Does Menu Labeling Lead to Healthier Food Choices?

By Lea Borgi, MD
May 16, 2018

Americans consume about a third of their calories outside the home,1 but estimating the calorie count of a restaurant’s meal can be extremely difficult. In a cross-sectional study of 1,877 adults and 330 school age children, two thirds of participants underestimated the calories of fast food meals.2 The larger the ingested meal, the larger the discrepancy between the estimated and the actual calorie content of that meal. In another study, participants consistently underestimated both the fat and calorie content of a range of menu items, where the actual content was up to 2 times greater than expected by consumers.3 Continue reading “Does Menu Labeling Lead to Healthier Food Choices?”

Unraveling the Science Behind Personalized Diets and Low-Fat vs Low-Carb Genotypes

By Lea Borgi, MD
May 1, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control reports that almost 71% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese, making obesity one of the most pressing concerns in public health.1 While dietary guidelines set recommended intakes of the various food groups,2 some data suggests that patients may lose weight more effectively when recommendations are tailored to certain genetic traits.3,4 Continue reading “Unraveling the Science Behind Personalized Diets and Low-Fat vs Low-Carb Genotypes”

Food and Chemicals: An Unwanted Phthalate Partnership

By Lea Borgi, MD
April 24, 2018

Restaurant meals have more calories, salt, and fat than meals consumed at home.1 Additionally, eating out has been associated with an increased risk of obesity and hypertension.2

The Study

A recently published study found that there is even more reason for concern when it comes to food prepared away from home.3 Indeed, in an analysis of participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES), dining out was associated with a higher exposure to phthalate, an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC).3 Phthalates, also called plasticizers, are found in several products, including food packaging and personal care products.4 By measuring urinary phthalate metabolites, authors were able to estimate individuals’ cumulative phthalate exposure. Continue reading “Food and Chemicals: An Unwanted Phthalate Partnership”

Daily Calorie Restriction vs Alternate Day Fasting for Weight Loss

By Martina M. McGrath, MD
July 7, 2017

Alternate day fasting (ADF) is a popular weight loss method, promoted via weight loss books and media. In the most widely promoted form, participants are advised to eat ~25% of their daily caloric needs on fasting days, alternating with unrestricted intake on nonfasting days. It has been suggested that it produces more significant weight loss and greater compliance than standard caloric restriction, as daily compliance is not necessary. Continue reading “Daily Calorie Restriction vs Alternate Day Fasting for Weight Loss”

Bariatric Surgery or Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes?

By Charbel C. Khoury, MD
May 11, 2017

Obesity has grown at epidemic rates over the past few decades. According to the most recent data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, adult obesity prevalence now exceeds 35% in four US states, 30% in 25 states and is above 20% in all states.1 Numerous studies have established excess weight as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, thus adding to the morbidity and mortality of obese patients. While dieting, behavioral approaches, and tight glucose control can limit the long-term complications of diabetes, sustaining adherence is often difficult for most patients. Continue reading “Bariatric Surgery or Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes?”