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Disease Proof

Health for the Holidays? Have Fun!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.21.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If you eat well and are active generally throughout the year, you will be healthier and leaner than those who are not. If that pattern persists over the holidays, or picks up again after, you will find in it pretty effective immunity against holiday-related health hazards. Build good health year round, and let the good times roll when the holidays roll around.

Our Health, on Fire: The #UseWhatWeKnow Campaign

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.29.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Let the parsing continue, for that competition is healthy if it helps us do something about the residual 20 percent of all chronic disease we don't already know how to prevent. But let us not squander what we do know while working to learn what we don't.

Our Sodas, Stars and Selves: Where the Buck -- and Calories -- Stop

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.29.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Big Soda might have said: "We know you are getting fat and sick, and feel we are implicated; but frankly, we don't give a damn as long as you are foolish enough to keep buying what we sell." Actually, that would have been refreshingly honest.

Why Some People Can Fly and Others are Healthy: of Science, Sense and Skillpower

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.24.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The route to health should be a path of lesser resistance than it is, free of turbulence and traffic. But it is what it is for now, and we need to rise above it.

HOW to Eat Well

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.10.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

To get to the relevance of "how," we must overcome the spurious debates about "what." You certainly can't get there from here if you can't acknowledge where "there" is. We do know, but our culture needs to admit that we know. The profitable market for pixie dust needs to disappear.

Lifestyle Medicine: Have Hammer, See Nails, Seeking Spoon

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.27.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Famously, when you have a hammer, you tend to see nails everywhere you look. As president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, then, perhaps it's no surprise that I see opportunity to apply this remedy everywhere I look. Lifestyle medicine is my hammer.

The Keys to Good Health

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.14.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Rather, leaving aside the swirl of aspersions that likely has Dr. Keys turning in his grave if such things are possible, I simply want to note that his work is...moot. It doesn't matter whether Keys was all right, all wrong, or inevitably -- somewhere in between.

Body Parts and Skin in the Game

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 08.04.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Those of us hoping for health need our kids as much as they need us. In unity there is strength, after all. A family that eats well together has no junk food in the house in the first place.

What I Would Do If My Foot Caught Fire

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 06.14.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If my foot caught fire, I would just go ahead and fetch a pail of water. Soldiering past the want of randomized clinical trials on the topic, and weirdly wonderful fad approaches would test me sorely, but I think I could deal with it.

Bittman, Butter, and Better Than Back to the Future

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 05.27.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Mr. Bittman is absolutely not qualified to assert the health effects of butter based on a recent meta-analysis I rather doubt he read in its somewhat excruciating detail.

Drowning in Calories

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 05.13.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Obesity is, in many ways that matter most, analogous to drowning.Individuals can, and for the most part should, learn to "swim" through our obesogenic culture. But those swimming lessons need to be accessible, affordable, applicable and actionable.

Childhood Obesity: Have We Turned the Tide?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.30.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The headline in the New York Times, was: "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43 Percent in a Decade." This, and similarly effusive headlines reverberating throughout the news media, would seem to invite the question: have we, in fact, turned the tide? Is the mission accomplished?

What's Wrong With Us? Three Names, One Place, a Company and a Substance

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.26.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Instead of the unending beauty pageant, my colleagues could all rally around the fundamentals of healthful eating, which are in fact well-established. But I guess the allure of fame and fortune is just too great.

Gills, Pills and Obesity Genes

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.22.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Human beings don't have gills, and there are genes to blame. But the right response looks like swimming lessons, and lifeguards, and fences around pools -- not studying genes while pushing kids into the surf. Not a new pill to fix an age-old part of who we are that was never really broken.

Can We Unmuddle Mammography?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.22.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

A new study of mammography, showing lack of survival benefit, has once again muddied these waters and muddled the relevant messaging.

Baloney, Bushes and the Bird in Hand

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.05.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

All of this wonderfully empowering information about diet came along AFTER we already knew how to prevent 80 percent of all chronic disease and obesity with a short list of lifestyle factors, including diet.

Fools, Fanatics and Fat-Free Milk

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.31.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Here's what we actually know. In the U.S., more dairy in the diet -- of whatever variety -- is generally associated with better health and weight outcomes. But that is likely because in the context of our culture, more dairy means less soda. In global context, some of the world's healthiest diets and most convincing intervention trials have de-emphasized, or even excluded dairy.

Obesity and Oblivion -- Or -- What I've Learned Under General Anesthesia

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I consider it a societal travesty that hyperendemic obesity and the metabolic mayhem that often follows in its wake are treated ever more frequently, in ever younger people, under general anesthesia. Our answer to obesity is, it seems, oblivion.

On Faith and Data

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.15.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I have clung to the conviction that truth is often immediately furtive, but relentless and ultimately indomitable. Seekers of truth are patient of necessity, obliged to be disciples of time. So far, I have kept the faith that eventually enough data would rally us to common understanding and common cause.

Judging the Judging of Diets

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.12.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I'm not sure that alternative diets with some salient feature to define them need to compete with one another. A second and related concern is that this kind of exercise may tend to foster a preoccupation with labels, rather than compositional details.

Please Don't Feed the Morons

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.05.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

So here we are -- at the start of a year, reflecting on the long-overdue end of the junk food era. But there's no need to hope or whine or wring our hands. We are in charge. Any time we like we could refuse to eat like morons by deciding not to swallow any more baloney. This could be that year.

Ready-or-Not Resolutions: Let's Focus on the Crocuses!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.26.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Resolutions, born of a "ready or not, let's go" mentality, invite failure. So reinvent your resolutions and make them more likely to succeed. Resolve to get ready, and go only when you are.

Feeding Homo Sapiens: Are We Truly as Clueless as We Seem?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.18.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I would like to think that this is the New Year we situate ourselves sensibly among the panoply of creatures who eat as they fundamentally should. But instead, 2013 draws to a close with a whole new crop of iconoclastic dietary diatribe.

Statins, Static and the Status Quo: Is Anyone Getting the Signal?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.04.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If it were truly clear exactly what criteria for statin use were best, there would be no controversy in the first place. There appear to be strengths and weaknesses to both sets of criteria, the old and the new.

The Logic of Gifting Health

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.02.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

This holiday season, as our own thoughts turn aspirational for ourselves and those we love, permit to suggest the logic of not just wishing for health and long life, but gifting them. I believe the right approach allows for exactly that.