NEWS

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

How Long Before Diet Resolutions Fade? A Bit of Data

January 12, 2021 — Isaac Bashevis Singer told us we must believe in free will – there is no other choice. Thus, many of us put a great deal of energy into resolutions at this time of year. Often, they involve an effort to eat more healthfully. Resolve fades. Though 77 percent of resolutions last for at least a […]

How Much Exercise to Prevent Weight Gain?

January 11, 2021 — In the relationship between exercise and weight, one article of faith has held up for years. Exercise is a valuable tool for preventing weight gain. Though you can’t outrun a bad diet, experts are quite clear that exercise helps to maintain a lower weight. However, a new randomized study in Obesity asks a key question. […]

Conflating Body Image and Health

January 10, 2021 — It never fails. In the UK, Cosmopolitan can stir up a controversy simply by suggesting that people of all sizes can have good health. A provocative cover story did the trick. Piers Morgan is happy to participate and stir the pot. But in the end, this is not a story about obesity. In fact, conflating […]

Will Home Fitness Surge Past the Pandemic?

January 9, 2021 — We seem to be living in boom times for home fitness – at least for the folks selling it. In 2019, people wondered if Peloton would be a flash in the pan. After a 2019 IPO at 29 dollars per share, its stock price dropped by more than 30 percent in early 2020. But that […]

Sidestepping Obesity in Women Having Children

January 8, 2021 — For decades now, we’ve been talking lots about preventing childhood obesity, but not doing much. Could it be that a shift is beginning? Two papers this week tell us this is possible. For too long, we’ve drawn an arbitrary line between obesity treatment and prevention. But the truth is that for women having children, the […]

What Distinguishes a Lie from Misinformation?

January 7, 2021 — This has become too common in recent years. We find ourselves parsing the difference between misinformation and a lie. We all have plenty of fresh examples. But the one on our mind comes to us from reporting by the Washington Post. Yesterday, Alexandra Ellerbeck reported that COVID-19 vaccines might be less effective for people with […]

The Problem and Promise of an Active Life

January 6, 2021 — When you’ve got something to sell and you know in your heart that it’s really great, you’ve got a problem. The temptation to oversell can be tough to resist. In health promotion, exercise is an obvious example. Over at the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds is a huge fan. She writes the Phys Ed series […]

Fighting About Dairy Foods: Nothing New

January 5, 2021 — Dairy farming is cruel! Milk is racist! Such fighting words about dairy foods are nothing new. Hot passions about milk weave through 10,000 years of human history. So why should issues about dairy in the brand new dietary guidelines surprise anyone? Clearly, strong feelings about the first food we all consume will follow us into […]

Resolution Season: Good, Bad, and Ugly

January 4, 2021 — Maybe you’ve noticed. Resolution season has a different tone this year. The assault from popular media has made a shift. In fact, many of the headlines are not about diets and weight loss this year. Instead, they’re about healthy habits and lasting changes. After all we’ve been through, people simply don’t have much appetite for […]

Is Convenient, Pleasing Food Addictive?

January 3, 2021 — Food addiction is a concept that sticks to the popular psyche. Yet it remains scientifically controversial. True believers will tell you that eating addictive food “lights up” parts of the brain involved in addiction. But then, just about anything that brings a person pleasure does that. So this is not an especially persuasive argument to […]