Defending the American public from fake news on science and health

Fake science seems to be taking over news sources that we have trusted for an insight into our world. An organization that is pushing back against such stories is the American Council on Science and Health. It is a consumer advocacy group founded in 1978 to promote evidence-based science and health policy. In addition to its permanent staff, the organization relies on a Board of … Continue reading Defending the American public from fake news on science and health

Why is the BMI not useful for postmenopausal women and the elderly?

Previously In Defense of Processed Food, I pointed out limitations in the BMI as an index of body weight. Unfortunately, the BMI has now become the primary health index. The BMI underestimates obesity in short people and overestimates it in tall people. Children and youth are special cases. Today’s young are evaluated against a reference standard collected over a period between 1963 and 1994. “Overweight is … Continue reading Why is the BMI not useful for postmenopausal women and the elderly?

The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss

Our guts are much more important to our overall health than most of us believe and understand. At least that is what The Microbiome Diet by Dr. Raphael Kellman tells us. This book reinforces the message I have received in The Good Gut, Missing Microbes and Let Them Eat Dirt. Kellman’s book is the first of these to present a detailed account of what we … Continue reading The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss

Should the USDA reduce food stamp funds and supplement them with Harvest Boxes?

Last month the Trump administration announced a proposal for modifying the food-stamp program as part of next year’s budget. The plan would reduce the money recipients would receive and replace the loss of these funds with Harvest Boxes which were likened to meal kits like those provided by Blue Apron. Individual states would be responsible for the logistics of distributing the boxes to recipients. Like … Continue reading Should the USDA reduce food stamp funds and supplement them with Harvest Boxes?

Childhood obesity and a brief note on the BMI

Blame the food? Blame the child? Blame the parents? Work to find a solution? Each year the latest reading on childhood obesity is released. The information is collected in the NHANES survey, published in a prestigious journal and interpreted by health reporters in media across the country and beyond. Last year gave us good news. The childhood obesity level reported in 2017 was lower than … Continue reading Childhood obesity and a brief note on the BMI

American Capitalism and the Science of Scaling

Two books of tangential interest to the topic of processed foods have jumped out at me in recent weeks. One, Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan, provides a more balanced view of corporations than we typically experience in our daily reading. He is not an unvarnished advocate of free-market capitalism and American exceptionalism. Neither is he a harsh critic of anything … Continue reading American Capitalism and the Science of Scaling

My personal experience with Hello Fresh

Last year I signed on for 20 weeks of fresh veggies. Every Wednesday I would pick up a box of fresh veggies to cook up for our meals. This year, upon the recommendation of one of my faithful readers, I decided to try a meal-kit solution from Hello Fresh. The best part of last year’s experiment was the number of unfamiliar vegetables I encountered and … Continue reading My personal experience with Hello Fresh

Copycat Snacks: School Nutrition Policy in Action

It is a pleasure to introduce Dr. Georgianna Mann as a guest columnist this week. Last June I published an article on school lunches and waste. Even a hard-core, processed-food guy like me was surprised at all the prackaged foods in our local school lunchroom either served by the staff or brought from home. Dr. Mann, a former student of mine, sent in some comments … Continue reading Copycat Snacks: School Nutrition Policy in Action