NEWS

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

Looking Back on Deaths of Despair and Disparities

July 15, 2021 — Stats are rolling in to put numbers on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year we’ve just survived (apologies to Judith Viorst). Those stats tell us just how bad things had gotten. Life expectancy dropped more than ever since the World Wars. Deaths from drug overdoses jumped by 30 percent. It was a year […]

Does Business Travel Bring More Obesity Risk?

July 14, 2021 — We’re traveling again. For business, for pleasure, or simply for sanity. People are getting out and around because getting the vaccine means it’s safe again. Confinement brought many people some extra weight. But a new study is telling us that more business travel means more risk of obesity. How can it be that this seems […]

Can Obesity, Hunger, and Weight Stigma Coexist?

July 13, 2021 — Weight stigma is a global problem. The World Obesity Federation gets high marks for launching a global working group to develop a common understanding of this problem across diverse cultures around the world. Whenever a person encounters stigma due to size and weight, their health and wellbeing diminishes. But context matters. In some cultures, thinness […]

Obesity, Fiber, and Microbes in the Gut

July 12, 2021 — Will freeze-dried poop pills play a role in the future treatment of obesity and related problems? It seems possible, but much work will go into providing a complete answer. New research in Nature Medicine offers tantalizing hints, though. In subjects with severe obesity, researchers tested the combination of fiber and a transplant of microbes in […]

The Food We Depend Upon for Life and Pleasure

July 11, 2021 — We depend upon food for both life and pleasure. But that dependence can go awry in many different ways. One way is captured by the popular concept of food addiction. Though it is controversial, some consensus holds that addictive eating behaviors are very real. People who are living with this problem will tell you just […]

How the Brain Responds to Bariatric Surgery

July 10, 2021 — Most people – even many healthcare professionals – simply don’t get it. Because the popular concept of bariatric surgery is that it prevents people from eating – just by altering your gut. But the reality is that it works very differently. Bariatric surgery changes the signaling between the brain and the gut in ways that […]

COVID Vaccines: More to Like, the More We Learn

July 9, 2021 — Familiarity can breed contempt or it can bring comfort. A new position statement about COVID-19 vaccines from the Obesity Society brings us comfort. In fact, the more we learn about these COVID vaccines, the more we like. They work well – even in people with obesity and other risk factors. What’s more, the effect on […]

A Tale of Two New Drugs and Health Insurance

July 8, 2021 — This is seriously messed up. Let’s consider the case of two innovative new drugs and how health insurance will cover them. Each of them treats a chronic disease that can devastate a person’s health and quality of life. But these are different diseases and very different drugs. One offers a breakthrough in effectiveness. In fact, […]

Casting the Net for a Colon Cancer Problem with SSBs

July 7, 2021 — The best thing to demonize is sugar-sweetened beverages, says Harvard’s Mary Bassett. She pointed this out at the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions last month. Thus, yet another paper from Harvard about yet another danger of drinking something sweet is no surprise. This time, it’s about a link between SSBs and colon cancer. In fact, to […]

Genetic Sequences to Protect from Obesity

July 6, 2021 — Cambridge Professor Sadaf Farooqi calls it a tour de force of genetics. Researchers from Regeneron and nine international research centers sequenced genetic exomes in 645,626 persons. With this painstaking research, they’ve found genetic sequences that protect some people from obesity. These sequences hard wire a person for leanness. In a world that prizes a lean […]