Simplifying Science

The No-Duh Tax on Soda

Well said Mark Bittman. Well said.

The Next Battleground for Soda

Tolstoy wrote that time and patience are the two most powerful warriors. The advocates of measures restricting the marketing and sale of sugar-sweetened beverages have had to employ plenty of each, and the payoff may...Read More

Facing Fa(c)ts

Fat is not the enemy. I have been teaching this to kids for years. Read this piece if you are looking for a succinct and articulate explanation why.

Always Hungry? Here’s Why

FOR most of the last century, our understanding of the cause of obesity has been based on immutable physical law. Specifically, it’s the first law of thermodynamics, which dictates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. When it comes to body weight, this means that calorie intake minus calorie...Read More

[Kids] Will Work for Food?

This article probably doesn't say anything you don't already know. But it is a good reminder that pretty much everyone, even very young kids, covets what they cannot have... even if what they cannot have is a SpongeBob cracker.

The Lure of Forbidden Food

How hard will your child work for food? In an experiment, researchers at Pennsylvania State University gave preschool children the opportunity to “work” for a food reward. All the child had to do was click a computer mouse four times to earn a cinnamon-flavored graham cracker. Read More

Important Fast (Food) Read

Many of us - myself included - have pointed a finger at fast food consumption blaming it for the rise in obesity rates. This study suggests that fast food outlets are not entirely to blame - rather, they just mimic poor eating habits that occur all day long, at home and out of the house too.  

Fast Food Not the Major Cause of Rising Childhood Obesity Rates, Study Finds

For several years, many have been quick to attribute rising fast-food consumption as the major factor causing rapid increases in childhood obesity. However a new study...Read More

The Start of Puberty Keeps Inching Backwards

Here goes my broken record: yes, puberty is starting younger and younger for our kids. This article highlights a new study that confirms what we have known for some time: obese kids are likely to develop sooner than non-obese kids. This has to do with hormone conversion in fat cells - obese bodies face a higher load of the hormones that send the body into puberty. But non-obese kids are at risk too. Every child in grammar school is facing hormonal shifts younger than her (or his!) parents did. Each study that comes along helps take us one step further down the road of understanding why. Hopefully, we can start doing something about it because these kids aren't ready - physically or emotionally - for what is happening to them. And we have no idea what the long term ramifications will be...

Obesity linked to early puberty in girls, study finds

There’s yet another reason to worry about the obesity epidemic among America’s kids: Extra weight may be sending U.S. girls into puberty earlier than ever. Researchers have found that girls with higher body mass index, a ratio of height and weight, may start developing breasts more than a year before their thinner friends — perhaps as early as second grade. The change is spawning a whole new market of child-sized sanitary pads — decorated with hearts and stars — and deodorants aimed at 8- to 10-year-olds, according to a new study and an editorial published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Read More

Quantifying the Importance of Breakfast

I am a big fan of breakfast. I write about it, speak about it, teach kids the importance of it. I eat it every day. This article doesn't so much cast doubt on my conviction that breakfast is a key component of a healthy day - but it does remind us that scientific studies aren't prefect.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

I eat breakfast every morning—usually a bowl of Grape-Nuts with fruit, pecans, and a splash of goat’s-milk yogurt. See how virtuous I am? My dietary habits have been endorsed by the nation’s leading gurus of good health: The Mayo Clinic says that morning meals reduce hunger and stave off obesity. Read More

Is Childhood Obesity on the Decline?

Let's hope so. Hot off the NY Times presses, there is hope that the tide is turning.

Obesity in Young Is Seen as Falling in Several Cities

After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines. The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska...Read More