Why We Should Stop Seeking the ‘Best’ Diet

Is the paleo diet the best for losing weight? Or how about Weight Watchers? Maybe low fat? South Beach? Atkins? Oh, stop. This whole debate over the “ideal” diet is misleading, and researchers and the media need to knock it off, says weight-management expert and psychologist Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D., with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Pagoto, an associate professor who also counsels weight-management patients at the university’s Weight Center, says there really is no such thing as the “best” …

Eat to Sleep: Which Foods Help Your Zzz’s?

Does what you eat affect how well you sleep? The answer appears to be yes, and we’re not just talking about midnight snacking. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania finds that a more varied diet – including five nutrients in particular – could improve people’s sleep. The research was published online in May in the journal Appetite. The researchers were interested in the diet-sleep link because too little sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive …

The Best Looking (Nude) Golfer in America

Looking every inch a champion, the great South African golfer Gary Player is in the news, as ESPN The Magazine releases photos from its upcoming “Body Issue.” The magazine will have eight different covers on news stands; the 77-year-old Player graces one of them, a pair of golf clubs his lone accessory. Why is Player posing? “My big dream now is to help people become healthy,” he tells ESPN. “Obesity, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest problem facing the …

If You’re Fat, Does It Mean You’re Ill? (Yes, Says AMA)

One in three American adults is obese, and the American Medical Association (AMA) believes the medical community needs to do more to help fight this problem. Th AMA’s solution is to declare obesity a disease. The nation’s largest physician organization said this week that “recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue.” It could have a greater impact on how insurance companies deal with the problem and what additional treatments they …

Why Lost Pounds Return and Bring Friends

An acquaintance once said that she had lost over 200 pounds. Looking at her girth, I confess that I doubted the claim until she quickly added, “Of course, it’s the same 20 pounds 10 times.” Given the single-minded focus required to lose weight, why do so many of us (an estimated percent) regain the pounds we lost-and even add a few more? How maddening is that? Researchers are starting to explain this common experience, and their insights are both encouraging …

‘Big Brother’ Is One Fat, Juicy Novel

You haven’t seen your beloved older brother in years. Then he shows up at the airport, weighing hundreds of pounds more than the last time you saw him. That’s the premise of Lionel Shriver’s new novel, Big Brother. A touchy topic for our ever-widening times? Oh yeah – and meant to be. “We’ve lost our innocence about food,” the fit-looking Shriver told me over tea and biscotti at Washington’s Dupont Circle Hotel on June 11. “What we use food for …