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by Nicole Witham


I am not much of a gambler – a one or two-dollar scratch ticket is my max. I would rather spend my money on a coffee or, to be honest, a cookie than a card game or a slot machine. But what if consistently choosing to eat the cookie would end up costing me $100 later on? That is to say, what if I bet $100 that I could lose a certain amount of weight in a month and if I didn’t make my goal, my money would go to someone else? This is the idea behind incentivizing weight loss and the business model of websites such as DietBet and HealthyWage.

 
 
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by Jason Block, MD
, MPH

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee is out and based on media attention to it, the report arrived with a bang. What was recommended and why was it controversial?

 
 
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by Marie-France Hivert, MD


Is it better to go for a run after work or to be walking all day at work? Well, it depends what benefits we want to get out of it. If you’re preparing for your next race, walking around in the office is not likely to help you much. But walking, standing, and simply moving around might be more important for maintaining health.

 
 
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by Mike Devlin


When we hear “Harvard Pilgrim Health Care”, most of us immediately think of health insurance, and nothing more. But is that true? Not exactly…

But why are we talking about this on an obesity blog?
What does Harvard Pilgrim have to do with healthy eating/living?
How do they approach or address obesity related issues in our community?
And why should you care?


We asked Mike Devlin, Director of Grants and Initiatives at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation:

 
 
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by Kristina Lewis, MD

The next time you take your car in for a major service - just for fun, ask the mechanic to try doing the whole thing without using any of the tools at his disposal. When you do, I suspect you’ll get an incredulous look and probably a shake of the head; maybe even a comment like:
“I have about 20 tire rotations to do today, and there is no way that is happening without my tools!” 


 
 
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by Lauren Fiechtner, MD

Is it fair to fine parents if their child with obesity does not lose weight? Lawmakers in Puerto Rico have proposed a bill that would do just that. Under the proposed bill, teachers would identify children with obesity and refer them to a counselor who would develop a diet and exercise plan. If the child does not lose weight in 6 months, the families would be fined $500. If in a year success still eludes, then the fines could increase to $800.

 
 
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by Nicole Witham

“6 floors today. I definitely climbed more than that. Let’s see, once in the morning, a couple flights in the afternoon, then...oh. Well, I did walk to the coffee maker more than usual today. That must count, right?” That is my internal dialogue after wearing my physical activity monitor for the day and noticing my sub-par activity.

 
 
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by Emily Oken, MD, MPH

Asthma and obesity are the two most common chronic health conditions affecting both children and adults. The most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 1 in every 6 US children are obese (17%), and almost 1 of every 7  (14%) will develop asthma by age 18. Both obesity and asthma are on the rise. Could these two conditions be connected?