Stories tagged with obesity

How to fight obesity and climate change at the same time

In Louisville, Ky., projects that might normally pitched as good for the planet are being funded because they're good for people, too. Money from private and public investors is going towards building bike lanes, funding community gardens, and increasingly walkability in low income neighborhoods. The motivation behind the investments is not to reduce carbon emissions, but to increase community health. In the Louisville area, more than six in ten people are overweight, and Kentucky, which has the 7th highest obesity rate in the nation, recently had to fend back lobbyists who wanted the state to allow food stamps to be …

Scary Food

High-fat diet may damage the brain, study finds

There have been many disturbing studies on the effects of a high-fat diet on the brain. I’m thinking in particular of the 2009 study that suggested the American diet can be as addictive to the brain as heroin. But a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society is even more concerning — and may provide a “missing link” in our understanding of the obesity epidemic. Researchers led by Joshua Thaler of the University of Washington fed an American-style high-fat diet to lab rats over the course of eight months. They discovered that the diet not only …


Fat city: The way your neighborhood is built could be killing you

Road to ruin.Photo: Alfonso SurrocaCrappy urban development isn’t just ugly and noisy and dirty. It is turning out to be lethal. One Toronto study looked at how the quality of a community’s streets can affect people’s health, factoring into drastically reduced life expectancy. It’s the focus of an article in The Globe and Mail that discusses how Toronto and other cities are segregated not just by race and income, but also by the quality of the built environment — and what that division means for residents’ health. People living in less walkable, outlying parts of the city, with less access …

Scary Food

Mimicking Big Tobacco, Big Soda blows smoke in Philadelphia

Big Soda can blow smoke with the best of ‘em.Coke image: Andrew AtkinsonFor years now, numerous commentators (myself included) have made comparisons of the food industry with Big Tobacco. The most recent example should become the poster child for how the most egregious tactics of tobacco companies are alive and well. Last month came the announcement that the American Beverage Association (the lobbying arm of soft drink companies) was donating $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Why Philadelphia? Could a proposal to place a tax on soft drinks have anything to do with it? Here’s how the Philadelphia …

Fat chance

The last days of the low-fat diet fad

The low-fat trend finally appears to be on its way out. The notion that saturated fats are detrimental to our health is deeply embedded in our zeitgeist — but shockingly, the opposite just might be true. For over 50 years the medical establishment, public health officials, nutritionists, and dietitians have been telling the American people to eat a low-fat diet, and in particular, to avoid saturated fats. Only recently have nutrition experts begun to encourage people to eat “healthy fats.” This past December, the Los Angeles Times reported that excess carbohydrates and sugar, not fat, are responsible for America’s obesity and …

Fat chance

Why new dietary guidelines can’t solve the obesity crisis

Ahh, breakfast.Photo: Elana’s PantryThe USDA released a new set of dietary guidelines this week and the updated guidelines were enough to put nutritionist Marion Nestle in “shock”: I never would have believed they could pull this off.  The new guidelines recognize that obesity is the number one public health nutrition problem in America and actually give good advice about what to do about it: eat less and eat better. For the first time, the guidelines make it clear that eating less is as priority. She did criticize the guidelines for talking about “food” when it came to things you needed …

Central paradox

The ‘food desert’ in the heart of California’s farming region

The Central Valley of California produces half the fruits and vegetables grown in the US, yet its farmworker families have little access to fresh food

Central paradox

The 'food desert' in the heart of California's farming region

The Central Valley of California produces half the fruits and vegetables grown in the US, yet its farmworker families have little access to fresh food


Starbucks’ 31-ounce 'Trenta' size won’t fit in your stomach

Starbucks' new 31-ounce "Trenta" size, essentially the Big Gulp of joe, is disturbingly larger than the average human stomach.

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