Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

Are Organized Sports Enough for Childhood Fitness?

February 16, 2019 — As the prevalence of obesity has grown, so has our fixation on programmed physical activity. If you’ve got the money and the time, odds are your kids are participating in youth sports. But are organized sports enough to ensure childhood fitness? A Study in Homeschooled Youth A new study of homeschooled youth suggests that organized […]

What Presidential Checkups Tell Us About Self-Reports

February 13, 2019 — Our president just had his annual medical exam and that ritual is providing us an important reminder. Self-reports – especially about obesity, nutrition, and physical activity – are not very reliable. That’s because most people misremember or shade the truth. We’re all lighter, taller, eating healthier, and more active when we do the reporting ourselves. A Long […]

Real Evidence for Caution About Ultra-Processed Food

February 12, 2019 — Will ultra-processed food kill you? Probably not, but two new studies provide some real evidence for caution about this dietary boogeyman. First, a large observational study in France finds a 14 percent higher risk of death in a people who eat more of the stuff. And then, an RCT from NIH shows that ultra-processed foods […]

Obesity and the Food Supply: Assumptions vs Facts

February 11, 2019 — If there’s one assumption about what’s causing the global pandemic of obesity that is nearly universal, it’s the food supply. Some people describe it cautiously. Others not so much. For instance, the recent Lancet Commission report was pretty blunt. “Ultra-processed foods are a key driving force in the global obesity pandemic,” says the Commission. A Simple […]

What’s the Relationship Between Climate and Obesity?

February 6, 2019 — Last week, the Lancet Commission on obesity offered us a pretty bleak view of the future. The current approach to obesity prevention is failing. Food and fuel industries are dooming us to a future that is overweight, underwater, and malnourished. But what do the data say? Ruopeng An and Shen Zhang provide a systematic review […]

A Moonshot for Reversing Diabetes Trends

February 4, 2019 — Three years ago, 45 global organizations endorsed guidelines recommending metabolic surgery to reverse type 2 diabetes. At about the same time the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a big expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program with great fanfare. But today, very few of the patients who could benefit from either of these options […]

Access to Care Is Dropping – Here’s Why

February 3, 2019 — We like to be optimistic. In many, many ways, things are getting better for dealing with obesity. Science is giving us a much better understanding of the physiology of this disease. AMA and medical organizations all over the world recognize it a chronic disease, not evidence of some sort of character flaw. And treatment options […]

Nicotine, Obesity, and Moral Panic

January 31, 2019 — A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine is stirring up a complex mixture of feelings with some objective data about vaping. The study shows that e-cigarettes are 83 percent more effective than nicotine replacement products for helping people quit smoking. In the U.K., the reaction is positive. In the U.S., the reaction is […]

A Huge, Impossible Problem with Enemies All Around

January 28, 2019 — Bummer. The Lancet Obesity Commission report is out today and if you thought that obesity might be a tough problem to solve, you really have no clue. It’s bigger than you ever thought. It’s not just an epidemic. Not even calling it a pandemic is big enough. It’s a syndemic. A huge, impossible problem. It’s […]

Dietary Harmony in Canada – Naturally

January 24, 2019 — In the U.S., we’re gearing up for a big political fight over dietary guidelines. But in Canada, they’ve got new guidelines and the story is very different. Dietary harmony best describes the reaction to Canada’s new Food Guide. Canada has an enduring reputation for extreme politeness, so we’re not surprised. An Alternative to Food Fights […]