NEWS

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

The O-Word Versus the W-Word

August 13, 2019 — The o-word has long been a problem. “Obesity” is a medical term that is more than just off-putting. It’s a stigmatizing diagnosis. Even worse is labeling people as “obese.” That’s not OK. Most people with obesity will tell you that they might have some excess weight, but obesity has nothing to do with them. Thus […]

Is a Global Decline in Deaths from Heart Disease Ending?

August 12, 2019 — A new trend, anticipated by many, seems to be gaining momentum. For decades, deaths due to heart disease have declined in wealthy countries. But now, that decline is slowing. In fact, it’s going in the opposite direction now for several countries – including the U.S. These observations come from a new study in the International […]

A Reason to Put Down the Phone When You Eat

August 11, 2019 — Maybe the screen can wait. A pair of recent studies tell us that distracted eating might lead people to consume more calories at a meal. Plus, there’s no evidence that people compensate with fewer calories at the next meal. So that extra food could add up over time. Thus it might be smart to put […]

Velveeta etc. Isn’t Worth What It Used to Be

August 10, 2019 — Velveeta ain’t what it used to be. That’s because consumers now don’t want ultra-processed food. Thus, 474 million dollars just disappeared from the balance sheet of Kraft Heinz. It’s all about the fading, intangible goodwill value of processed food brands. Serious Financial Pressure for “Big Food” Food marketing is all about building goodwill for brands […]

Promise for a New Targeted Obesity Therapy Soon

August 9, 2019 — New data from Rhythm Pharmaceuticals this week tells us that a new, highly targeted obesity therapy may become available soon. The data come from two phase 3 studies of setmelanotide in rare cases genetic obesity. With these positive results in hand, Rhythm expects to file for FDA approval in late 2019 or early 2020. Thus, […]

Hate and Prejudice Do Not Go Quietly

August 8, 2019 — People do not like it when deep prejudices come under challenge. Folks in the UK are processing some despicable hate speech from a public figure, Michael Buerk. He casts the death of people with obesity as a good thing for saving money in the NHS. But a brief discussion on Good Morning Britain perfectly illustrates […]

Moving Beyond Weight Bias Into Vile Hate

August 7, 2019 — We’ve known for a while that weight bias is especially strong in the UK. But with a viewpoint in Radio Times, Michael Buerk is breaking new ground. He has moved beyond simple weight bias into vile hate. Let people with obesity die to save the state money, he says. “They’re weak, not ill.” Bubbling Ignorance […]

Promoting a Sugar Detox Cleansing Ritual

August 6, 2019 — Brush your teeth, wash your hands, take a shower. These are all good, healthy ways to clean up. Dietary cleansing and detox rituals? Not so much. So it’s surprising to see the Washington Post making itself a platform to promote a pseudoscience sugar detox cleansing ritual. Does It Work? n=1 The clickbait headline promises to […]

Jogging Beats Genes for Obesity? Not Exactly

August 5, 2019 — Facts are stubborn. So, too, is an entrenched bias. The bias that obesity is a simple matter of choice runs especially deep. Thus it creeps into headlines and even scientific journals. A new study in PLOS Genetics provides a vivid case in point. Unwarranted causal language in a paper flows through to a press release. […]

Acceptance and Commitment at YWM2019

August 4, 2019 — The closing day of YWM2019 began and ended with acceptance and commitment. First, Jason Lillis presented a brilliant session on using our own values to empower healthy changes. Then, at the end, attendees told their own true stories of acceptance and commitment to live their best lives. It was a perfect pair of bookends for […]