Archive for the ‘Scientific Meetings & Publications’ Category

How Much Does Obesity Explain COVID Death Rates?

April 10, 2021 — When World Obesity Day rolled around this year, a popular and sensational factoid was that nine out of ten COVID deaths were in countries with high obesity rates. It served to grab attention, but we’re not big fans of the sensationalism in that factoid. Because obesity might be important, but it does not explain 90 […]

Heartwarming Family Meals Prevent Obesity?

April 9, 2021 — Nostrums for overcoming obesity litter the landscape of health policy. “Obesity is preventable,” says the World Health Organization. We like the can-do spirit this reflects. Yet the how-to details are missing – or at least details with evidence to support them. Instead we have glittering generalities and beautiful metaphors. WHO recommends making healthy choices the […]

COVID-19: Increasing Child Obesity and Disparity

April 8, 2021 — Anecdotal reports have been coming for some time. As early as June, research reports told us COVID-19 was changing the patterns of life for children in ways that could make obesity worse. Then it was speculation. But now, the data is coming in and it really does not look good. A new report in Pediatrics […]

An Odd Case Shows the Need to Register a Protocol

April 7, 2021 — As Alice discovered in Wonderland, it helps to have a plan. For clinical research it’s especially important to know where one is going with research. This is precisely why medical journals require that clinical researchers register a protocol for their studies before they start. If a study lacks that, a reputable journal will not publish […]

Grasping Synergistic Pandemics: COVID-19 and Obesity

April 6, 2021 — From the very early days COVID-19, we saw clues that two pandemics might be interacting – COVID-19 and obesity. But we are not fans of catastrophizing health health problems. So the question becomes, how can we come to terms with these synergistic pandemics? Can we do it in a way that brings us closer to […]

When Prevailing Bias Goes Unchecked

April 4, 2021 — Prevailing bias envelopes us invisibly. Objectivity is something we have a passion for pursuing. But the challenge of that pursuit is great. In fact, objectivity is rare, if not mythical. Humans are subjective creatures, so objectivity is unnatural for us. If we care about a subject, we bring a bias to it. When we hear […]

Preoccupied with Eating Chocolate Easter Eggs

April 4, 2021 — When chocolate Easter eggs first appeared in the 1870s from Fry’s and Cadbury’s, they were a bit of a luxury. That continued for about a century, but the emergence of mass merchandising contributed to explosive growth for the business of Easter chocolates in the latter half of the 20th century. For one day in many […]

ADV36: Yes, a Virus Can Cause Obesity

April 2, 2021 — A good friend once told us, “Obesity is not a disease. You can’t catch it.” We won’t deny that his comment reflects the feelings of many people. But on the facts, he was simply wrong. A new systematic review in the International Journal of Obesity tells us that, indeed, it is possible to catch obesity. […]

The Art and Science of Precision Medicine for Obesity

March 31, 2021 — Editors note: after this post appeared, significant questions arose about errors in the Acosta paper described below. We will offer more information when more is available. Precision medicine will transform healthcare. So say Francis Collins and Joshua Denny with a new commentary in Cell. It’s all about accounting for the individual in healthcare by accounting […]

Wild Variance in Views of Obesity and the Pandemic

March 30, 2021 — We all have great skill for seeing what we want to see in just about any situation. It flows from confirmation bias. Often, believing is seeing. Not the other way around. So the wild variance in views of obesity and the pandemic should not surprise us. Recent posts from Jane Brody and Anthony Warner serve […]