NEWS

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

Searching for Obesity Prevention Strategies That Work

November 20, 2018 — ObesityWeek brings together diverse perspectives – scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals. We heard from all of them last week. “Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes work,” the public health folks told us. “For their intended purpose. To reduce unhealthy beverage consumption.” That last bit provides the important fine print. Taxes on SSBs are spreading all over the world. […]

Health Plans Punishing Members for Weight Loss

November 19, 2018 — It’s an old problem. But it’s getting harder and harder to understand. When people lose a lot of excess weight and put obesity into remission, excess skin becomes a serious threat to health and well-being for many patients. However, health plans often tell patients, too bad. No matter what the medical need, the first response […]

What It Means When Scientists Say Results Are “Significant”

November 18, 2018 — Let’s face it, scientific papers aren’t exactly page turners. They are written by scientists, for scientists, and often in a language that seems to only vaguely resemble English. And perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of a scientific paper is the statistics (“stats”) section. But what do stats really mean in the real world? […]

Top 10: The Week That Was ObesityWeek 2018

November 17, 2018 — It’s all over, but the music is still playing. ObesityWeek 2018 came to a close and people dodged snow and plane delays to return home on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So we’ll leave you with a few arbitrary thoughts about some of the highlights. 1. Blackburn Symposium It was the latest installment in the seemingly endless […]

OW2018: Poverty, Stress, and Access to Obesity Care

November 16, 2018 — The last few days at ObesityWeek brought us some fascinating insights relating to poverty, stress, and access to obesity care. Presentations here remind us that obesity has a complex relationship with social status. Food security plays a role. Veterans live with a higher risk. And yet, access to effective care is nothing short of bizarre […]

Headlines vs Science on Obesity and Nutrition at OW2018

November 15, 2018 — It’s a recurring frustration. Science is a difficult process of stepwise efforts to uncover the truth. We never get it all at once. And then – especially when the subject is obesity and nutrition – a battle of headlines vs science emerges. Yesterday, this frustration was on vivid display in a packed lecture hall at ObesityWeek. On […]

In OW2018 Keynote, Steven Nissen Was All Heart

November 14, 2018 — On Tuesday in Nashville, Steven Nissen delivered the opening keynote lecture. From beginning to end, he told us, obesity is all about the heart. “Heart disease is how obesity kills most of our patients,” he said. “It is still the leading cause of death, and we’re going to have to tackle this.” Halting Progress Against Heart […]

Food Addiction: Science and Storytelling at OW2018

November 13, 2018 — Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Mark Twain understood this bit of wisdom. Thus we felt his influence at a session yesterday on food addiction at ObesityWeek 2018 in Nashville. Sandwiched between three scientists, we enjoyed an engaging presentation by a journalist with a good story to tell. It’s […]

Building a Broader Base for Surgery at OW2018

November 12, 2018 — Ever since the first bariatric surgeries emerged in the 1950s, the public has been skeptical. Bariatric surgeons found themselves in a box. Labels were a problem. Conceived as weight loss surgery, surgeons quickly figured out that it was doing more than causing people to lose weight. So they started calling it metabolic surgery, too. ASBS […]

View from the Top: The Heart of OW2018

November 11, 2018 — It’s here. From all over the world, roughly 5,000 surgeons, clinicians, scientists, and scholars are pouring into Nashville for OW2018. They’ll spend an entire week examining everything we know about obesity. ConscienHealth already served up a top 10 list. But even better than that, here’s a view from the the head of the class. TOS […]