NEWS

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

What Presidential Checkups Tell Us About Self-Reports

February 13, 2019 — Our president just had his annual medical exam and that ritual is providing us an important reminder. Self-reports – especially about obesity, nutrition, and physical activity – are not very reliable. That’s because most people misremember or shade the truth. We’re all lighter, taller, eating healthier, and more active when we do the reporting ourselves. A Long […]

Real Evidence for Caution About Ultra-Processed Food

February 12, 2019 — Will ultra-processed food kill you? Probably not, but two new studies provide some real evidence for caution about this dietary boogeyman. First, a large observational study in France finds a 14 percent higher risk of death in a people who eat more of the stuff. And then, an RCT from NIH shows that ultra-processed foods […]

Obesity and the Food Supply: Assumptions vs Facts

February 11, 2019 — If there’s one assumption about what’s causing the global pandemic of obesity that is nearly universal, it’s the food supply. Some people describe it cautiously. Others not so much. For instance, the recent Lancet Commission report was pretty blunt. “Ultra-processed foods are a key driving force in the global obesity pandemic,” says the Commission. A Simple […]

Forgetting to Randomize a Randomized Study

February 10, 2019 — Sometimes things are not what they seem. That’s a problem when something slips into scientific literature that’s not exactly true. We offer a prime example today. Here we have two papers where an RCT – a randomized controlled study – is not properly randomized. Apparently, the investigators, reviewers, and editors for these papers weren’t too fussy about […]

Pet Therapy 101: How You and Your Pet Can Heal Each Other

February 9, 2019 — Pets not only make great companions, but they can also help you recover after suffering from physical and mental afflictions. Here are just some of the benefits having an animal buddy can offer while you’re healing. Better Mental Health Having an animal companion helps you become mentally healthier. Pets are capable of lowering loneliness, stress, and anxiety […]

Feasting on the Mythical Magic of Breakfast

February 8, 2019 — Give us our porridge bowl of steel cut oats. It may be “key to living longer,” the BBC tells us. WebMD reports “an abundance of data” to show a link between skipping breakfast and excess weight. But there’s one teensie problem with that assertion – it simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Better Weight Outcomes from […]

Another Reason GLP-1 Is Important for Obesity Care

February 7, 2019 — Why does bariatric surgery have such a profound effect on diabetes? It’s more than you might expect simply from the effects on weight. A large portion of patients with diabetes and obesity have remissions after surgery. Even before they lose much weight. New research in Cell Reports this week points to GLP-1 secretion as a […]

What’s the Relationship Between Climate and Obesity?

February 6, 2019 — Last week, the Lancet Commission on obesity offered us a pretty bleak view of the future. The current approach to obesity prevention is failing. Food and fuel industries are dooming us to a future that is overweight, underwater, and malnourished. But what do the data say? Ruopeng An and Shen Zhang provide a systematic review […]

Obesity-Related Cancer Rising in Millennials

February 5, 2019 — Most often, when public health reports discuss the impact of rising obesity, the focus is on diabetes and its complications. Cancer does not spring to mind. But a new report in Lancet Public Health provides a disturbing jolt. Six obesity related cancers are rising, especially in the millennial generation. These are cancers that have always […]

A Moonshot for Reversing Diabetes Trends

February 4, 2019 — Three years ago, 45 global organizations endorsed guidelines recommending metabolic surgery to reverse type 2 diabetes. At about the same time the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a big expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program with great fanfare. But today, very few of the patients who could benefit from either of these options […]