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.

National Over-Feeding Months

November 27th, 2015 No comments »

It often seems as if the period from Labor Day in September through Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December, New Year in January, Valentine’s Day and the football playoffs in February are  designed to promote overeating. It is a wonder we all are not obese. So amid the food celebration and token diet advice, it’s nice to have some solid, research-based exposition of  the myths surrounding weight loss and weight gain. We have one, thanks to Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a distinguished researcher at the National Institutes of Health. (For coverage of Dr. Hall’s recent work, click here.)

Criminal Crackdown on Supplement Makers

November 21st, 2015 No comments »

This week the federal Department of Justice announced major criminal and civil actions against 100 makers of dietary supplements, including those for weight loss. According to DOJ, the actions resulted from a year-long effort, beginning in November 2014, to focus enforcement resources in an area of the dietary supplement market that is causing increasing concern among health officials nationwide.  In each case, the department or one of its federal partners allege the sale of supplements that contain ingredients other than those listed on the product label or the sale of products that make health or disease treatment claims that are unsupported by adequate scientific evidence.


Does Breastfeeding Increase Infant Weight?

October 31st, 2015 No comments »

According to a new article by Michael Goran and colleagues it depends on which components of breast milk, (sugary complex carbohydrates called human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are present. 25 mother-infant dyads were studied at one and six months of age. Goran is quoted in the Irish Times saying, “But typically we think of obesity risk kicking in after weaning, the timing of introduction to solid foods, early exposures to sugary beverages. Clearly there is something going on before weaning even in babies who are exclusively breast-fed.”

Two HMOs, LNFPII and DSLNT, were each associated with about an extra pound of fat mass at 6 months. Another, LNFPI,  seemed to be protective, linked to a pound less of fat at six months.


CDC Spins Breastfeeding-Obesity Link

October 27th, 2015 No comments »

CDC is continuing to perpetuate the old canard that breastfeeding is protective against childhood obesity. In the recently released publication, Vital Signs: Improvements in Maternity Care Policies and Practices that Support Breastfeeding-United States, 2007-2013,  the CDC states “In addition, evidence suggests that breastfeeding is associated with a reduction in the risk for obesity and diabetes in children (3).”

The reference is a 2007 evidence report on CDC’s sister agency, the Agency for Healthcare Research and  Quality website. However, unlike several other citations, there is no link to the paper. Why? Perhaps because AHRQ identifies the paper as “Archived” and states, “It (the paper) was current when produced and now may be out of date.” Here’s the link:

Maybe out of date? No fooling! See here, here and here for updated research which CDC decided to overlook.


Preventive Services Task Force Recommends Glucose Screening for Overweight and Obese adults

October 27th, 2015 No comments »

The US Preventative Services Task Force has recommended at all adults, age 40-70, who are overweight or obese be screened for abnormal glucose levels. The Task Force recommended behavioral counseling for adults with high glucose levels. For full information, see the USPSTF site here.


Information on dosing of drugs for children with obesity not available

October 9th, 2015 No comments »

A new study has concluded that only 2 of 25 emergency care drugs for children contained dosing information on the FDA approved label for obese children and adults compared with 22 of 25 for normal weight children. Rowe and colleagues found no sufficient pharmacokinetic data in the literature for any of the emergency care drugs for children with obesity. Obesity is an important component of the appropriate dosing for drugs do to altered body composition and physiologic mechanisms. Another article by Kendrick and colleagues points out the uncertainties in prescribing information for children with obesity. Also, see this article by Oeser and colleagues on the same topic. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in adults can also affect the pharmacokinetics of drugs but the information, according to a paper by Srinivas, is mixed.


Over-Optimism in Primary Care?

September 3rd, 2015 No comments »

A survey of primarily European health care professionals has shown that few think weight loss targets of 5% to 10% were achievable with medical management. Alternatively, there was high confidence in public health strategies. About a quarter reported that they had difficulty raising the issue of body weight with their patients. This was true even among obesity and diabetes specialists. Interestingly, many felt the causes, while being individual to each patient, included genetics, lack of effective treatments, dysfunction of the physiological mechanisms controlling hunger and appetite. 80% agreed that obesity should be classified as a disease.

Significantly, most health care professionals felt competent in discussing weight loss with their patients but only a minority reported that their patients were successful with achieving their weight loss goals. The authors describe this as “over-optimism.” No fooling.