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Dr David Katz

What's What in Nutrition? What's on First

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.22.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The only measures of energy balance I apply to myself are: Do my clothes fit? Can I do the same number of chin-ups and pull-ups as yesterday? I don't care how many calories I ate yesterday, and it doesn't matter if my elliptical erred high, low, or was spot on.

Fatness, Fitness and Fiddling Around

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.18.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Fitness and fatness both matter. Excess weight from muscle, with a lean waist, is not a risk factor for premature death. Excess body fat distributed in the lower extremities, as often prevails in premenopausal women, is also not a marker of risk. Weight around the middle is, however, and its effect on mortality appears in this large analysis to be much the same as the risk of inactivity.

Examining The Annual Exam

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.17.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

In last week's New York Times, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel suggested that this year's resolution might be to abandon the ritual of your annual physical. The title of his column, perhaps chosen by an editor to maximize glibness and thus provocation was: "Skip your annual physical." But permit me to suggest you don't commit to that just yet. The annual physical exam warrants some more examination, a defense to follow its prosecution.

To Diet Or Not to Diet? Of Tests, Trees, and Forest

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.15.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If you are shopping for a diet, the annual guidance offered by U.S. News & World Report is quite robust. But it, too, leaves a potentially important question unaddressed: should you really be shopping for a diet in the first place?

Bone Broth and Magic Beans

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.11.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

So there you have it. If you like bone broth, sip bone broth -- although I do think you are obliged to consider the lives, and deaths, that spawned those bones. Cruelty has no place on the menu of decent people, whatever our gustatory inclinations.

Cancer: It Sure Ain't Good Luck 

Bill Couzens | Posted 03.10.2015 | Healthy Living
Bill Couzens

There are times when people work to prevent cancer and it doesn't work, but it's not unlike a seat belt in a car: The fact that it doesn't always help is not a reason to not wear a seat belt. Just because we might know one person who was killed while wearing a seat belt doesn't mean the rest of us should not wear them.

Cancer and Random Genes: Fortune Favors the Prepared

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.08.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

At this point, you should be scratching your head and asking: Didn't they study cancer occurrence in actual people? The answer is no. Didn't they show that lifestyle factors don't influence the rate of mutation? Again, the answer is no.

Who Are We? Of DNA, Drugs and Dinner

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.01.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

It says something about who we are if we neglect the means already at our disposal to eradicate 80 percent of all chronic disease while holding out for some wonder drug. What it says is none too flattering. It's that time of year. It's time for us all to decide who we are.

A Year Nearly Donne: Reflections on the Family of Man

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.23.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Can we even really imagine a world at peace? Can we even imagine seeing one another past the primitive veil of xenophobia, and perceiving the family resemblance? Can we imagine a world where we pull on the common bond of our humanity, and it never breaks?

What Really Matters Today (And Every Day)

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.18.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

What really matters most to me today is not my mission, but my family. Because that's probably true for all of us every day, the mission matters all the more. The mission is to add years to life, and life to years. When the lives and years belong to someone we love, it's the most important thing in the world.

DNA, Dunkin' and Dingbats

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.15.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

DNA, with rare exception, is not destiny. Dinner is -- to a far greater extent than most realize, or than our culture seems inclined to put to any good use. Lifestyle can alter gene expression; we can nurture nature.

The Flu Vaccine: of Flubbing and Drubbing

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.04.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The bottom line is that anti-vaccine sentiment and associated conspiracy theories are a luxury accessible only to societies largely spared the historical toll of dreadful, vaccine-preventable diseases. If our children were still prone to polio, any anti-vaccine evangelists would be trampled by the mob rushing to the immunization clinic

The Obesity Fix

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.02.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If instead, we treated obesity more like drowning, we would tell the truth about food. We would not market multicolored marshmallows to children as part of a complete breakfast. We would not willfully mislead about the perilous currents in the modern food supply. We would not look on passively as an entire population of non-swimmers started wading in over their heads.

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.

Want Health? Try the Truth

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.20.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We are imprisoned by cultural inanities that favor sales over sense, profits over the promise of adding years to life, and life to years. But we can free ourselves -- with the simple, solid, reliable fundamentals that make up... the truth.

Public Health as Political Prisoner

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.18.2015 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

The surgeon general, whatever his or her views on gun control, has no political authority, and will do absolutely nothing about gun control in office. Even if the position did allow for that, why would that unsettle anybody?

Best Diet? Look Beyond the Beauty Pageant

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.13.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

No, looking at the never-ending parade of quick-fix contestants, we cannot say which diet is best -- because none is.

Whole Grains and Half-Witted Notions

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.11.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Whole grains have figured prominently in human diets for roughly 15,000 years. They figure prominently in the diets of the healthiest populations alive today. And unlike the mostly extinct choices of our Stone Age ancestors, they are available to us today.

Ebola, the News Cycle, and the Affliction of Short Attention Spans

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.10.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Real problems, in the real world, are rarely solved by either the excessively afflicted or the unduly comfortable. Real problems, like Ebola, tend to populate the space between cause for panic and allowance for apathy. Real solutions, whatever the headlines, tend to reside there as well.

Climate on the Menu

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.06.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

There are innumerable arguments for wholesome foods in sensible combinations, mostly plants. Among them is this: If more of us eat that way, the chances go up that there will be a glass of water left somewhere to wash it down.

Dieting Must Die

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.27.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Dieting is a short-term, get-on-then-get-back-off approach to the permanent challenge of losing weight and finding health. It has been tested rather generously, and it does not work. Perpetuating a method proven so robustly to be a massive failure is, at best, foolish.

Lifestyle: Medicine That Inspires

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

It is medicine that is safe, generally inexpensive, pleasurable, stunningly powerful, and potentially accessible to all. It is suitable for children and octogenarians alike; it is safe during pregnancy. It is medicine that can do more to advance the human condition than any other.

Softer Care For Harder Cases, Of Ebola And Everything Else

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.16.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

As for Ebola containment, holistic thinking is clearly essential. Control of an outbreak is not limited to treating the sick, but managing the social network of every index case.

A Taste for Stealth

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.15.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Stealth nutrition can work for you or against you. Unfortunately, it has been used against you by the food industry for years. First, we need a defin...

Unscrambling Our Eggs

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.10.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The common theme? The risk of crisis portended by warning signs all too often neglected. In the case of wayward biomarkers such as cholesterol, only somebody is harmed by that neglect, although that's small comfort if the somebody is you or anyone you love.