Posts Tagged ‘scientific rigor’

More Avocados Equal Less Diabetes? Not Really

May 1, 2024 — If you pay attention to nutrition headlines in consumer media, avocados sound pretty amazing. “Eating more avocados could help women stave off type 2 diabetes,” says one report. “Avocado a day may keep diabetes at bay,” says another. The only problem is that neither of the studies that prompted those stories actually support the claims […]

Foraging for a Root Cause in the Tangled Mess of Obesity

April 7, 2024 — Almost two centuries ago, the world was in the midst of a cholera pandemic and the prevailing belief was that “bad air” was the cause. Near Broad (now Broadwick) Street in London, an especially bad outbreak occurred, killing 616 people. The key to stopping it was to figure out that it was not bad air. […]

Implicit Bias: “Just Be More Active to Overcome Obesity”

March 29, 2024 — A fascinating new study is prompting some very clickable headlines this week. It is all about the interaction of genetic risk for obesity and physical activity. It shows that in people with higher genetic risk scores for obesity, the association between physical activity (using daily step counts as a surrogate) and BMI is different than […]

Do Free School Meals Reduce Obesity Prevalence?

March 26, 2024 — Eight states have moved to provide nutritious meals at school for free to all students. A few simple reasons make it clear enough that this is a good idea. It reduces the stigma attached to receiving free school meals while improving food security for children from low-income families. Furthermore, nutrition quality goes up for all […]

Exercise Self-Reports Predict Less Benefit for Men Than Women?

February 29, 2024 — What could explain the observation that self-reports of exercise predict less of a benefit for men than women? In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology researchers nimbly leap to a conclusion that women get greater gains in mortality risk reduction from “equivalent doses” of physical activity. But would men exaggerate their self-reports? When […]

Kimchi for the Win in Obesity? Not Really

February 10, 2024 — The setup has been great. Kimchi lands near the top of the list of “must-eat fermented foods for a healthy gut.” On top of that, nutrition gurus advise us “food is medicine” and a fermented food diet “increases microbiome diversity and decreases inflammatory proteins.” So we should be ready to believe when a study tells […]

Ultra-Processed Foods: Facts, Fiction, and Speculation

February 5, 2024 — The perils of ultra-processed foods received widespread coverage in recent months – thanks in no small part to the publication and promotion of TV presenter and doctor of virology Chris Van Tulleken’s book Ultra-Processed People. Ultra-processed foods, in short, are commercially manufactured food products that include ingredients you wouldn’t cook with at home. Some of this […]

The Correct Answer Is Breastfeeding. What’s the Question?

January 22, 2024 — Breastfeeding is such a good idea. But unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to prevent obesity. No matter. On the subject of breastfeeding and preventing obesity in children, we have policy-based evidence – the answer is preset. A new paper in Pediatrics lines up with this. Based on yet another finding of an association between breastfeeding […]

Plant-Based Diets Cut COVID Risk? Not Exactly

January 20, 2024 — We do admire the tenacity of folks who promote the virtues of a plant-based diet. But that admiration stops when we move on to the dimension of scientific rigor and objectivity. In BMJ Nutrition, Prevention, and Health, a group of researchers are claiming that plant-based diets “may be considered protective against COVID-19 infection.” The only […]

Food as Medicine: Great Program, but Lacking a Medical Benefit

December 27, 2023 — Food as medicine programs can yield a fantastic medical benefit, say the promoters of this currently trendy concept in nutrition policy. If implemented broadly, they “would save lives and billions of dollars.” That’s the word from Tufts, where Dariush Mozaffarian is selling this concept with great enthusiasm. The whole idea behind these claims is that […]