Obesity and Heart Disease

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Obesity and Heart Disease

Obesity and Genes

I have been meaning to talk about this story, but I have been busy. A study in Nature looked for genes linked with “common” obesity (more on that in a moment), and it was one of the first to link genes to the disease. Turns out several are genes expressed in the brain: A genetic…

This Sunday you are slightly less likely to have a heart attack. Swedish researchers, publishing in the NEJM, looked at a registry of heart attacks from 1987 to 2006. They found that the incidence of heart attacks slightly increases for the three days following the Spring daylight savings time where we lose an hour. The…

The Fit-Fat Fight Reignites

The fit-fat fight — whether someone can be obese but still healthy — has reignited (if it ever really stopped) with an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine that was reported in the NYTimes. Wildman et al. used data from the NHANES study and looked at the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and…

There is an interesting discussion going on at the Becker-Posner blog about obesity abatement. Richard Posner talks about the NY ordinance requiring that calorie counts of food be prominently labeled fast food restaurants: The significance of the New York City ordinance lies in its requiring that calorie numbers be printed next to the food items…

It has become almost the conventional wisdom that the obesity epidemic is at least partially attributable to people eating out. I for one really try and avoid eating out because I always feel like I end up eating junk food. But does this really matter? Do people actually eat more overall when they eat out…

Now that is pretty clear. This is from Miller and Silverstein in Nature Clinical Practice. It is in reference to childhood obesity: There has been much debate about the cause of the current epidemic of obesity. Most experts agree that the increased prevalence of childhood obesity cannot be blamed on changes in either the environment…

Castro’s Cuba has seen a precipitous drop in obesity rates and in the deaths associated with cardiovascular risk: Cuba’s economic crisis of 1989-2000 resulted in reduced energy intake, increased physical activity, and sustained population-wide weight loss. The authors evaluated the possible association of these factors with mortality trends. Data on per capita daily energy intake,…

Not good news for people who think low carbs is the answer. A recently published study has shown an increase in mortality associated with low-carb/high-protein diets. Studies looking at the comparative effectiveness of different diets have shown that basically all diets are equivalent. (Equivalently bad, that is. All the diets tested produced moderate declines in…

How genetic is obesity?

The NYTimes ran an excerpt of a book called Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting by Gina Kolata. Having read the excerpt — I haven’t read the whole book — I take issue with how Kolata frames the issue of the genetics of obesity. My…

Exercise in pill form

If this works, this guy is going to make a bagillion dollars: By giving ordinary adult mice a drug – a synthetic designed to mimic fat – Salk Institute scientist Dr. Ronald M. Evans is now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat. Even…