2016 State Medicaid coverage of fee-for-service obesity treatments

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

The STOP Obesity Alliance has updated its state-by-state information on fee-for-service obesity treatments in the Medicaid program. See here.

Eating Healthy is Getting Harder

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

It’s getting harder to know what it means to eat ‘healthy’. That mantra of the nutrition community is becoming more difficult to put into practice.

The New York Times is reporting that old bad foods are back while questions have been raised about a key study questioning the harmful effects of saturated fats.

Debunking ‘progress’ on childhood obesity

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

Much has been made recently of a purported drop in childhood obesity, particularly among children age 2 to 5. (See my Oct. 2015 blog, Did the White House Spin CDC Study to show progress in childhood obesity?) Now, a new study finds “no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite substantial clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.” The paper by Ashley C. Skinner, Eliana M. Perrin and Joseph A. Skelton in Obesity used NHANES data from 1999-2014 and found, “A clear, statistically significant increase in all classes of obesity continued from 1999 to 2014.” They also reported that severe obesity (classII and III) showed a significant increase in adolescents and non-Hispanic black children.  They state, “By including severe obesity, our results also highlight particular areas of concern. In 2013-2014, nearly 10% of adolescents met criteria for Class II obesity, and nearly 5% also met criteria for class III obesity…The 4.5 million children and adolescents with severe obesity will require novel and intensive efforts for long-term obesity improvement. With scarce resources, and increasing costs of comorbid conditions, there is an urgent need for targeted interventions to stem the rise in severe obesity among children, in addition to policies and clinical efforts designed to prevent obesity. Policy efforts are yet to yield substantive changes in obesity prevalence but few have specifically targeted severe obesity.” Amen

The Biggest Loser study shows persistence of slower metabolism after 6 years

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

Gina Kolata of The New York Times has a front-page story on May 2, 2016, covering a study of winners of the TV ‘reality’ show, The Biggest Loser. The study published in the journal Obesity shows that not only is most the lost weight regained, but that the slower metabolic rate, which occurs during active weight loss, persists for up to 6 years in the subjects. This is the process of adaptive thermogenesis which we have discussed on several occasions. What the article does not mention is that most of the weight loss programs used in employer wellness programs are based on The Biggest Loser. In other words, thanks to Obamacare, employees can be penalized for failing at a weight loss program where failure is all but assured.

What If the Western Lifestyle is Not Responsible for Heart Disease?

January 2nd, 2016 No comments »

It has been an article of faith among the medical professions and public health authorities that the leading cause of death, heart disease, is a product of the modern society with too much processed foods and inadequate physical activity. Yet, the anthropoligical record is not bearing out this thesis. An article in the Washington Post by Peter Whoriskey points to the accumulating evidence that heart disease was part of ancient life. He writes, “By turning up evidence of heart disease in populations with widely varying diets, the mummy research suggests that some unrecognized cause besides what we choose to eat is at work.”

The Impact of Childhood Sex Abuse on Eating Disorders and Obesity

December 16th, 2015 No comments »

The Atlantic magazine has a powerful essay by Olga Khanz on the role of childhood sexual trauma leading to disordered eating and obesity. The piece highlights the work of Dr. Vincent J. Felitti. For more on Dr. Felitti’s work and related research see our post from November, 2011.

Insight into the African Obesity Crisis

December 15th, 2015 No comments »

For those who have looked at it, the disparities between men and women rates for obesity are striking. Now comes a report from South Africa commenting on the economic and cultural aspects of the spreading, global, obesity epidemic.

Persons with Obesity Excluded from Nursing Homes

December 15th, 2015 No comments »

The New York Times published yesterday a sobering view of the discrimination faced by persons with severe obesity to access nursing home care. It is a sobering picture and one that is not likely to get better anytime soon.