How did the Great Recession Impact Home Cooking and Eating Out? The Answer May Surprise You.

ImageIt used to be, in the past, people–and especially low income people– responded to economic downturns by increasing healthy behaviors: they would eat out less, cook more, exercise more, and kick the alcohol and smoking habits. The theory is, since the “cost” of time goes down as wages decrease, the opportunity cost of healthy behaviors also decreases, making us more likely to do them. (Opportunity cost refers to idea that any hour we spend doing one thing is an hour not spent doing something else, like earning money). In other words, since our time isn’t as valuable, we spend it differently. Turns out, that may no longer be the case. Find out exactly what happened in a new article we published in the American Journal of Public Health this week. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Headline vs. Study: How the Popular Press Distorts the State of the Science

newspaperEver taken a closer look at an attention-grabbing headline in the Times or on NPR and wondered, huh? Then, upon checking out the original article, you discover a study riddled with errors and biases? Check out this recent post over at ASN for a discussion of recent findings by Selvaraj  et al on how news outlets systematically cover studies of weaker methodological design.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Ethics of Big Soda Bans (and Other Obesity Prevention Policies)

New York City Board Of Health Approves Bloomberg's Over Sized Sugary Drink BanWhy are obesity prevention measures like big soda bans, sugar sweetened beverage taxes, or menu labeling so controversial, and so hard to pass? What happens when opposing sides feel strongly –and have compelling evidence–that their position takes the moral high ground? Here’s a quick summary (in plain English!) of Barnhill et al’s recent article on this very topic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Demise of Marriage– Obesity’s Hidden Culprit?

Newlywed couple holding hands in grass

photo credit:

Gay or straight, people today are waiting longer and longer to tie the knot. But could delayed marriage be responsible for expanding waistlines? Find out how low marriage rates are linked to obesity over on

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is More Technology Always Better Technology?


In a world where 3-D printers print pizza and our phones tell us which taco truck has the best carnitas, it seems like more technology must always mean better technology, right? Turns out, that’s not always the case–at least not when you’re trying to figure out what people eat.

Read about our latest study to develop a smartphone app to track diet (and how I narrowly avoided the bird flu in Shanghai) over at Carolina Nutrition Digest.

Posted in my work around the web | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Obesity’s an Official “Disease”….So What?

AMA Logo for website

The American Medical Association recently recognized obesity as an official “disease.” Read about what this decision means for patients, physicians, and the public over at the American Society for Nutrition Blog. (Scroll down to see my post). 

Posted in my work around the web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Much Ado About Paleo

  •  caveman_boneLots of buzz surrounds one of the newest (or oldest) diets: Paleo. Read my thoughts  on this controversial diet on the Carolina Nutrition Digest.
Posted in my work around the web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Does Overweight Really Decrease Risk of Death?

photo credit to

Recent research showing that being overweight may actually reduce risk of mortality has gotten all the obesity experts talking about whether that extra fat might be more helpful than harmful. What gives? Read my take here.

Posted in my work around the web | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments