NEWS

Follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health policy and obesity

Obesity, Opioids, and Smoking in Rural White America

July 23, 2019 — The trend is unmistakable now. Life expectancy in the U.S. is stalling. A new analysis in Population and Development Review brings a fresh perspective to this troubling trend. The foundations lie in rural white America and the fuels for these trends are obesity, opioids, and smoking. Poor Prospects for Rural, Non-Hispanic Whites Irma Elo and […]

Packing Snacks: Serving Size and Variety

July 22, 2019 — If you look online or in stores, it’s hard to miss. Popular culture holds up the 100-calorie snack pack as some kind of panacea. For example, Amazon has shopping lists for 100-calorie snacks. Healthy eating websites offer advice for “super healthy” snacks under 100 calories. Snack food marketers are onboard, too. They brag about  promoting […]

Fruits and Veggies, Talk and Reality

July 21, 2019 — What if we could snap our fingers and have everyone start eating all the fruits and veggies that the World Health Organization recommends? We would simply run out. Demand would outstrip supply by anywhere from 90 to 128 percent. Production capacity is too low. Food waste is too high. So there’s a big gap between […]

Is Awareness of Excess Weight a Problem?

July 20, 2019 — Are we all sufficiently aware of our weight? Many answers might come to mind for such a broad question. Health professionals offer honest accounts of patients with severe obesity and no idea that it might have an effect on their health. Patients tell of health professionals who suggest all their symptoms are due to obesity […]

New Evidence for Restricting Calories, But . . .

July 19, 2019 — Cutting as few as 300 calories from the daily diet might offer significant health benefits –  even for people with a BMI in the normal or only mildly overweight range. That’s the primary finding of a new 2-year RCT in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. Is this groundbreaking research? Or, is restricting calories an impractical option […]

More Teens Trying to Lose Weight, Mostly DIY

July 18, 2019 — The number of U.S. adults actively trying to lose weight peaked in 2004 at 62 percent. Ever since, that number’s been dropping. In 2018, according to Gallup, it was down to 54 percent. But the trend for teens is headed in the opposite direction. In 2010, between 16 and 19 years of age, 24 percent […]

Hype About Keto Diets? Say It Ain’t So!

July 17, 2019 — Please don’t tell the keto cult. They’ll be all over us with compelling anecdotes. But it seems that we may be nearing the peak of ketogenic diet hype. Writing in JAMA Internal Medicine this week, Shivam Joshi,  Robert Ostfeld, and Michelle McMacken tell us: Although the ketogenic diet has garnered much attention for the dietary […]

Let Me Explain Weight Stigma

July 16, 2019 — Two weeks ago, Cancer Research UK blanketed the United Kingdom with billboards to proclaim that having obesity is like smoking. We and more than 12,000 petitioners have voiced strong concern that this misguided campaign will serve only to promote weight stigma, not health. Because CRUK has thus far not granted that promoting stigma might be […]

Separating Self-Stigma from Self-Care

July 15, 2019 — New research from Rebecca Pearl and colleagues on self-stigma raises important questions for self-care. In obesity, self-care is the most common approach. “I ought to be able to do this myself” is a common thought we hear. WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has many millions of members. Diet, exercise, and weight loss books top the charts […]

Will “Functional Food” Replace Candy Bars?

July 14, 2019 — Who needs candy bars anymore? Boomers are too old for them. Millennials and Gen Z are woke to the poison that is sugar. So “functional” snacks are a thing. No wonder the folks who make M&Ms, Snickers, and Twix are buying into a functional food business called Foodspring. They’re ready to sell you yummy protein […]