NEWS

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

Diabetes, Obesity, and the Ambulance in the Valley

April 13, 2021 — In all of the work we do with nutrition, obesity, and metabolic health, nothing is more irritating than a false choice between prevention and treatment. More than a century old, the parable of The Ambulance Down in the Valley is a perfect expression of it. Shall we spend all of our money on an ambulance […]

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 […]

Who Is Still Afraid to Talk About Racism in Healthcare?

April 11, 2021 — By and large, people can deal with anything they can talk about. But if they can’t talk about it, they can’t deal with it. Talking through a problem is the first step to solving it. Until now, though, racism in healthcare has been a problem that no one wants to talk about. Writing in the […]

How Much Does Obesity Explain COVID Death Rates?

April 10, 2021 — When World Obesity Day rolled around this year, a popular and sensational factoid was that nine out of ten COVID deaths were in countries with high obesity rates. It served to grab attention, but we’re not big fans of the sensationalism in that factoid. Because obesity might be important, but it does not explain 90 […]

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 […]

An Odd Case Shows the Need to Register a Protocol

April 7, 2021 — As Alice discovered in Wonderland, it helps to have a plan. For clinical research it’s especially important to know where one is going with research. This is precisely why medical journals require that clinical researchers register a protocol for their studies before they start. If a study lacks that, a reputable journal will not publish […]

Grasping Synergistic Pandemics: COVID-19 and Obesity

April 6, 2021 — From the very early days COVID-19, we saw clues that two pandemics might be interacting – COVID-19 and obesity. But we are not fans of catastrophizing health health problems. So the question becomes, how can we come to terms with these synergistic pandemics? Can we do it in a way that brings us closer to […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]

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 […]