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

A First and a Burst of Evidence for Sleep Apnea and Obesity

June 22, 2024 — We like to celebrate firsts. And yesterday, we got one to celebrate in the first ever drug treatment shown to be effective for sleep apnea – the obesity medicine called tirzepatide. In presenting this new research at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions yesterday, Atul Malhotra reminded us, “sleep is an important part of cardiometabolic […]

Has USPSTF Lost Touch with Reality on Obesity in Youth?

June 21, 2024 — This week in JAMA, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published an evidence review and recommendation for youth with obesity. In a word, it is disappointing. The task force seems to have completely lost touch with advances in obesity care in young persons. They recommend only that youth with a BMI in the […]

The Tide of Obesity Medicines Rolling into Health Plans

June 20, 2024 — It’s quite weird, actually, watching the contortions of health plans as they twist to resist the rising tide of obesity medicines. Because despite the twisting and contortions, obesity medicines are as difficult to resist as a rising tide. Those who pretend it is not happening find themselves under water. A new survey from the International […]

Ready to Treat Obesity First? It Only Took 35 Years

June 19, 2024 — We asked professor Caroline Apovian about the origin of treat obesity first as a principle of care for patients suffering with many complications of the disease. She was blunt. “I was teaching this concept 35 years ago in the Blackburn Course on Obesity Medicine. Suddenly people think they’ve stumbled onto something new.” New or not, […]

Can Money Prompt Weight Loss? Should It?

June 18, 2024 — In JAMA Pediatrics yesterday, a new RCT tells us that promising money to adolescents with severe obesity can prompt weight loss with meal replacements. Every teen in this study received free pre-portioned and calorie-controlled meals. But half of them received a $20 gift card for every 0.5% they lost from their body weight at the […]

A Silly New Horse Race: Surgery Versus Drugs for Obesity

June 17, 2024 — The annual meeting of the ASMBS wrapped up last week in San Diego after producing a steady flow of new insights and headlines. Robotic surgery, long-term outcomes, and diabetes prevention figured prominently in the news. But one of the less enlightening threads of news from the meeting was a horse-race narrative about metabolic surgery versus […]

The Endless Misery of Endless Shrimp: Why?

June 16, 2024 — All-you-can-eat is a trap. In repeated case studies, it drives restaurants to lose money, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy. The latest poster child is Red Lobster and its Endless Shrimp deal that brought the chain financial misery and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. How did this happen? Why did management seemingly have no clue […]

Obesity Care Is Emerging as an Effective Tool for Prevention

June 15, 2024 — For decades now, thinking about obesity that pits treatment against prevention has hampered efforts to “tackle” obesity. At the Boston Course in Obesity Medicine yesterday, ConscienHealth founder Ted Kyle examined this either/or thinking and suggested it is a mistake. In fact, it is becoming apparent that obesity care is a critical tool for prevention of […]

Evolving Obesity Care: How Do We Get There from Here?

June 14, 2024 — It is unmistakable, Lee Kaplan tells us. Obesity care is evolving. But the change is painfully slow and inadequate – especially in comparison to the rapid advancement in tools for treating obesity. The slow progress is especially painful when you compare it to the progress made against HIV or COVID. In 1984, HIV was almost […]

Distinguishing Wishes and Beliefs from Facts in Evidence

June 13, 2024 — In the prevention of childhood and adolescent obesity, let us have our wishes and beliefs, but distinguish them from facts in evidence. Wishes are good things. They are the muses which impel us to action to work for a better future. Belief is a good thing. Our staunch belief that something can work gives us […]