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Disease Proof

Body Parts and Skin in the Game

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 06.04.2014 | 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.

Holiday Health: Your Right to Let the Good Times Roll

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.01.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

In the pursuit of health, there is the risk of forgetting what health is for. Health is for living -- and while health certainly makes life better, something is seriously wrong if preoccupation with health ruins the good times. Don't let it ruin yours

Lifestyle as Medicine: At a Fork in the Road, Who's Got a Spoon?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.25.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Lifestyle is the greatest of all medicine, but it may feel in this morbidigenic, obesigenic world of ours that we can't get it to go down, because we just don't have the right spoon. It may feel that we can't get there from here. That is, in a word, wrong.

Fixing Food Stamps for All? Could be a SNAP

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.25.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I believe food stamps could be reimagined, and the result could be a win for all concerned. I see many more challenges in the realm of health promotion with just such win-win potential.

Health at an Impasse: The Case for Getting Past Collusion

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We could blame it all on the food companies that make the junk food, and the technology companies that keep inventing more ways for us to be sedentary. But as noted, the enemy is both them and us.

Waiting on the Weight Loss Fairy

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

No, there isn't just one magical thing experts do to find health and lose weight -- any more than expert chefs use just one magical ingredient, expert musicians play just one magical note, expert pilots pull just one magical lever, or expert authors use just one magical letter.

What REALLY Kills Us

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

What really kills us prematurely, and all too often imposes years of misery beforehand, isn't a list of chronic diseases, but the factors that cause those diseases. What really takes years from life and life from years is a willingness to know WHAT, yet neglect the opportunity to know HOW.

Lose Weight, Find Health? Sleep On It

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We have long known that sleep is of profound importance to health. We can't be too busy to get the sleep we need, unless we are also too busy to get the health and weight control we want.