The Week: Most Recent Health:War on Obesity recent posts.en-usWed, 30 Jan 2013 17:00:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Health:War on Obesity from THE WEEKWed, 30 Jan 2013 17:00:00 -0500The secret to losing weight: An earlier lunch?<img src="" /></P><p>Want to lose weight? You might want to keep your eye on the clock. Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Tufts University, and the University of Murcia in Spain may have stumbled on a neat little </span>life-hack<span> for helping people drop pounds: Eat lunch early.&nbsp;</p><p class="p2">In this study, published in the <em>International Journal of Obesity</em>, scientists enlisted 420 overweight participants in a 20-week weight-loss program in Spain. Unlike the United States, lunch in Spain is typically the largest meal of the day, accounting for 40 percent of a person's daily caloric intake. In this case, researchers...</p></span> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 30 Jan 2013 17:00:00 -0500Why do we get so fat during the winter?<img src="" /></P><p>Your bathroom scale isn't lying: You really are gaining winter weight. Consider it an unmistakable reminder that long before we were regularly bombarded by ads featuring the immaculate abs of celebrities and multi-day cleanses that taste like grass clippings, our ancestors needed those extra couple of pounds to protect them against the season's inclement weather. From an evolutionary standpoint, it's why that extra helping of pasta, that greasy slice of pizza, or even that stale, sprinkled donut all appear extra tempting when the temperature drops a few degrees.&nbsp;</p><p>Indeed,&nbsp;Dr. Norman Rosenthal...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 29 Jan 2013 09:45:00 -0500Can Coke's new anti-obesity ads actually lower obesity rates?<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="660" height="397" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>In an attempt to reassure consumers that drinking sugary, carbonated beverages is a-okay, <strong>Coca-Cola has released two new commercials highlighting the ways the company is helping to reduce obesity. </strong>"Across our portfolio of over 650 beverages, we now offer over 180 low- and no-calorie choices," says the narrator of one commercial, titled "Come Together." The ad goes on to say that calories from soda are no different than any other calories we put into our bodies every day, and suggests that it's the consumer's responsibility to burn off what he or she takes in. A second commercial says a can of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jessica-hullinger" ><span class="byline">Jessica Hullinger</span></a>Thu, 17 Jan 2013 15:00:00 -0500The disgusting weight-loss tool that pumps food from your stomach<img src="" /></P><p>People who are slightly overweight may or may not live a bit longer&nbsp;&mdash; a controversial debate incited by a recent study &mdash; but it's pretty universally understood that being obese is bad. The morbidly overweight, though, have few appealing options: Going on extreme diets and trying to exercise away some extra pounds, a bariatric (gastric bypass) operation or other surgical intervention, or just giving up and living with the health risks, social stigma, and general discomfort. So it's good news, perhaps, that Dean Kamen, inventor of the little used but nonetheless technologically impressive...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Thu, 10 Jan 2013 13:43:00 -0500Are overweight people likely to live longer?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The question: </strong>Being overweight is, generally speaking, not a good thing. For starters, obese people are more prone to health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Then there's the years of aches, joint pains, and lower quality of life that results directly from carrying around all that extra poundage. However, a new study finds that being slightly overweight is not that bad for you after all, and may even have unexpected health benefits. The study &mdash; published by Dr. Katherine Flegal of the National Center of Health Statistics in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association &mdash;...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:35:00 -0500When did Santa Claus get so fat?<img src="" /></P><p>The plump Santa Claus whom children all over the world will be keeping an eye out for on Christmas Eve is actually a pretty modern creation. The jovial version of St. Nick popular in the U.S. wasn't always so soft and cuddly &mdash; in fact, in Europe, Santa is depicted as a&nbsp;much thinner gift-giver&nbsp;who sometimes bucks his reindeer-powered sleigh to travel by foot. Here's what we know about Santa's expanding waistline over the centuries:</p><p class="p2"><strong>Santa wasn't always fat?<br /></strong>Nope. The modern version of Santa Claus is loosely based on St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children who was born around the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Mon, 24 Dec 2012 12:10:00 -0500Breaking down your Thanksgiving dinner: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>Put your stretchy pants on &mdash; Thanksgiving is finally here. It's estimated that the average American consumes over three times the daily number of recommended calories on the unofficial kick-off to the glutinous holiday season (depending on your weight, you can pack on as many as five pounds by the time New Year's Day rolls around). So, what's the best way to avoid overeating on Turkey Day and control your calorie count? Don't skip breakfast, says Kathleen M. Zelman at <em>WebMD</em>. Although many people avoid eating to "save room" for the big feast, eating something small in the morning means you...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 22 Nov 2012 08:23:00 -0500Can Pepsi's new soda really burn fat?<img src="" /></P><p>Diet cola is nothing new, but what about a soda that actually helps you <em>drop</em> weight? Over the weekend, PepsiCo unveiled a fat-blocking drink that it's set to release in Japan. The new beverage, Pepsi Special, contains a proven fat-fighting ingredient called dextrin and is intended to target the country's lucrative market of "young, health-conscious men," says Akito Fujita at <em>ABC News</em><em>.</em> Here's what you need to know:</p><p><strong>What is dextrin, exactly?</strong><br />In the U.S. dextrin is sold as a supplement called&nbsp;Benefiber, which works by absorbing water as it moves through our intestines, says James Hamblin at<em> The...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 12 Nov 2012 15:15:00 -0500Does banning jumbo sodas really help people lose weight?<img src="" /></P><p>On Thursday, the New York City Board of Health approved Mayor Bloomberg's controversial soda ban prohibiting fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, movie theaters, and food carts from selling sugar-filled drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The limit, however, does not apply to grocery stores, or to fruit juices and dairy-based beverages like milkshakes. While some 60 percent of New Yorkers oppose the ban, which won't take effect until March 2013, Bloomberg was pleased, tweeting that "[six] months from today, our city will be an even healthier place." But is imposing healthier restrictions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 14 Sep 2012 16:45:00 -0400The Biggest Loser adds teenage contestants: Bad idea?<img src="" /></P><p>After a two-year hiatus, household-name trainer Jillian Michaels is bringing her tough-love fitness approach back to NBC's&nbsp;<em>The Biggest Loser</em> &mdash; in time for a new twist: teenage contestants. On Tuesday, Michaels announced that she agreed to return to the reality TV weight-loss competition after producers committed to addressing childhood obesity. When the show's 14th season premieres in January 2013, it will feature three teams of six contestants, at least one of whom will be a teenager aged 13-17. The controversial move has, predictably, provoked commentators. Here, 5 talking points:...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 05 Sep 2012 13:43:00 -0400Why fat-free salad dressing might actually be bad for you<img src="" /></P><p>Doctors may say that fat-free balsamic on your salad is better for you than something with more fat and flavor, but striking new evidence from Purdue University suggests that such thinking might be flawed. It turns out that fat-free dressings don't maximize the nutritional firepower you get from eating veggies the way a regular dressing might. Here's what you need to know before your next meal:</p><p><strong>Why is using a fat-free dressing bad?</strong><br />Dieters often turn to fat-free dressings because they're lower in calories, but in this new study, led by Purdue associate professor of food science Mario Feruzzi, a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 09 Jul 2012 07:42:00 -0400Belviq: A guide to the first FDA-approved obesity drug in 13 years<img src="" /></P><p>For the first time in more than a decade, the Food and Drug Administration has approved an anti-obesity drug: Belviq, a new appetite-suppressing pill, was cleared earlier this week (even though the feds initially rejected the drug in 2010 due to safety concerns). Here's what you need to know:</p><p><strong>How does it work?<br /></strong>The medicine coaxes the brain into releasing serotonin, a chemical which can suppress appetite by helping people feel full faster, and also appears to give patients a metabolism boost. (Though serotonin is also a key factor in the treatment of depression, Belviq is designed to seek out only...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 29 Jun 2012 16:34:00 -0400Does gastric bypass surgery cause alcoholism?<img src="" /></P><p>An estimated 72 million Americans are obese, and every year some 200,000 have bariatric surgery to help them lose weight. Unfortunately, some of these patients may be trading one health problem for another. A new study released online Monday in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em> found that the gastric bypass, which is the most common and effective weight-loss surgery, increases a person's risk of alcohol abuse. Here, a brief guide: <br /><br /><strong>What is gastric bypass surgery?</strong><br />It's an operation that involves shrinking the size of the patient's stomach, attaching it to a lower portion of the intestine...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 19 Jun 2012 09:04:00 -0400Why sleepy people love pizza<img src="" /></P><p>Restless sleepers often find themselves magnetically drawn to the fridge, and science may finally understand why: Two recent studies suggest that most people are wired to succumb to the temptations of junk food like pizza and candy when they don't get enough sleep. Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>How were these studies conducted?</strong><br />In one experiment, researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge of the New York Obesity Research Center had 25 participants spend five nights in a lab. On some nights, they were allowed to sleep for nine hours; on others, they only got four. Subjects were then hooked up to a brain scanner...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 13 Jun 2012 11:47:00 -0400Disney's junk-food ad ban: Good for business?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This week, Walt Disney &mdash; the owner of ABC, ABC Family, the Disney Channel, and other TV outlets &mdash; became the first major media company to limit junk-food advertising during its children's programming, saying it would no longer carry ads for foods that didn't meet requirements restricting sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. Disney Chairman Robert Iger said the move was part of an effort to combat childhood obesity, a growing problem that affects 25 percent of kids between the ages of 6 and 11. First Lady Michelle Obama, appearing with Iger, threw the White House's support behind the deal...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 06 Jun 2012 11:23:00 -0400The 'diet glasses' that trick you into eating less<img src="" /></P><p>In the relatively near future, a seemingly ordinary pair of eyeglasses will be able to snap photos, give directions, and let you&nbsp;video chat with friends. Could they also help you lose weight? Perhaps one day, thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo that has developed a prototype for a pair of "diet glasses" that use augmented reality to trick weak-willed dieters into eating less. Here, a brief guide to the technology that fools the brain into making better food choices:</p><p><strong>How do these glasses work?</strong><br />Researchers developed camera-equipped goggles that beam images of what you...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 05 Jun 2012 13:55:00 -0400