Author Archives: Colby Vorland

Holidays & weight gain: what the science suggests

Originally published on 12.22.2010.  Many people have the perception that they are likely to gain 5 or 10 pounds during the holiday season (Thanksgiving to after New Year's Day).  This myth has been propagated by media (4), partially explaining why it exists.  But since it is untrue, it does not mean it isn't important; holiday weight gain still may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic.  After all, the average weight gain per year is only ~0.2 to 0.8 kg per year (4).  Holiday weight Read more [...]

Thanksgiving and weight gain: trivial or not, and riskier for the overweight?

Originally published on 11.23.2010. No additional research has been done since. Tomorrow I will post the subsequent article that examined research on the entire holiday period. Is the Thanksgiving holiday a prime time for weight gain?  Is it riskier for people already overweight or currently dieting?  Unfortunately, I am only able to find 2 studies that specifically examine the effect Thanksgiving has on weight gain, and both have limitations that make definite conclusions difficult.  I summarize Read more [...]

Weekend Update

Weekly links from 2 weeks ago: Scott Gavura takes on bad reporting on the recent Cochrane salt meta-analysis Science-Based Medicine » Salt: More confirmation bias for your preferred narrative PLoS Computational Biology: In Silico Evidence for Gluconeogenesis from Fatty Acids in Humans Too much technological feedback precision may hinder health goal progress. Will be interesting to see if follow-up research corroborates In Praise Of Vagueness | Wired Science | Dietary restriction Read more [...]

Weekend Update

Brain cells in this animal study were fine, alcohol just blocked memory formation. Specifically, it activates NMDA receptors and increases neurosteroids that bind GABA receptors and inhibit LTP Study shows how binge drinking harms memory. paper here Yoni asks why a paper in the AJCN with such methodological shortcomings was published (by Michael Zemel who has dedicated his career to promoting the idea that milk will help with weight loss). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition's recent Read more [...]

Averaged restaurant stated calorie values accurate overall (but only 7% within 10 kcal); lower calorie sit-down entrees less so

Note: the original title was misleading in that I wrote "on average stated calories are accurate", but really only 7% were within 10 kcal of what is posted. Averaged together they are accurate, but individually they are not. Restaurants have been estimated to account for about 35% of american energy intake (USDA data), so it is important that customers are provided accurate information about how many calories they are consuming should they be monitoring their intakes.  A previous pilot study by Read more [...]

Severe childhood obesity and state intervention

I've been following David Ludwig's commentaries in JAMA with interest lately; some of recent that I especially enjoyed: Extra Calories Cause Weight Gain—But How Much? (with Maritjn Katan) Front-of-Package Food Labels: Public Health or Propaganda? (with Marion Nestle) Dietary Guidelines in the 21st Century-a Time for Food (with Dariush Mozaffarian) - my favorite, which I blogged about here. Technology, Diet, and the Burden of Chronic Disease So I was excited to see on Tuesday that another Read more [...]

Weekend Update

  I'm posting on schedule this week, a rarity I know. Here are some interesting links from last week:   This week's hot topic was the Cochrane review on salt intake: Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease Note that this is only RCTs as well, and not the full body of evidence Published this week, a controversial article by Melinda Moyer.  While I am no salt expert, the first 2 studies referenced (which includes the Cochrane review) in this article had some Read more [...]

Weekend Update

From last week: Megan points out some interesting initiatives to increase access to fruits and vegetables: Verdant Nation: Increasing fruit & veggie intake - the why and the how She points out a recent review of the association between fruit and vegetable intake and adiposity - still a lot to be answered there. Yoni highlights a case of poor reporting: Weighty Matters: The deleterious impact of snacking on journalistic integrity Penny posts about recent research suggesting the paradigm Read more [...]

Increase in number of eating occasions, more than increases in food portion sizes or energy density per meal responsible for increased energy intake at the population level?

We know by now that an increase in calorie consumption since the 1970s by about 500 Calories per day for Americans is primarily fueling obesity.  Physical activity decline at the population level is a lesser contributor (and it is contentious if the 'decline' is significant).  For references, see those from Yoni's presentation in this post.  What is lesser known at this point is why people are eating more- what factors have the most influence on how much we eat per day?  There are many theories, Read more [...]

Why the “chocolate milk diet” won’t work

This piece was written by myself and Travis Saunders of the Obesity Panacea blog.  As it is cross posted on both blogs, i've disabled comments here. Please visit his blog if you would like to comment. Through Twitter this gem of an article: "The Chocolate Milk Diet" got our BS detectors blaring, published last year by the editor-in-chief of Men's Health and Women's Health, David Zinczenko. Usually I (Colby) ignore these kind of things, but the article was so nonsensical that I felt it needed to Read more [...]