New Publication – Review of Obesity RCTs

In the world of research, the ‘gold standard’ study design is the randomized controlled trial (RCT). The pros and cons of RCTs are well-known, yet details on this study design and how researchers in the field of obesity conduct and report RCTs is not well understood…until now. Continue reading

“Children will just grow out of their excess weight, right?”

At our team’s case conference last week, a couple clinicians recalled instances when referring MDs had told our families that their children would just ‘grow out’ of their obesity. Anecdotally, we know this happens infrequently, but is there evidence to support this belief?

After reviewing a few papers on this topic, a couple key take-aways:

1. Only ~15% of children who are ‘overweight or obese’ ever return to a healthy weight (spontaneously).

2. A ‘return to a healthy weight’ happens much more often in:

overweight (vs obese children)

younger (vs older children)

Caucasian (vs non-Caucasian children)

Overall, among the kids we see clinically (>90% in the obese category), a ‘return to a healthy weight’ does not happen very often. And in some sub-groups, like those listed above, it’s unlikely to happen at all.

Of course, this is just the weight-related story — and we all know there’s much more to health than just weight. But if you hear your colleagues or families make this claim in the future, you know that research tells a different story.



Keep It Simple…But Not TOO Simple

The traditional approach in nutrition research and dietary counseling has been reductionist….vitamins, minerals, nutrients. However, it can be challenging to translate new knowledge generated from a reductionist paradigm in the real-world in which we eat snacks, meals….FOOD! This reality is demonstrated clearly in how, at different periods in time, dietary fat and sugar have been either heralded or demonized.

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Physical Activity & Exercise: Great for Health; Not Great for Weight Loss

When health care professionals talk with individuals about weight management, energy balance (‘energy in’ vs ‘energy out’) usually comes up. Over the decades, a truckload of research has examined the impact of diet and exercise on changes in weight and health. Through this work, it’s become increasingly clear that diet and exercise are not equal players in this equation. Continue reading

I Need To Walk HOW MANY Miles To Burn Off A Cupcake!?!

A number of studies have examined how front-of-package (FOP) information and menu labeling can influence the purchasing decisions we make in different settings and circumstances (in a grocery store, at a restaurant, standing in front of a vending machine). The underlying assumption is that ‘knowledge is power’; people will make informed, rational decisions at the point-of-purchase and make healthy food choices. While this might work for some people, some of the time, in some settings, this only represents part of the story….not to mention that most people don’t make food purchasing and eating decisions in the absence of emotion.

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