Archive for the ‘Food Industry’ Category

“Fake” Sugar, Speculation, and Health Reporting

March 9, 2023 — Reporting on supposed dangers of “fake” sugar is a self-replicating genre that seemingly never fades. The Washington Post this week published a prime example, telling readers: “The food industry says sugar substitutes help people manage their weight and reduce intake of added sugars. But studies suggest that fake sugars can also have unexpected effects on […]

OCW2023: The End of Obesity? Not Exactly

March 3, 2023 — An interesting collision of stories is playing out in the media today. It comes at the end of Obesity Care Week and on the eve of World Obesity Day. On one hand, the Economist proclaims that “new drugs could spell an end to the world’s obesity epidemic.” On the other, hand the World Obesity Federation […]

OCW2023: Preventing Obesity Care

March 1, 2023 — “The only way to reverse our obesity epidemic is by preventing obesity in the first place.” This perfect expression of a perfectly unreal approach to obesity appears in The Hill today. Optimism about obesity treatment is “not warranted,” write Anthony Biglan and Diana Fishbein. Instead, businesses must stop selling us food “with an irresistible taste.” […]

Too Much Food That Tastes Too Good?

February 26, 2023 — Quietly and systematically, Tera Fazzino has been working with colleagues to define a concept of hyper-palatable foods that might explain the apparent effect of ultra-processed foods on body composition and thus, obesity. The latest chapter in this quest appeared recently in Nature Food. In short, a narrative is taking shape that we may have a […]

An Impossible Quest: Objectively Healthy Food

February 22, 2023 — Has the FDA bitten off more than it can chew? Two presidents ago, back in 2016, the FDA told us the agency had begun work to “redefine the term ‘healthy’” for food labels. Good luck with that is a fair summary of our reaction at the time. Seven years later, the quest to define objectively […]

Chocolate Is Medicine?

February 14, 2023 — It’s official. Food Is Medicine can now take chocolate under its wings. It only took five years, but the FDA has rendered regulatory judgment to officially permit the following claim for the health benefits of chocolate: “Cocoa flavanols in high flavanol cocoa powder may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, although FDA has concluded that […]

Are Healthy Choices Possible Without Healthy Systems?

February 12, 2023 — Strategies for obesity prevention are in the midst of a great shift in emphasis – from healthy choices to healthy systems. For decades now, public health efforts, in one way or another, have had their roots in promoting better choices. It started with efforts to educate the public to eat in more healthful ways and […]

Food Ultra-Processed, Formulated, and Marketed

February 4, 2023 — In the realm of food, boogeymen come and go. But right now, the bad actor with staying power in global diets seems to be ultra-processed, industrially formulated, and hyper-marketed foods. What’s not to hate about them? There’s plenty of observational data, and even some good experimental data to make us suspicious. It gives us good […]

Reductive Assumptions About Fatty Acids

January 30, 2023 — Are we reaching a point where the reductive assumptions embedded in dietary recommendations are more confusing than helpful? A new paper in Scientific Reports begs this question. Yutang Wang and colleagues find evidence that polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with a small reduction in cardiovascular mortality in the general population of the U.S., but not […]

Proving a Point Again on Soda Taxes

January 28, 2023 — When curiosity fades, research ceases to be science and becomes an exercise in advocacy. That advocacy might be for a commercial interest or it might be for a presumably good cause. But in either case, it’s not sound scientific research with the aim of finding the true answer to a clear question. It is a […]