Archive for the ‘Food & Nutrition’ Category

Burgers Make a Lousy Icon for Food Systems

May 13, 2021 — Food systems are a key ingredient in the problem we face with obesity. But working toward healthier food systems is a challenge that goes well beyond the cartoonish ideas that surface in some public health campaigns. For example, marketing practices can be a vexing problem. Food security is a dimension of the problem that came […]

Magical Measures from BMJ to Prevent COVID-19

April 22, 2021 — Call us quaint. But we believe medical journals should publish research grounded in facts and evidence. Not speculation. Especially in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than three million people around the world. BMJ, though, has a different approach. This week the BMJ group has a paper promoting magical […]

Eat More Chocolate, Lose More Fat?

April 18, 2021 — Penn State earns an award this week for Most Fanciful Research Press Release. It was all about how chocolate might help with the health effects of excess fat. Of course, it was based on a study in mice. But the press release tells us that this research is relevant for humans because the dose used […]

USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Vitamin D Screening

April 14, 2021 — To prevent health problems across the population, what should we do? Answering that question is the job of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It’s been seven years since the USPSTF looked at screening for vitamin D levels. Since vitamin D has been a hot topic in the COVID-19 pandemic, a new update in JAMA […]

Are Whole Grains a No-Brainer for Dietary Health?

April 12, 2021 — So many things about dietary guidance foster seemingly endless arguments. Fights about meat, dairy, and saturated fats flare up over and over again. But whole grains seem like something of a safe zone. A recent study tells us they are more satisfying than refined grains. Observational research points to less risk for diabetes, cancer, and […]

Heartwarming Family Meals Prevent Obesity?

April 9, 2021 — Nostrums for overcoming obesity litter the landscape of health policy. “Obesity is preventable,” says the World Health Organization. We like the can-do spirit this reflects. Yet the how-to details are missing – or at least details with evidence to support them. Instead we have glittering generalities and beautiful metaphors. WHO recommends making healthy choices the […]

COVID-19: Increasing Child Obesity and Disparity

April 8, 2021 — Anecdotal reports have been coming for some time. As early as June, research reports told us COVID-19 was changing the patterns of life for children in ways that could make obesity worse. Then it was speculation. But now, the data is coming in and it really does not look good. A new report in Pediatrics […]

Preoccupied with Eating Chocolate Easter Eggs

April 4, 2021 — When chocolate Easter eggs first appeared in the 1870s from Fry’s and Cadbury’s, they were a bit of a luxury. That continued for about a century, but the emergence of mass merchandising contributed to explosive growth for the business of Easter chocolates in the latter half of the 20th century. For one day in many […]

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 […]

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 […]