NEWS

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

The Mythical Race Between Diet and Exercise

December 3, 2022 — You can’t outrun a bad diet. It’s a clever turn of phrase that resonates. But like many things that resonate about diet, exercise, and obesity, it might be a little too clever. In a very gentle way, David Allison, Dennis Bier, and Julie Locher point this out in a brief commentary appearing this week in […]

Sprinting in the Marathon of Obesity Treatment

December 2, 2022 — It doesn’t take a genius to understand the futility of sprinting in a marathon. But it does seem to take some knowledge and insight to differentiate between the sprint of short-term weight loss and the marathon of obesity treatment. Right now that distinction matters because of a short supply of drugs that are medically necessary […]

Discomfort with a Human Story of Severe Obesity

December 1, 2022 — The Whale is premiering next week in theaters everywhere, after a New York premiere this week and a tour of film festivals that has many people suggesting Brendan Fraser will win an Oscar for his performance in the film. But why should we care? In a word, this film is already prompting discomfort with a […]

Killing People Who Are Physically Active

November 30, 2022 — Some of the questions we encounter here come with a lot of ambiguity, but this is not one of them. The U.S. is killing more people who are physically active – pedestrians and cyclists – than any other wealthy country. Clearly, this is not good. Without a doubt, this gives the U.S. a failing grade […]

Ineffective Obesity Policies Anchored to Stigma

November 29, 2022 — Stigma serves as an anchor to policy for reducing obesity in Mexico and it renders those policies ineffective. That’s the view James René Jolin, Lauren Kim, Verónica Vázquez-Velázquez, and Fatima Cody Stanford eloquently present in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology this week. They write: “Recalibrating the prevailing approach to obesity is essential to counteract the stigma […]

The Social Dimension of Physical Activity

November 28, 2022 — How important is the social dimension of physical activity? Recent modeling research published in PLOS One suggests that it’s critical. Ensela Mema and colleagues developed a mathematical model to estimate both social and non-social influences on physical activity across the population. They found that social influences were critical for maintaining physical activity or reducing sedentary […]

Desired Behavior versus Health Improvement

November 27, 2022 — A new systematic review prompts us to wonder once again, what is the point of public health interventions targeting obesity? Is it to nudge people toward desired behavior or is it health improvement? Sandrine Lioret and colleagues recently published a systematic review of efforts to improve behaviors or prevent obesity in children during their first […]

Amazing Hype for a Vegan Diet Study

November 26, 2022 — Step right up and hear all about an amazing vegan diet study. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) churned out quite a PR masterpiece of hype recently. They randomized 244 people to either go on a diet or not. The diet was a ad libitum vegan diet and people cut 355 calories from their […]

Can We Afford Optimism About Treating Obesity?

November 25, 2022 — “Can’t never could.” This old bit of Southern American wisdom aptly describes one of the startling reactions to impressive progress in obesity treatment – “we can’t do this. It will cost too much.” This reaction has been part of the landscape of obesity care for some time, so it should not be startling. But when […]

New Research on Feast, Thanks, and Retail

November 24, 2022 — Much research goes into understanding how our environment prompts relentlessly rising problems with obesity – with good reason. Much of that research focuses on the substance of the food itself. The characteristics of ultra-processed food is a favorite topic right now. So we find delight in recent research that focuses instead on the broader context […]