Diet and depression – what’s the connection?

Can eating a balanced, healthy diet help improve depression? Studies have shown some correlation between a diet rich in fish and lower rates of mental illness… but as the axiom goes, correlation does not equal causation. However, a new small randomized controlled trial showed that a healthy diet did significantly improve mood symptoms. The NNT was only […]

Registration Instructions

So happy that you found our site! Viewing handouts and the blog are open to everybody. If you are a health care provider and would like to take one of the free courses, please email julie.sladek@gmail.com to obtain a login and password.

Weight Loss Hacks

“Hack” = a clever solution to a tricky problem -Urban Dictionary     #HUNGER — I know what I need to do, but I’m too HUNGRY when I diet Don’t diet! Replace unhealthy food with healthy food; meals that give you energy, and are a balance of healthy protein, fat and complex carbohydrates Try eating 3 meals […]

Can I really lower my cholesterol without meds, Doc?

Maybe you’ve encountered this question in your clinic: can I actually reduce my cholesterol with diet changes?   And the answer is: Yes! In a recent study out of Finland, men and women lowered their average total cholesterol substantially through diet and exercise changes. Click here for the details:   Primary prevention and risk factor […]

Fighting Childhood Obesity: Practical Tips from Dr. Lustig

Check out this YouTube video from Dr. Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist for 4 tips for practical everyday advice. Don’t have any kids? No worries, these tips can apply to you too 🙂 If you one day have kids, you’ll already be ready to set a great example for them.      

An Epidemic of Diabetes

Reports from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimate that there has been an increase in the prevalence of diabetes over the past 2 decades from 5.5 to 9.3% !  This is troubling for a number of reasons, including increased morbidity and mortality, increasing polypharmacy, increasing health care costs, and greater disability over […]

In Defense of Our Favorite Beverage!

Coffee may have gotten a bad rap in the medical field over the years — but is this evidence based?  When patients have no history of hypertension or arrhythmia, coffee may actually be beneficial in moderation. (What is moderation? If you are healthy–with no high blood pressure, anxiety disorder, insomnia or other select medical conditions–a maximum […]

Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome – Leveling Off?

In a recent article published in JAMA, NHANES data for 2002-2012 was analyzed and revealed that, surprisingly, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has actually been leveling off since 2007, and possibly even decreasing in women. The authors speculate that this could be due to greater awareness about the influence of obesity on overall well-being and […]

A Comprehensive Manual to the Evaluation and Treatment of Obesity

Published by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, and updated yearly, this powerpoint includes a lot of great information about how to help patients with obesity.     The powerpoint is very instructive, and is a great resource for primary care physicians and other primary care providers. I recommend taking a look if you take care […]

Exercise: Not Just for Weight Loss

Think about all the conditions that regular exercise can ameliorate:   In an article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the author describes recent advances in basic science linking stress and depression. Stress hormones such as cortisol induce increased production of a molecule called kynurenine. Circulating kynurenine then crosses the blood brain barrier and is […]

Referring Patients to Weight Watchers

Alameda Alliance is now helping patients join weight watchers! The provider fills out a yellow border referral form, like any other referral, and the MA faxes this to 877-813-5151, the Health Programs Dept. MA’s: Remember to include the clinic’s fax number on the form so Alameda Alliance can respond to the referral. If you have questions about […]

My Patient’s Motivated! … Now what?

Once a patient is ready to make lifestyle changes, it is important to switch gears from talking about Pro’s and Con’s and into Action-Planning mode. This involves laying out the who, what, when, where and how of the plan. When the patient thinks through and discusses all of the details potential road blocks will come up […]

The USPSTF on Obesity

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations hold a great deal of weight in primary care. Experts, with minimal bias or industry funding, have come together to rigorously review the existing evidence for and against preventive screening and treatment measures. So what does this highly respected organization have to say about obesity?     This […]

Keeping the Weight Off

What habits are associated with a lower likelihood of weight gain over time? It is clear that certain dietary and exercise habits contribute to our likelihood of weight gain. In a prospective study following hundreds of thousands of non-obese, healthy nurses’ diet and exercise patterns over 12-20 years, several statistically significant associations arose. Dietary habits […]

Why Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is a great skill for any physician to have.   Many of us have felt frustrated when, for the third or fourth time, we’ve told someone all of the many reasons they need to quit smoking and they say, “I know but…”   And yet, this is a natural expression of the patient’s ambivalence*. […]

Dr. Lustig on Sugar

Dr. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist who has done very interesting work linking the effects of sugar to America’s epidemic of metabolic syndrome. In particular, Dr. Lustig describes how the fructose component of sugar essential fulfills the definition of a poison. Click on the link below to watch Dr. Lustig’s very interesting lecture:   Sugar: The […]

Look AHEAD – A Valid Study Design?

The Look AHEAD Research Group studied the effect of weight loss on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Over 5000 patients were randomized to intensive lifestyle intervention (decreased caloric intake and increased physical activity) or a diabetes education and support group. The intervention group lost about 6% of their body weight vs 3.5% in the […]

Is Obesity Really the Problem?

Is obesity at the root of our diabetes epidemic, or is it a marker for a bigger, more fundamental issue? The TED talk by Dr Peter Attia is a moving and thought-provoking call to re-examine our attitudes about obesity. I highly encourage health care providers to  watch this video.     Nutrition information is constantly […]