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Dr David Katz

My Milk Manifesto

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 05.02.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We can take milk, or leave it. Take milk fat, or leave that. Either way, we can have a good diet of wholesome foods in sensible combinations -- or not. But either way, we need to take seriously the reverberations of our dietary choices across the landscape of a shrinking planet, and the legacy of kindness or cruelty by which history will be invited to judge us.

Isaac Newton's Nutrient Supplements

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.29.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The transcribed conversation in The Atlantic, starting with that headline, is rather the opposite of measured, taking the measure of prevailing sentiment, and apparently concluding that prevailing faith in nutrient supplements warranted some additional throttling. If enthusiasm for supplements is the action of concern here, this piece has opted to highlight the opposing reaction.

Enough Distractions: Let's Address the Real Causes of Diet-Related Diseases

Dr. Derek Yach | Posted 04.27.2015 | Healthy Living
Dr. Derek Yach

Placing the blame on carbohydrates does nothing but add confusion to an environment already saturated with mixed nutrition messages, and distracts us from addressing the real cause of the obesity epidemic: modern-day environments.

We're Fat And Sick And The Broccoli Did It!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.26.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

It's no big surprise that someone untrained in research methods would tell us all what the research really means and why the scientists on this committee -- all trained to do research and interpret it -- are just a bunch of hacks. But that the New York Times would allocate its imprimatur and rarefied real estate to an infomercial masquerading as an Op-Ed is a lamentably disappointing surprise.

My Kid Is an Animal! (And So Is Yours)

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.25.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The mission of the Unjunk Yourself videos is to take some of the messages about health passed around among concerned adults and convert them into a medium that is of, by, and for kids themselves.

Diet, Dog and Dogma

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.22.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Before the committee report is translated into official guidelines, there is a period of public comment.Some of the commentary will be from public health advocates, but much will be from industry. What exact dietary guidelines will emerge from this gauntlet remains to be seen. But given that, I like what I see so far. I think the advisory committee has done a stellar job.

Paleo for a Shrinking Planet?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.21.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

While many do, no one can say that a Paleo diet is best for health on the basis of truly robust evidence. But no one can say it isn't, either.

Cholesterol, Unscrambled

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.19.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Whether adding eggs to your diet will confer benefit, harm, or neither, almost certainly depends on what you are now eating instead of eggs, and what eggs would be displacing.

Where Public Health Meets Propaganda, You Are Being Played!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.15.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

But here's the thing, folks: if you buy into this nonsense, and meaning no disrespect, you are not merely wrong. You are wrong about why you are wrong.

The Case for a True Health Coalition: Who Hears Whom?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.15.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

With the strength of unity, a signal of what we truly do know can rise above the din and discord.

Nannies, Ninnies, Nutrients and Nonsense

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.08.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

When the New York Times reported recently that a lot of alleged nutrient supplements are devoid of nutrients and supplements, the scrum was immediately predictable. That much more so because we have seen a recent backlash against our over-hyped reliance on supplements as silver bullets.

Weight Loss Gut Check

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.05.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

And so it comes to this: if we eat well, we are unlikely to need a drug for weight control, whether it is a better drug or a worse one. And if we don't eat well, a drug may or may not help with weight, but it can't possibly substitute for the myriad other influences of diet quality.

Privilege, Price, Illusion and Choice

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.04.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I am, and have always been, privileged. And yet I manage in certain moments to be other than happy.

Modern Medicine, Mired at the Line of Scrimmage

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.01.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

What if football were more like modern medicine? Perhaps the only way to advance down the field would be to renounce all progress to date and start again each time at the 20-yard line. You never get to build on your prior gains. That seems a dubious game to me.

Holism, Holes and Poles

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.30.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The trouble with holistic medicine, or integrative medicine, is less the holes that can be poked in it by self-proclaimed sentinels of evidence, and more our prevailing tendency to gravitate to diametric poles. The best way forward is the road less traveled, which lies, as it often does, in the middle.

Guns, Steel, Grit and Grief

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.28.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Guns and grief are a bad combination. Our judgment is clouded and undone in moments of aggrieved passion; we are least suited at such times to take on the roles of both jury and judge, leaving aside the illegality of such vigilantism. We may, in the throes of passion, misconstrue causes and misdirect blame. But we may hope to live through such moments, and see in a calmer, clarifying light.

Measles In The Magic Kingdom? It's A Small World, After All

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.25.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If you choose to avoid standard, recommended vaccines such as measles, you are not merely putting your own health at risk -- you are choosing to do the same for all the rest of us. Sorry, folks, but that's the harsh reality.

Are We Sitting on a Major Health Risk?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.23.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Studies of association can be important but do not prove cause and effect. Perhaps people who sit more are more stressed, and maybe stress is the real health threat. To know for sure, we would need reliable data about differential levels of stress across differential amounts of sitting.

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.