Top stories in health and medicine, July 24, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Weight Watchers Tops in Efficacy Vs. Cost. Among the most popular diet programs and drugs, Weight Watchers trims the most bulge for the buck, according to a new cost-effectiveness analysis.
  2. Probiotics: Moderate Impact on BP? Probiotics cut blood pressure by roughly 4 mm Hg systolic and 2 mm Hg ...

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It all comes down to willpower, right?  Strength of purpose.  Muster the resolve to skip dessert, and you have a shot at losing that spare tire hanging off your belly.  Succumb to your temptations, however, and you are simply being weak. But is it just weakness that causes us to overeat? A study in Psychological Science suggests that our inability to resist that mouthwatering looking chocolate cake doesn’t arise simply because our ...

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I want to commend Mark Bittman on the underlying message in his recent editorial in the New York Times, "What Causes Weight Gain." Bittman suggests that as much as we need research to "determine precisely what causes diet related chronic illnesses," we also need a program that will get this "single, simple message across: eat real food." While we have yet to isolate what in our diet is contributing to ...

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A recent meta-analysis by an accomplished international team of researchers, published in a prestigious medical journal, shows that high intake of saturated fat is exactly as bad for health as a high intake of sugar and refined starch. The study also suggests there is something far worse. The study, which pooled data from prior research and in the process aggregated findings for over 500,000 people, compared the rates of coronary ...

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Recently, someone asked me on Twitter, “Has the change in classification of obesity as a disease affected how you treat patients presenting w/ the disease?” The classification change in question is regarding the American Medical Association’s declaration that obesity is a disease rather than a comorbidity factor. This change in classification affected 78 million American adults and 12 million children. The new status for obesity means that this is now considered a ...

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Youre doing it wrong: The Paleo diet Go ahead, eat more meat, butter and cheese. Let me know how it turns out for you. I certainly won't be joining you, despite the current popularity of the proposition. For one thing, there is no case -- none -- that eating more meat, butter and cheese would be good for us. Rather, the case is advanced these days -- 
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Top stories in health and medicine, June 24, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Mrs. Obama's Lunch Plan: Not So Fast. In the guest blog post, Steven Horvitz, DO, a primary care physician in Moorestown, N.J., responds to MedPage Today's coverage of the Michelle Obama-led White House roundtable criticizing Congressional efforts to reverse nutrition requirements in public schools.
  2. More Than 750 Hospitals Face ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 20, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. The Uninsured: 33 Million and Counting. In the last full year before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, more than 33 million Americans had been without health insurance for more than a year, according to CDC survey.
  2. Gross Anatomy: A Real Twisted Heart. It's nothing but heartache for ...

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Dr. Oz testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and gets grilled by Sen. Claire McCaskill, a former prosecutor.  As the senator puts it, Dr. Oz has a huge megaphone, which he could use to promote evidence-based health practices.  Instead, he squanders this opportunity by endorsing products of questionable value. 

The prevailing sentiment in pop-culture nutrition -- propagated in books, blogs, and blather; documentaries and diatribes -- is that everything we thought we knew about diet and health until yesterday is wrong. Actually, we have a much bigger problem than that. To one degree or another, everything we thought we knew about nutrition is right -- and we are obligated to do something about it, or stay fat and sick. That's ...

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