Michael Moss

The current (June 7, 2016) issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association devotes much of its rarefied real estate
Conclusions about diet study outcomes that are this precarious, that can be worked just a bit, and flipped -- are utterly useless. They are propaganda.
What the New York Times tells us today, no surprise to those of us who have worked directly with severely obese patients over the years, is that failure overtakes the show participants, too. Those of us in these trenches have known all along that though challenging, weight loss is rarely the rate-limiting problem.
Similarly, I don't think we can say that historical advice about diet, health and weight control -- whatever the historical era, or advice -- is wrong because people subject to a diet of willfully addictive junk foods failed to follow it.
A commentary just out in JAMA says many reasonable things about diet and health. The author notes that the overall low quality of the prevailing American diet is an anchor on life expectancy itself. Amen to that.
Even for someone who spends as much time in the diet war trenches as I do, the barrage of the past week has been noteworthy for its intensity, and its implications -- both exceptionally hopeful, and dire.<
We are a uniquely adaptable species. It has led us into trouble that imperils ourselves, and our planet alike. There are early indications of hope that it could lead us out as well.
That's the thing about diet; it's not a hypothetical enterprise. Every one of us has to make real choices in the real world
Calories count. But of course, so does the quality of food. The fallacy propagated by a noisome minority is that there is
So, having stuck my landing, I return to such compulsories as: What is this column about? Glad you asked. When I say perception
For those who don't know, that's really what the whole Blue Zones idea is about: a characterization of the lifestyle, behaviors, culture and environment of those populations around the world that live the longest and the best. They have the most vitality and the least chronic disease.
As hoped, Brian and I see eye to eye. The factors that influence what people choose to do with food matter, but so too do the foods chosen, and what they do to the people. We need not choose to focus on one of these, and neglect the other.
When dietary worry was all directed at excess fat intake, pseudo-fruit and multicolored marshmallows were able to fly under the radar. A widening array of worries has cost them that cover.
While many do, no one can say that a Paleo diet is best for health on the basis of truly robust evidence. But no one can say it isn't, either.
If instead, we treated obesity more like drowning, we would tell the truth about food. We would not market multicolored marshmallows to children as part of a complete breakfast. We would not willfully mislead about the perilous currents in the modern food supply. We would not look on passively as an entire population of non-swimmers started wading in over their heads.
No, looking at the never-ending parade of quick-fix contestants, we cannot say which diet is best -- because none is.
Through the lens of NuVal, the nutritional profiling system I helped develop that has scored over 100,000 foods for overall
But John Menzies, Ph.D., a University of Edinburgh researcher who studies the neuroscience of hyper-palatable foods argues
Improving food labels, as planned by the USFDA and much in the news over the past week or so, is a welcome thing. But I do think we have cause to wonder if all the fanfare and media hype are really warranted. When all is said and done, what improvements are in the works, and how much will they really matter?