Is obesity a disease?

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

Readers interested in the debate over whether obesity is a disease or not should visit Dr. Arya Sharma’s blog. He has addressed numerous arguments for and against categorizing obesity as a disease. He also has a video addressing how to lose 50 pounds and explaining adaptive or metabolic thermogenesis at  See also.

David Allison on Problems in Obesity, Nutrition Research

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

David Allison, a leading obesity research, has frequently challenged the flaws in obesity and nutrition research. For those wanting a short version of Dr. Allison’s views you can watch this speech on YouTube.

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.”

Spotlight Now on Dad

December 4th, 2015 No comments »

It always feels as if mothers take the rap for their children’s overweight status. (See The Putative 104 Causes of Obesity post.) Now, in a provocative study, the attention is turning to Dad, particularly Dad’s sperm, according to a New York Times  story. For more information, see the recent study in Science Daily.

Endocrine Society Issues Scientific Statement on Endocrine Disruptors

October 10th, 2015 No comments »

The Endocrine Society has released a new a new statement on the role of endocrine disruptors in the development of obesity and other conditions. The  American Chemical Society challenges the Endocrine Society’s  report.


Look AHEAD provides insights on the role of genes in weight loss

September 3rd, 2015 No comments »

While the Look AHEAD Clinical Trial was discontinued some time ago, and while some the interpretations of the study remain controversial, continuing studies are showing some interesting interactions between behavior and genes. Jeanne Mc Caffery and colleagues have published one study showing that variations in the FTO and BDNF genes predicted weight regain across treatment arms.  Another study from a number of over-lapping researchers shows that variations in genes can affect the frequency of eating episodes and their composition as well. Click here for Dr. Arya Sharma’s recent post on a landmark study establishing how the FTO gene works.


New Insights on the Intergenerational Transmission of Metabolic Disease

July 31st, 2015 No comments »

Dr. Arya Sharma has a very useful post on the transgenerational transmission of metabolic disease, including obesity. As Dr. Sharma points out, if anyone says that obesity is not genetic, they don’t know what they are talking about. The article cited by Dr. Sharma recalls an earlier post on a three-generation transmission of the memory of starvation. Just goes to show that there much to be learned.