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Dr David Katz

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.

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.