obesity

Unfortunately, often news headlines and science just don't track. For example, a recent headline in The Telegraph proclaims: Household dust makes people fat.  But did the research that article discusses really show what the headline says? Not hardly.

Among all the factors that have been labeled as causing obesity, perhaps the most innovative is supposed "endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs." And the recent report purporting to show that the level of such chemicals found in house dust can effectively cause fat cells to proliferate and store lipid might at first glance give some credence to that idea. However, not only...

It’s not really news that Americans’ level of overweight and obesity is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world, but it is news how the rest of the world is ‘trying’ to catch up. That’s just one aspect of a new report by the GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators just published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The Global Burden of Disease Study is a global observational epidemiological study that aims to quantify global risks to health from major diseases, injuries and risk factors. It’s run under the auspices of WHO and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Using BMI [1] as their metric, the collaborators assessed data from 195 countries — essentially the global population —...

As people age we tend to become less active, and are more likely to gain weight. Those two characteristics can lead to lower muscle mass, increasing frailty and associated health problems. Attacking just the weight issue by reducing food intake can certainly be helpful with weight gain, but since weight loss can also decrease muscle mass, it can also contribute to impaired physical fitness and sequelae such as poor balance and diminished strength. So an important question for the older group is what type of exercise — aerobic such as walking, swimming or bike riding, or resistance such as weight lifting — would help the older obese person endeavoring to lose weight? A combination of the two types has been found to be helpful in younger obese people and in non-obese older folks, but...

So reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and overall sugar consumption should decrease the obesity surge, right? Or at least that's what those who are advocating taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are telling us. Probably soon they'll be promoting taxes on all things sugary — especially those containing the dreaded added sugars. But so far, there doesn't seem to be any real evidence that such taxes, indeed such a lowering of sugary foods and drinks will do anything about the obesity problem.

Well, don't look here for such support‚ especially since I just read a new study from Australia that found that when sugar consumption decreased, obesity increased. This surprising correlation supports the position we've taken...

What do you say when a pretty wacky idea is ostensibly promoted by a well-respected scientist? Well, you (politely) have to say that the idea is rather wacky. The idea I'm thinking of was suggested by leading neuroscientist Wolfram Schultz of Cambridge University. Professor Schultz' research has focused on the roles and activities of brain neurotransmitters, and one of them, dopamine, is reportedly the basis for this latest idea.

And the suggestion is to combat obesity by mandating that fast foods and so-called "junk foods" be packaged in plain brown wrappers, much as pornography used to be in more discreet times. So...

We've discussed the benefits of bariatric surgery (for different types, see here) for the obese with or without diabetes, and at this point it's been widely accepted that these surgeries can be very effective in providing substantial weight loss and, often, amelioration of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Questions have arisen, however, about how long the effects last, and whether the surgeries are more effective than intensive medical interventions. Most of the studies that have found bariatric surgery to be more effective than medical treatment are observational in nature, and thus can't be claimed to describe a causal relationship. A recent ...

We've known for a long time that if a woman is obese during pregnancy she'll be more likely to experience problems such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and to have unusually large babies. But we're now learning more about the health consequences for the offspring. A recent review of studies in The Lancet/Diabetes Endocrinology found links between maternal obesity and negative effects on a child's health.

As part of a series in that journal, Drs Keith M. Godfrey and ...

In a new position statement, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) have replaced the word “obesity” with “Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease” (ABCD).  

While that sounds like a clunky switch, the authors have laid out why a simple notion should be replaced with what they call a "complications-centric" approach to the diagnosis and treatment of excess body fat (adiposity). It's more complex than something like BMI, they note.

It may be time to consider a new approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects more than one-third (36.5%)...

The famed sue-and-settle group Center for Science in the Public Interest, founded by a former employee of Ralph Nader, are in the news again. This time they are using their "health justice" little sister Praxis Project as the lead and are going after both Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, claiming they knew all along that soda was harmful and covered it up. You know, like Big Tobacco in the 1950s and '60s.

Bloomberg News sums it up thusly:

  • Federal court complaint alleges Coke downplayed sugar effects
  • Sugary drinks ‘are scientifically linked to obesity, diabetes’

The Praxis Project claims...

Cancer deaths are falling in the United States, and that's great to see. On the other hand, fatalities caused by heart disease are on the rise and there's a significant increase in deaths attributed to Alzheimer's disease. 

These are some of the top developments from 2015 included in the latest national report on life expectancy, recently released by National Center for Health Statistics, a department of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

But the most significant and sobering news generated from the analysis shows that for the first time in 22 years, life expectancy for the average American has dropped. Last year it was 78.8 years, down from 78.9 years in 2014. Broken down by gender, men could expect to live 76.3 years (down from 76.5), while for women "life...