obesity

There Is No Childhood Obesity Epidemic

So stop applauding Michelle Obama for reducing it!

Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade” said the front-page headline of yesterday’s New York Times, in what the paper described as a “stunning” drop. The story goes on to summarize the latest findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is widely considered the gold standard in regard to national health statistics.

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In ten years, you might be eating bacteria from someone else's gut to treat autism or obesity.

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As Judith Shulevitz reports in her latest Phenomenology column in The New Republic, our intense focus on weight loss often overlooks the importance of treating the chronic disease of obesity. Americans usually try to lose weight by exercising, dieting, popping pills, or even turning to surgery. But here are five much weirder ways that countries around the world try to combat obesity—including one far-out method made by a U.S. company.

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Separating Fat from Fiction

A novel takes on the social issue du jour

The tricky problem of the obese character.

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Chris Christie's Big Fat Authenticity

What the media misses about the governor's weight loss

What the media misses about the governor's weight loss

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Worth Reading

Fred Mishkin: Fed shouldn't worry about asset bubbles right now. Inflation expectations have returned to a historically normal range. Study: A higher minimum wage can reduce obesity. Dallas Fed: Don't blame protectionism for the decline in global trade. Banks just as happy buying Treasuries as making loans.

Weight Watchers

In New Jersey, any candidate for high office can count on getting smeared over taxes, corruption, the economy, or all of the above. But in this fall's hard-fought gubernatorial race, an unlikely issue has popped up amidst the usual mud-slinging: the portly physique of Republican challenger Chris Christie. Ever since Jon Corzine released his now-infamous attack ad, in which a disdainful voiceover claims Christie improperly "threw his weight around" as a U.S. Attorney, neither candidate has managed to entirely escape the politics of fat.

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The Wages of Fat

Today, David Broder takes to his pulpit to decry the nasty, personal turn taken in the New Jersey governor's race. Upset that the superfit Jon Corzine would stoop to mocking Republican challenger Chris Christie's obesity, Broder offers this lament: If you believe, as I do, that the beautiful people already have enough of an advantage in this age of television politics and cable trivia, then the last thing we need is a wave of ads highlighting the fact that others are really ugly. Ah, the beauty-is-only-skin-deep-don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover argument. How high minded.

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A proposed tax on sugary drinks has gotten some good press of late, but here's a new paper that casts doubt on its obesity fighting abilities for children and adolescents. Jason Fletcher of Yale, David Frisvold of Emory, and Nathan Tefft of Bates collected data on the effects of soft drink taxes in about 20 states that had implemented them at some point between 1988 - 2006. While the taxes -- which averaged about 2% over the period -- did reduce soft drink consumption by the young, they were not helpful in reducing obesity rates. The reason?

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