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Posts Tagged "obesity"

Anthropology in Practice

Burger with a side of toys: How is fast food being marketed to children?

CC, click on image for license and information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began to heavily legislate cigarette marketing in the 1960s following a report from the Surgeon General’s office on the dangers of smoking. Efforts were largely focused on reducing the ads that targeted children, which often ran during programs for children and teens like The Flintstones. In a story that has [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Can Cookie Monster teach us about peer pressure?

Photo by Brian Richardson, CC. Click on image for license and information.

It’s not quite news that Cookie Monster no longer eats cookies. Well, he’ll have one cookie, but only after he fills up on vegetables! Understandably, the public was outraged, and in response, Cookie Monster felt the need to clarify: He still eats cookies—for dessert—but he likes fruit and vegetables too. Cookie Monster needed to reassert [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

The Basics of Good Health Is the Subject of New E-Book–Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about? In this eBook, “Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy,” we’ve [...]

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Bering in Mind

The fattest ape: An evolutionary tale of human obesity

Long before I began stockpiling a rather eclectic collection of curiously homoerotic Men’s Fitness magazines in my closet as a randy teenager, decades still before the global pornification of the 21st -century Internet age, my tender childhood libido found a secret refuge amidst the colorful scenes contained in a handful of old university textbooks placed [...]

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Brainwaves

Is Sugar Really Toxic? Sifting through the Evidence

Our very first experience of exceptional sweetness—a dollop of buttercream frosting on a parent’s finger; a spoonful of strawberry ice cream instead of the usual puréed carrots—is a gustatory revelation that generally slips into the lacuna of early childhood. Sometimes, however, the moment of original sweetness is preserved. A YouTube video from February 2011 begins [...]

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Brainwaves

The Food Fight in Your Gut: Why Bacteria Will Change the Way You Think about Calories

There’s a food fight in your guts. Not the Tater-Tot-chucking, spoonful-of-mashed potato-flinging, melee-in-the-cafeteria type of food fight. Rather, your intestines are the site of an ancient and complex war between your own cells and trillions of bacteria—a war over what happens to your food as it moves through your body. Some of the bacteria form [...]

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Dog Spies

Do You Know a Fat Dog When You See One?

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We’ve all met dogs with a small head and large body who bear a striking resemblance to the people with shrunken heads from the movie Beetlejuice. Some dogs naturally come with this particular head-to-body ratio, but for others, it’s often man-made. Yes. Some dogs are overweight. Peter Sandøe, professor of bioethics at the University of [...]

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Food Matters

Calorie-burning fat and your brain

Fat mature man measuring his belly with measurement tape

If you follow obesity news, you may have heard of a type of energy-burning “good fat” known as brown fat, which scientists think may have potential to battle a growing epidemic of excess body fat. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have moved one step closer to realizing this possibility by discovering the brain’s role [...]

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Food Matters

Of course a soda tax will work. Why else would the industry fight it so hard? (VIDEO)

child-and-big-soda

Sugary drinks are the single-largest contributor to added sugars in the American diet. Their consumption increases risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Experts agree that rising sugary drink consumption has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic, and that reducing consumption is a public health imperative. Over the last [...]

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Food Matters

“You’re Welcome.” How The Soda Industry Celebrated Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. As it comes to a close, let’s take a look at how the beverage industry, one of the single most significant contributors to childhood obesity, addressed the issue during this time of reflection and learning. The industry’s spin machine trade group, the American Beverage Association (ABA), kicked the month [...]

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Food Matters

Judging Food By Its Cover: Nutrition Labels Are One Area Where Consumer Is Not King

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It’s a tired refrain: “It’s all about consumer choice, we can’t limit choice, the consumer is king.”  Every time some pesky public health advocate wants to try to reform the food environment, the industry starts to shriek about limiting choices and taking away people’s freedom.  New York City’s attempt to remove “bucket” as an acceptable [...]

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Food Matters

An Open Letter to Dr. Oz: You’re Cheering for the Wrong Team.

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Dear Dr. Oz: I caught the senate hearing earlier this week during which you answered for using “flowery language” to describe a number of weight-loss supplements that do not have (as you admit) the scientific backing for your claims. I’d like to think that you mean well. You are called “America’s Doctor.” You have huge [...]

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Food Matters

Follow #SodaSummit14 For a Few Thousand Reasons Not to Drink Sugary Beverages

sodaSummit500

Today marks the beginning of the 2014 National Soda Summit, a conference hosted in Washington D.C. by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The summit runs through June 5th. Researchers, policy makers, and public health advocates are gathering to share the latest science, policies, and practices related to reducing sugary beverage consumption. If [...]

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Food Matters

What if we all just stopped trying to lose weight? (video)

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By focusing on weight, we may be missing the broader picture of what it means to be healthy. Brian Mattson is not the picture of health. Few would look at him and say: “There’s a healthy fellow.” But that’s a shame, because Mattson is a pretty healthy guy. In fact, by a number of measures, [...]

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Food Matters

A Tired Game of Telephone: Scientists, Reporters, Pundits and Politics

Photo by Lee Summers

  In going after CDC study, Reuters report misrepresents WIC experts, their research. The Press Release That Started it All In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on obesity prevalence that concluded: “Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity [...]

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Food Matters

Book Review: The Diet Fix–Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

the diet fix cover

  The Diet Fix: why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work, by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is available March 4, 2014. It starts with a prescription for chocolate. Clearly this is not your average diet book. Over nearly ten years and thousands of hours working with patients with weight management issues at his Bariatric Medical [...]

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Food Matters

A Point-By-Point Response To The Beverage Industry Script

Soda Bottles

UPDATE, Feb 3, 8:35 pm: As mysteriously as the comment was removed, after this blogpost was published the comment went back up. Still no word as to why it was removed in the first place. On January 27th, San Francisco news station KGO-TV ran a news story about a possible tax on sugary beverages. As [...]

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Guest Blog

Lifestyle Choices Could Affect Gene Sequences That Code for Cancer

Couch potatoing. (Credit: El Alvi via Flickr)

It’s no secret that diet and exercise can directly impact our health. But for many people, genetic predisposition to disease – be it hypertension or diabetes or cancer – is often perceived as a risk that is out of their hands. New findings in the field of epigenetics, however, suggest that we may have more [...]

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Guest Blog

For Diabetics, Healthy Habits Trump Medicine

syringe sticking up from a pile of granulated fine sugar

Against the backdrop of a government shutdown precipitated by healthcare issues and the rollout of the insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act, a conference called Diabetes + Innovation 2013 took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The gathering, organized by The Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School, focused on prevention and [...]

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Guest Blog

How Probiotics May Save Your Life

(especially if you are like a mouse, which you are)   Scientists seem to care a great deal about the health and well being of mice. Thousands of men and women with PhD’s dedicate their lives to helping mice suffering from a dozen varieties of cancer, diabetes, obesity, forms of autism and much, much more. [...]

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Guest Blog

Can you be both obese and healthy?

Countless epidemiological studies have shown that as you move from a normal body weight towards obesity the risk of many chronic diseases increases exponentially. However, more and more research suggests that the relationship between body weight and health is much more nuanced than previously thought. Recent estimates suggest that approximately one in three obese individuals [...]

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Guest Blog

Can sitting too much kill you?

We all know that physical activity is important for good health—regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day (something [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Why stress leads to obesity

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Stress is transient Type II diabetes, even when you’re otherwise healthy.

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Illusion Chasers

Wide Faces Make You Selfish

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An intriguing new paper in PLoS ONE by Haselhuhn and colleagues suggests that men with wide faces make you selfish.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Believe in Will Power, and You Shall Have It

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Some people believe that will power is a bodily function that requires glucose to power it. Carol Dweck’s new paper shows that its not so.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Feed the Addict

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When the substantia nigra is super charged by food restriction, or drugs, or both, you become super motivated to seek out more food, or more drugs… whatever floats the substantia nigra’s boat.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Does Jet-Lag Make You Chronobese?

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Chronic jetlag, habitual night shifts, and rotating shift work, can have deleterious consequences on circadian organization and metabolic health, says a new report in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science. The reason may be the significant crosstalk between the circadian system and the metabolic system, leading to “chronobesity”.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Neurosurgery versus bariatric surgery in obesity

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A study in the journal Neurosurgical Focus has calculated thate DBS will have to be 83% effective in order for it to be a better choice than gastric bypass for obese patients.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Surgery for everyone! How science validated the gastric bypass.

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An important and exciting piece of research just came out in Science Magazine last week showing why gastric bypass surgery has such powerful curative effects on diabetes, beyond the previous belief that the dietary restriction helps diabetes.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Sugar, obesity and the big C

By Cesarachp, via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe we should all be scared of sugar.

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Illusory Portion Control

Http://www.moillusions.com/2012/09/the-portion-size-optical-illusion.html

Think that your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, actually, yes… they are.

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Illusion Chasers

A New Molecular Brain Pathway May Cause Obesity

Researchers found that the molecular machine that produces a specific type of neuronal cellular membrane lipid, called glycosylceramide synthase, is critical for proper function of leptin receptors in arcuate nucleus neurons. The discovery opens a new potential therapeutic pathway to explore in the search for an obesity cure.

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Molecules to Medicine

Diet drugs vs. Healthier lifestyle

BurgerKingQuadStacker-Mychal Stanley-cc-wikimedia

As expected, the FDA recently announced approval of a second drug for obesity within a month, Vivus’ Qnexa, now renamed Qsymia. This approval is less of a surprise, as the data appeared somewhat stronger than that for Arena’s lorcaserin (Belviq). What was rather curious is that USA Today broke news of the drug’s approval before [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Glut of Obesity Drugs?

On June 27, the FDA approved the first new weight-loss drug in 13 years, Arena’s lorcaserin (Belviq). The track record for anti-obesity drugs has not been very good—each has been withdrawn from the market, after approval, due to safety concerns. Why was this drug approved? How long will this one last before being yanked for [...]

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Observations

“Bionic Pancreas” Manages Blood Sugar Levels in Type 1 Diabetics

Credit: Flicker CC//Melissa J

Smartphone apps are useful for more than dating or ordering a taxi—they’re increasingly helping people manage their health, including monitoring blood pressure or sending reminders to take medications. Now, a device has incorporated smartphone app technology to potentially help millions of Americans better control Type 1 Diabetes. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, [...]

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Observations

Does My BMI Make Me Look Fat?

bobbbrown-scale-Agenda

Not all fat people are metabolically equal. And a simple number like the body mass index (or BMI) does not take that key fact into account. A growing number of studies over the past few years have made the pitfalls of relying solely on the BMI to make health predictions increasingly clear. The latest—and in [...]

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Observations

Food Delivers a Cocktail of Hormone-Like Signals to Body

The chicken pesto pasta on your plate is more than just tasty fuel to keep you going. The dish has carbohydrates, fats and proteins to be sure, but it also contains other nutrients and chemicals that send subtle cues and instructions to your cells. More and more researchers are arguing that to better grasp how [...]

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Observations

How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Hungry–and Fat

fructose brain hunger obesity

Grocery store aisles are awash in foods and beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup. It is common in sodas and crops up in everything from ketchup to snack bars. This cheap sweetener has been an increasingly popular additive in recent decades and has often been fingered as a driver of the obesity epidemic. These fears [...]

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Observations

Early Childhood Obesity Rates Might Be Slowing Nationwide

early childhood obesity decrease

About one in three children in the U.S. are now overweight, and since the 1980s the number of children who are obese has more than tripled. But a new study of 26.7 million young children from low-income families shows that in this group of kids, the tidal wave of obesity might finally be receding. Being [...]

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Observations

Intensive Weight Loss Programs Might Help Reverse Diabetes

Intensive weight loss lifestyle diabetes remission

Type 2 diabetes has long been thought of as a chronic, irreversible disease. Some 25 million Americans are afflicted with the illness, which is associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, as well as high blood pressure. Recent research demonstrated that gastric bypass surgery—a form of bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach—can [...]

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Observations

Global High Fructose Corn Syrup Use May Be Fueling Diabetes Increase

high fructose corn syrup global diabetes

It doesn’t matter where you look: the U.S., Mexico, Malaysia or Portugal, the more high fructose corn syrup consumption, on average, the more diabetes. A new study of 43 countries in Global Public Health, published online November 27, found that adult type-2 diabetes is 20 percent higher in countries that consume large quantities of high [...]

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Observations

Can We Shrink Portions (and the Obesity Epidemic) with Psychology?

perception portion psychology full weight loss

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Eating might seem, principally, like a simple, primal act. We get hungry; we eat; we’re full. But surprising new research suggests that our habits, previous experiences, and our desire to conform to social norms helps determine not only how much we eat, but also how full we feel later on. The findings were [...]

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Observations

Can Personal Technology Stop the Obesity Epidemic?

mobile health cell technology fight obesity

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—So much of our information from—and interaction with—the world is now mediated by computers, cell phones and tablets that health experts have been practically running themselves ragged trying to find ways to use these conduits to help people make healthier choices. Great success stories have come out of parts of the developing world, [...]

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Observations

Novel Food Labels and Dinner Plates Could Improve Our Diets

plate size food labels portion obesity

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Choosing what foods—and how much of them—to eat can be an annoying or even anguishing decision, with confusing labels and health stats vying for your attention. Or it can be too much of a no-brainer, with your hand reaching for whatever is closest without much of a second thought. With more than two [...]

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Plugged In

For Healthy Cities, Government and Business Need to Reverse Roles

Okay, I have to be honest with you. I love a city, and a downtown with walkways and tunnels and bus stops that tell me where my buses are via GPS and everything else, but sometimes you can just have more connectivity than you need. Remember the internet-connected toaster, that singed the weather forecast into [...]

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