I was misinformed about medical school. Growing up, I wanted to help people become healthy. After four years at the Ohio State University Medical School and three years of a family medicine residency, I still did not know enough to accomplish my goal. My training allowed me to become a disease-care expert, not a health care specialist. I was taught little to nothing about nutrition and true disease prevention. Despite ...

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In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its decision to classify obesity as a disease, moving against the recommendation at the time of a group studying obesity. Yet there are still those who believe that obesity is not a disease but rather a “condition,” and this has downstream ramifications for health policy, health care provider reimbursement, and, ultimately, societal health and well-being. But this is ...

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An excerpt from Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food: A Five-Point Plan for Success. Copyright © 2018 by Arlene B. Englander. Published by Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved.  Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight or keep weight off realizes that evening can be ...

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I cannot get behind fat acceptance, or better stated in medical lingo as “normalizing obesity.” As a physician and as someone who has been obese or morbidly obese my adult life, I know first hand what it’s like to hate my body and feel ashamed of it. I still do this very moment as I type this, that’s something I have to work on. Funny thing is, I am much more ...

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The beverage industry derailed the movement for soda taxes in California by convincing state elected officials to pre-empt local taxing authority in exchange for cancelling a ballot initiative that would have made all new taxes difficult to pass. But taxes are not the only way to reduce sugary beverage consumption in California or the U.S. as a whole. The beverage industry has come up with several ideas on how to ...

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There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times in 2017. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door-to-door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Big Food is increasingly targeting poor countries as “emerging markets” ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 49-year-old woman is evaluated during a follow-up visit. She is overweight and has hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus, both of which are well controlled. For several years, she has attempted to lose weight through various commercial diets; dietician-monitored, calorie-restricted diets; and physical activity. She has worked with ...

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I stood in line at the grocery store waiting to pay for my items. The woman behind me, who would be categorized as obese, was eyeing some of the snacks so conveniently placed in the checkout aisle. She grabbed a meal bar and analyzed it for a few seconds, then said aloud to me: “You ever had one of these? They’re pretty good. And they’re gluten-free, that’s how you know they’re healthy.” Healthy. What ...

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The keto diet has recently garnered much fame for its apparent ability to improve diabetes and obesity – results so impressive the Journal of the American Medical Association recently highlighted the diet and thereby christened it as something more than a low-carb craze. However, not all the evidence supports such a positive outlook, leading the diet to straddle the increasingly blurred lines between faddist snake ...

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Editor's note: Graphic image below. Envision a large, loafy muffin top. Not just a central bulge or even love handles. I’m speaking of an apron of skin and fat that hangs down over many an American’s lower torso and groin. Surely you’ve seen it -- you may even have one. Its medical name is the pannus. I had never heard of a pannus in medical school and I still never hear it ...

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Two years ago, much ado was made about what appeared to be a decline in obesity rates among 2- to 5-year-olds, a finding based on a national study of fewer than 1,000 children that age. However, subsequent analyses have shown the decline to be transient at best. The number of overweight, obese and severely obese children in that age group -- as well as older children, ...

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A recent news story in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reminds me that lots of things in our lives are changing these days, not the least of which is the shape of our bodies. Oh, my. This aging thing isn’t so easy, and that is really the message behind Rita Rubin’s timely piece about shifting body mass and muscle as we age and its implications. Although focused ...

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When thinking about the United States military, we conjure up images of Rambo and GI Jane, or Maverick and Iceman from Top Gun. The images are of lean, mean fighting machines who are ripped, fit and ready to take on America’s enemies. Movies are one thing, but reality paints a different picture. A recent report from The Heritage Foundation describes trouble ahead for the U.S. military. Based on 2017 ...

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Two of the most well-known American food journalists have been telling readers that the DASH and Mediterranean diets are not tops for our health. But hang on — the evidence tells a different story. The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling, The Big Fat Surprise. In their ...

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Why are there vending machines in hospitals? This seems like an odd question to ponder, and it certainly would seem to have nothing to do with the current state of medicine and health care in our country. But it is a question that I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around. Certainly, most hospitals do have vending machines that sell snacks and soda, and they are by no ...

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As a physician, I am totally disgusted by what President Donald Trump eats -- and you should be too. His standing order on Trump Force One is reminiscent of a fast-food bacchanalia, comprised of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted” according to the recently released book by his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and top aide David Bossie. But it doesn’t stop there: Trump ...

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I remember just moving to Atlanta and having breakfast with a new-found friend I had met while working at a hospital as a registered nurse. The food at our chosen eatery was far from great. But I must say, my friend’s enthusiasm for life, specifically living in Atlanta, was fulfilling enough to make me forget the chef's lackluster culinary skills. She was warm, outgoing, adventurous, somewhat inquisitive — just what ...

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Growing up Republican, I have long believed in personal responsibility. In junior high school, when I observed close relatives who struggled with obesity, I vowed to never let myself get out of shape. (“Junior high” is what we called middle school back in the day.) When hip surgery gone wrong dramatically reduced my level of physical activity two and a half years ago, I cut back on what I ate ...

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She came to me with complaints of weight gain. I gave her a pill, and she shed 200 lbs. in 2 weeks. No, of course not. There is no such pill. Mrs. Lopez did not lose weight. At her follow up four months later, she had gained 11 pounds. I went back to my note, and it clearly said that I “counseled her ...

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We are all guilty of having biases. Some of them we know about and proudly flaunt. Some of them have been ingrained so deeply that we do not even know they exist. Weight is an issue that brings out strong biases, and multiple studies have demonstrated a high level of bias from physicians against overweight and obese patients. Obese patients are often treated rudely and are not given the same ...

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