Weight is not a behavior, and weight is not a choice. Nobody wakes up and decides what to weigh today. In an age when healthy and unhealthy behaviors are increasingly subject to incentives and disincentives, respectively, this is all too easily forgotten. Of course, weight is largely the byproduct of behaviors and choices, namely what and how much we eat, and what and how much we do: calories in and calories ...

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Among the more contentious issues regarding health and weight control -- perhaps surprisingly, contentious among professionals and the general public alike -- is the role of personal responsibility. Unfortunately, this readily devolves into discord, because the cultural tendency of our time is denigrate those with whom we disagree, and hunker down in our distal, opposing corner. Just take a look at Congress to see how well this is ...

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The media headlines attached to the major medical news story of the past week might have been: "Shocking but true: Nearly 1 in 10 US children under the age of 5 is obese!" Had that been the headline, it would indeed have been every bit as true as it is shocking. And the really shocking part is: that's the good news! Hold that thought, please. Some years ago, at the prompting ...

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paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) highlights the importance of nutrient fortification to the diets of our children. The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the sources of micronutrients in the diets of over 7,000 kids ages 2 to 18, and assessed overall dietary intake in this cohort assembled to represent the population ...

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Increasingly, the stuff we buy is electronic. In fact, not only that, but increasingly the stuff we buy with is electronic, too. We are using gizmos to shop for gadgets, or possibly gadgets to shop for gizmos. In any event, we are ever more frequently in the company of the energy fields our electronic devices, and in particular our smart phones, generate. This deserves more attention than most of us accord ...

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As a scientist with a brain naturally inclined to skepticism and analysis, I suppose my spiritualism may be best captured by: Keep the faith, but get the data. While some of my fellow skeptalytics, if I may coin such a term to catalog us, may be inclined to renounce that first clause altogether, thinking there is no need for faith, I am obliged to disagree. We are all a mass of electrons ...

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With the exception of rare and particularly bleak days, I don't tend to think of myself as a moron -- nor, as far as I can tell, do those who know me well and love me. I will hazard a guess that neither you nor those who love you think of you as a moron, either. So let's be bold, proffer one another the mutual benefit of any disparate ...

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Relevant research and conventional wisdom alike suggest that, despite their irresistible perennial tug on our collective conscience, New Year's resolutions generally have about the staying power of champagne bubbles. Pledged to ourselves and one another in the short, dark days of late December, sorrowfully few survive to see the crocuses come up. Some studies suggest 20 percent or so live that long. Frankly, I'm surprised the numbers are that good. The ...

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I rather doubt you need me to bring the roiling statin debate to your attention, given its prominence in scientific circles and mass media alike. In essence, a new set of guidelines for the use of lipid-lowering drugs to prevent heart disease was issued with considerable fanfare and then set off a firestorm of controversy. The old approach relied heavily on levels of LDL cholesterol, while the new approach ...

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Hippocrates recognized the power of lifestyle as medicine some 2,500 years ago, testimony to his wisdom and prescience. As president-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, I celebrate the possibility of finding our way back to a future informed by such insight. But for now, in the immediate aftermath of announcement and ongoing debate about just how many of us should take statins, let's consider what Big Pharma would ...

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