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Category: diet

Is sugar toxic? To lose weight, do we reduce the carbs in our diet, or the fat? Why do many people find it easy to lose weight, but nearly impossible to keep it off?

These are the some of the nutrition-related questions that the journalist Gary Taubes has addressed more assiduously than...

Is sugar toxic? To lose weight, do we reduce the carbs in our diet, or the fat? Why do many people find it easy to lose weight, but nearly impossible to keep it off?

These are the some of the nutrition-related questions that the journalist Gary Taubes has addressed more assiduously than probably any other science reporter in the country in recent years. On Sunday, in a piece in the Sunday Review section of The New York Times, he gives us the answers to these and similar questions. But not the answers we might like.

The answer to many of these questions, Taubes writes, is: We don't know. That's despite what he says are more than 600,000 articles on obesity or diabetes (a frequent consequence of obesity). Taubes:

Because...

Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button. Reverse aging  is probably still in the realm of fiction
Faye Flam
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I wouldn’t be surprised to see the phrase reverse aging in an advertisement or maybe a tabloid type publication. But last week I started to catch headlines in seemingly respectable publications promising a way to “reverse aging”. That’s quite a promise – one that will likely...

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the phrase reverse aging in an advertisement or maybe a tabloid type publication. But last week I started to catch headlines in seemingly respectable publications promising a way to “reverse aging”. That’s quite a promise – one that will likely get your blog post or story a lot of clicks. The first one I noticed was in an online feature associated with Discover Magazine. The feature is called D-briefs and the headline was this:

Healthy Diet and Exercise Reverse Aging in Our Cells.

The headline also used the term “healthy diet” as if this phrase actually means something. We’re told that this “healthy diet” and exercise will reverse aging, in our cells, but since we’re made of cells, it doesn’t feel like much of a...

The article in the New England Journal of Medicine caught my eye immediately, even before I'd read any of the coverage. "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," was what it said, and I quickly clipped it and...

The article in the New England Journal of Medicine caught my eye immediately, even before I'd read any of the coverage. "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," was what it said, and I quickly clipped it and saved it. With all the recent controversy among science journalists over what does or what doesn't work regarding weight loss, this seemed like the answer to a prayer--a summary of the evidence on key points, and published in the reputable New England Journal.

Marilynn Marchione at The AP wrote it up this way:

Fact or fiction? Sex burns a...

In the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, the medical and health-policy writer Trudy Lieberman is tossing a laurel to the legacy media--remember the legacy media?--for some nice reporting on childhood obesity.

The medium in question is a kids' magazine called...

In the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, the medical and health-policy writer Trudy Lieberman is tossing a laurel to the legacy media--remember the legacy media?--for some nice reporting on childhood obesity.

The medium in question is a kids' magazine called ChopChop, which aims to "get kids in the kitchen." Here is Lieberman:

ChopChop is beautiful, engaging, empowers kids to cook and eat healthy foods, offers recipes even adult foodies will love, and aims to help reduce childhood obesity—the coming scourge of the health care system. For doing all this, ChopChop deserves a CJR laurel.

Whether or not one would call this journalism is an arguable point, but Lieberman is correct to observe that the magazine is sending a message to children and families, which does make it journalism of a sort. The magazine's...

New evidence that sugary soft drinks could contribute to obesity was presented at a conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. 

The AP's Marilynn Marchione wrote that new research "powerfully strengthens the case...

New evidence that sugary soft drinks could contribute to obesity was presented at a conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. 

The AP's Marilynn Marchione wrote that new research "powerfully strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic." Marchione's story nicely recaps the evidence in the new studies and adds thoughtful quotes from appropriate authorities. She took time to make the extra calls, and her lede was strong, but also cautious and appropriate. She followed that immediately by noting that sweet soft drinks interact with genes predisposing some people to obesity, according to the studies.

Kathleen Doheny at WebMD...

This Sunday's New York...

This Sunday's New York Times Magazine features an unusual story by Gary Taubes, whom some of you might remember as the author of the controversial story in the Times in 2002 touting the virtues of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

That story appeared under the headling, "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" The headline on the web version of this Sunday's story is equally direct: "Is Sugar Toxic?" (The...

A few tidbits from the past week or two, thanks mostly to suggestions from Tracker...

A few tidbits from the past week or two, thanks mostly to suggestions from Tracker readers and Twitter friends:

• The Boston Globe put out a fine feature piece Mar. 20th on Ryan Westmoreland (left), once a top Red Sox prospect, who is now recovering from a sudden illness that could have killed him. The story is by Charles P. Pierce, a Globe magazine staff writer. You could call it a sports story, or a medical story. However you want to characterize it, it's one heck of a piece of writing. From the lede:

The afternoon is fading, and he is...

Paul Raeburn
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fruit saladThe closest I came to practicing medicine in my career as a medical reporter was during countless lunches with colleagues in the...

fruit saladThe closest I came to practicing medicine in my career as a medical reporter was during countless lunches with colleagues in the AP cafeteria, an activity we used to refer to delicately as "tying on the feed bag." Newspaper people are classy; I'm pretty sure that's well known.

I covered a lot of stories on diet and nutrition, and my lunch pals were all over me about what they should or shouldn't be eating. I gave them the best unlicensed medical advice I could muster. It was a good reality check--I got a preview of the reactions that readers might have when the stories went out on the wire.

The point is that these stories can be tricky. A study this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine is...