Blog Posts (28)
April 25, 2013
Recently Mayor Michael Bloomberg learned that his Big Gulp ban had been blocked by a state Supreme Court judge for arbitrarily targeting these consumer goods without a legal rationale. Determined to combat the obesity epidemic, Bloomberg will no dou...
April 17, 2013
Here is video from a talk I recently gave at the University of Wisconsin, laying out a few of the reasons I think the government needs to play a role in combating the obesity epidemic. If you dig further into the conference website, you will see a vide...
April 8, 2013
In the battle to combat obesity, many recent policies have taken aim at restaurants. New York City banned trans fats from restaurants, and now is limiting sugary drink sales. Many local governments have pushed for restaurants to provide calorie estimat...
January 18, 2013
In a 1967 experiment, psychologists trained pigeons to peck a red key to get food. (Pigeons were huge back then, research wise!) Then they tested whether the pigeons could learn to delay gratification. They set up the pecking booth so that those ...
May 31, 2012
Every few years in states like New York and California some state official has “had it up to here” with the obesity epidemic.…
March 28, 2012
A controversial diet guru in France, Dr. Pierre Dukan, has raised a lot of eyebrows and ire for proposing that all high-school students in France, in order to graduate, pass a weight exam.…
January 9, 2012
Art Caplan reminds us in his column on MSNBC.com that its good to be skinny, whether dead or alive. The negative health consequences of obesity experienced during life linger on well into death, especially for those who want to donate their bodies to science.…
November 29, 2011
An eight-year-old Cleveland Heights, Ohio boy has been taken away from his parents by Child Protective Services. An unfortunate, but routine occurrence in the world of CPS–but this time the case has an usual cause—this third grader weighs more than 200 pounds and in the judgement of some Cuyahoga County officials his parents are the cause of his abuse to his health and well-being.…
October 4, 2011
Denmark is taxing fatty foods to the tune of $1.29/lb, reports the LA Times Booster Shots blog. Add this on to the sin taxes Danes already pay on sugary foods and their national ban on trans fats and I would argue that Denmark is the country with the most progressive food policy in the world.…
July 13, 2011
As Art Caplan states in his most recent MSNBC column, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Whether the result of the food industry, food marketing to children, or lifestyle choices, children (as well as their parents) are getting fat at an alarming rate.…
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May 2, 2013 4:26 pm
Most adults in the USA aren’t meeting the federal physical activity recommendations for both aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity, according to government statistics out today.
January 22, 2013 1:53 pm
Obese drivers are up to 80 percent more likely to die in a car crash than normal-weight drivers, a new study finds. Car designers may need to take heavier drivers into consideration to keep them safer, the researchers said.
January 15, 2013 11:21 am
Kids who eat lots of fast food may risk more than obesity. A new study finds that children and teens who eat fast food at least three times per week are more likely to face serious symptoms for common health woes such as asthma, eczema and hay fever, compared to their healthy-eating classmates.
January 9, 2013 3:01 pm
Overeating, lack of health insurance access and comparatively high poverty are among the many reasons why Americans are less healthy and die younger than people in other wealthy countries, a report requested by the U.S. government showed on Wednesday.
December 25, 2012 10:23 pm
A new national study has found modest declines in obesity among 2- to 4-year-olds from poor families, a dip that researchers say may indicate that the obesity epidemic has passed its peak among this group.
August 28, 2012 12:45 pm
In an interview with WCVB-TV, Dr. Carter explained, “After three consecutive injuries (with other patients) trying to care for people over 250 pounds, my office is unable to accommodate a certain weight and we put a limit on it.”
And Carter is completely within her professional rights to do so. Under Opinion 9.12 of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, both physicians and patients are free to decline a relationship. “A physician may decline to undertake the care of a patient whose medical condition is not within the physician’s current competence,” the code says.
August 13, 2012 1:45 pm
Laws strictly regulating school sales of junk food and sugary drinks may actually be helping to slow childhood obesity, according to a national study. The study seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off to combat the growing epidemic especially in the Latino community. According to the organization, Leadership for Healthy Communities, 38.2 percent of Hispanic children aged 2-19 are overweight. “That is the statistic that should be our wake-up call,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, Deputy Director of the National Council of La Raza’s health policy project.
August 7, 2012 9:39 pm
The New York Times ran a somber little piece yesterday about how organ-transplant centers are struggling as potential donors are being turned away because of their weight. Over half of these centers have rules requiring donors to have BMI scores under 35, and 10 percent are even stricter, saying they have to be under 30. The result is a fair number of potential donors being turned away from the programs—this, at a time when organ donation is seriously suffering.
August 6, 2012 7:43 pm
Your doctor’s job is to make sure you stay healthy. But what about his own well-being? If your physician isn’t in shape, it’s a sign you may be receiving inferior care. In a recent Johns Hopkins University study, physicians were found to be much less likely to talk to their patients about weight if they were overweight themselves. Ninety-three percent of primary care doctors admitted diagnosing obesity only when it was clear that the patient was heavier than the physician. Overlooking the weight issue might make for a happier doctor-patient relationship — but then, politeness never reduced anyone’s risk of diabetes.
July 31, 2012 4:31 pm
“Health professionals probably shouldn’t use terms like fat, chubby, overweight or obese,” said Geoff Ball, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. “Terms that are more neutral, less judgmental and less stigmatizing should be used. Most of the time families will want that sensitive type of language. And that’s what clinicians should want, too, because that’s what families want.”
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