Why a fat brain made us more vulnerable to heart disease

Natural selection granted us large brains. The evolutionary cost is having to feed them. The human brain’s high-energy demands led to development of a strong preference for fat. We consume more fat than any other primate on average. We are also adapted to more easily digest and metabolize fats. There are two major kinds ofContinue reading “Why a fat brain made us more vulnerable to heart disease”

Good insulin, bad insulin: Its role in obesity?

Gary Taubes makes insulin out to be a bad guy. In his latest article in Newsweek Magazine commenting on HBO’s Weight of the Nation documentary, he once again challenges energy balance (energy intake versus energy expended) as a paradigm for understanding obesity. The author of Good Calories, Bad Calories offers an alternative theory: refined sugars and grains trigger insulin,Continue reading “Good insulin, bad insulin: Its role in obesity?”

Fate of fructose: Interview with Dr. John Sievenpiper

Fructose metabolism. Ref: Tappy & Ka 2010. Sugar is a hot topic these days. Evidently, it’s also a touchy topic. I’ve been a little amazed at some of the responses (both positive and negative) received since my first rant post about media reporting unfairly that hummingbird fuel was “toxic”. There clearly exists a continued need for education about theContinue reading “Fate of fructose: Interview with Dr. John Sievenpiper”

Have a cuppa pesticide and #dontdestroyresearch

Earlier today, biologist Mary Mangan (@mem_somerville) shared the bad news that anti-biotechnology activists had succeeded in breaking into and damaging a publicly funded research project at Rothamsted Research Station in Harpenden, England. The vandalism happened only a week ahead of a planned demonstration organized by the Take the Flour Back environmentalist group (which I wrote previously about here). ManganContinue reading “Have a cuppa pesticide and #dontdestroyresearch”

Confusing messages about sugar are stupid

I’m a bit late in weighing into the “Sugar Makes You Stupid” mess of poor health reporting on a rat study. At the Embargo Watch blog, Ivan Oransky already covered the mishandling of the study’s embargo and ripped into the press release for misleading readers into believing that the study had any meaningful conclusions for college students. Then,Continue reading “Confusing messages about sugar are stupid”

What environmental groups don’t understand about biotech

On May 27, the “Take the Flour Back” environmentalist group plans to take “mass action” in efforts to remove more than $1 million worth of research in biotechnology. Their purpose, according to their website, is one of “mass decontamination” of what they see is a threat to farmers, the food supply, health of consumers, and biodiversity. What this protestContinue reading “What environmental groups don’t understand about biotech”

BMI puts young Asian-American women at risk of being "skinny fat"

As if we needed any more reason to pick on Body Mass Index (BMI): new research finds that this most accepted approach for assessing overweight and obesity based on height and weight could lead to misclassification of young Asian-American women as healthy when they’re really “skinny fat,” which could put them at greater risk forContinue reading “BMI puts young Asian-American women at risk of being "skinny fat"”

Nevermind body fat; put focus on muscle with age

With all the attention given to body fat, a result of the high prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, skeletal muscle is often given the back seat. Yet holding on to lean muscle mass alone, in itself, may be the most important factor in avoiding health problems above. What’s often forgotten is that skeletal muscle is aContinue reading “Nevermind body fat; put focus on muscle with age”