2021 — Diets that exclude meat and fish (vegetarian) or all animal products including dairy and eggs (vegan) are becoming increasingly popular for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Past research in adults has linked vegetarian and vegan diets with a reduced risk of heart disease but a greater risk of fractures, caused by low calcium intakes. But […]

A Sneaky Artifact of Weight Bias That Should Fade Away

June 15, 2021 — Bias makes us human. It can even help us thrive by recognizing patterns in our lives. But of course, bias is sneaky, reinforcing patterns that keep people down for no good reason. So it is with weight bias – which some people believe causes more harm than obesity itself. One of the ways that weight […]

Sorting Out the Shell Game of Healthy Obesity

June 14, 2021 — The pursuit of healthy obesity is something of a holy quest or a shell game. The game goes on with some players insisting that obesity is not real. Picking through troves of data they find exceptions to the links between a high BMI and disease risks. “Ah ha! These subjects have no health issues, just […]

Words with Weight to Test Emotions

June 13, 2021 — Adiposity, chubbiness, corpulence, corpulency, embonpoint, fat, fatness, fattiness, fleshiness, grossness, plumpness, portliness, pudginess, pursiness, rotundity, weight. These are Merriam-Webster’s words for obesity. The words attached to weight evoke strong emotions. But they are mostly unpredictable. In fact, new research in Clinical Obesity tells us that people disagree widely in their feelings about weight-related words. However, […]

Losing Ground on Diabetes Control

June 12, 2021 — Would it be too strong to call this one of the biggest public health failures of the 21st century? We ask this about diabetes control because it appears to be out of control. After a decade of better control at the turn of the century, key markers of health in people living with diabetes have […]

“Life Is a Game of Turning Energy into Kids”

June 11, 2021 — One of the simplistic models of obesity relies on the notion of a balance between calories a person consumes in foods and drinks and those burned in physical activity. Some people even go so far as suggesting food labels should tell us how much we’ll have to exercise to burn off the calories in that […]

Have Declines in Heart Disease Deaths Ended?

June 10, 2021 — New data on deaths for 2020 from CDC present a stark picture. The rate of deaths due to heart disease rose by more than three percent in 2020. This has happened only one other time in the last 20 years. In 2015, the death rated rose by less than a percent. Even more dramatically, the […]

How Obesity Causes Some Cancers

June 9, 2021 — Obesity can cause cancers. But how does this work? And is obesity getting in the way of reducing deaths from cancer? New research sheds light on these questions. It points to the role of immune function in both diseases. It also offers clues for the path to better solutions. Myeloid Cells and Immune Function Much […]