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Podcast Topic: Obesity


The Leading Voices in Food

Podcast Topic: Obesity

Gary Bennett podcastE235: A successful interactive obesity treatment approach

April 22, 2024

Traditional clinical weight loss interventions can be costly, time consuming, and inaccessible to low-income populations and people without adequate health insurance. Today’s guest, Dr. Gary Bennett, has developed an Interactive Obesity Treatment Approach, or iOTA for short, that represents a real advance in this area. Dr. Bennett is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Medicine and Global Health at Duke University, where he is also Dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Equity, Race & Food Justice | Obesity |


Branca Montez podcastE207: World Health Organization’s Recommendations on Non-Sugar Sweeteners

June 28, 2023

Today’s podcast is a continuation of our series exploring the safety of non-sugar sweeteners in both food and beverages. In 2022, the World Health Organization conducted a systematic review of the most current scientific evidence on the health effects of non-sugar sweeteners. This analysis of 283 studies reveals that non-sugar sweeteners can impact health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, adiposity, bladder cancer, and preterm birth. In 2023, the WHO released a guideline on the use of non-sugar sweeteners based on this 2022 review. Our guests today are Dr. Jason Montez, scientist with the World Health Organization, and technical lead on the systematic review and guideline. And, the director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization, Dr. Francesco Branca.

Related podcasts: Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Microbiome | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Mattes podcastE196: Why do we need zero calorie sweeteners, and are they safe?

February 23, 2023

Artificial sweeteners, known more recently as non-nutritive or low-calorie sweeteners, have been a source of great hope. What could be better than enjoying sweetness in foods but without the calories? Sucralose, xylitol, stevia, saccharin, aspartame, there are a lot of them out there. You may add them to food yourself, you may consume them in beverages, and if not, there’s a good chance they’ll show up in foods that you buy. But, do they work and are they safe? Few know this area like Dr. Richard Mattes, distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast with Matthew Garza and Nick CuttrissE166: New Efforts to Combat Diabetes and Obesity Stigma in Clinical Settings

May 17, 2022

So there’s much talk these days about weight stigma, in fact, we recorded a number of podcasts ourselves on the topic, and I believe it’s very important, but this is our first podcast on another form of stigma. One that is powerful, often overlooked, and highly important to address. Our guests today are Matthew Garza and Nick Cuttriss. Matthew is Managing Editor at The diaTribe Foundation. And the dia in diaTribe derives from diabetes. The foundation’s mission is to, and I’m quoting here, “to improve the lives of people with diabetes, prediabetes, “and obesity, and to advocate for action.” I’ve served on an advisory board for diaTribe, and very much admire their work. Nicolas Cuttriss is a pediatric endocrinologist, and is founder of the ECHO Diabetes Action Network, and also has served on an advisory committee for the diaTribe Foundation. Matthew and Nick have been integral to a novel and welcome program on diabetes stigma that launched recently, that can be seen at the website,

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Eating Disorders | Obesity | Weight Stigma |


Podcast - Semaglutide ExplainedE164: Highly Successful Weight Loss Drug Semaglutide Explained

May 3, 2022

Much attention has been paid recently in both scientific circles and in the media to a drug for weight loss newly approved by the FDA. A flurry of articles in the media hailed this drug as a breakthrough. This was prompted by the publication of a landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine addressing the impact of this medication in a large clinical trial. Today’s guest is one of the authors of that paper. Another flurry of media attention occurred as the drug became available, with news that supply couldn’t keep up with demand. Dr. Thomas Wadden is the Albert J. Stunkard Professor and former Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is one of the most highly regarded experts on treatments for obesity, having done some of the most important research on very low-calorie diets, a variety of medications, bariatric surgery, intervention in primary care settings, and more.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Obesity | Weight Stigma |


Podcast - Gary FosterE152: The Underrated Power of Self Talk and Self Care in Weight Loss and Wellness

January 13, 2022

Our guest today is Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer of WW, the company that many of us remember as Weight Watchers. Gary is one of the most respected scientists in the obesity field and is the author of a book released recently called “The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss.”

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Childhood Obesity | Obesity | Weight Stigma |


Podcast - Ludwig - backwardsE149: “We’ve had it backwards” – New model explains weight gain and obesity

November 27, 2021

A paper just released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition challenges, and I mean really challenges conventional thinking about nutrition, weight gain, and what has caused the very rapid and profound increase in obesity rates over the last 50 years. This is a landmark paper by any standard, and saying that it will raise eyebrows is an understatement. The paper is authored by a number of distinguished nutrition scientists. The lead author is Dr. David Ludwig from Harvard University.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Childhood Obesity | Eating Disorders | Obesity | Weight Stigma |


Podcast - Ludwig - CarbohydratesE148: Weight Loss Study Drives New Insight into Role of Carbohydrates

November 16, 2021

For nearly 70 years now, Americans have been bombarded with advice on how to lose weight. Countless diet books have become bestsellers. Some diets like Atkins keep coming back in sort of a recycled way. And there really hasn’t been agreement, even among nutrition scientists, about which approach is best. Lots of attention has focused in recent years on carbohydrates, but over the years, protein and fat have had plenty of attention. In this podcast, our guest, Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard University, discusses this history and the reason for re-envisioning how best to lose weight – and for people to maintain the weight loss, perhaps the most important issue of all. Ludwig recently published a landmark, exquisitely designed and controlled study that tests whether limiting carbohydrates actually makes sense. This study, published in the “American Journal “of Clinical Nutrition 2021,” has been generating lots of attention.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Childhood Obesity | Eating Disorders | Obesity | Weight Stigma |


Podcast - Andrea SharkeyE144: New York’s Successful Model for Reducing Sugar and Salt

October 4, 2021

How much sugar and salt do you and others eat each day? What are reasonable and healthy amounts? And when does it become too much? It’s a serious question, given that diet is a key driver for health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. The National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative, the NSSRI, is working to make it easier for people to make healthy choices. Today’s guest is Andrea Sharkey, a project manager in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an agency long known for its innovation in this area. Andrea coordinates the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative and is going to explain why education, consumer behavior changes, and policies can help our community stay healthy.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | Obesity | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |


Podcast - Gary SacksE141: Gary Sacks on Curbing Corporate Control of the Food System

September 22, 2021

Think for a moment about how much influence the food and agriculture industries have over food policy. Too much influence, too little influence, maybe? People look at this in very different ways. One thoughtful voice in this discussion is today’s guest, Gary Sacks, a person who has written extensively on corporate influence on food policy. He has considered corporate control of the food system, running the gamut from global brand consolidation to lobbying and direct involvement in policymaking to actual litigation against country governments, seeking to curb corporate influence. He asks a very key question, is it pastime to question the outsize role of food corporations in our lives? Dr. Gary Sacks is associate professor at the Global Obesity Center at Deakin University in Australia. His research focuses on policies for improving population diets and preventing obesity and he has coauthored international food policy reports, such as the Lancet Commission on Obesity and several reports for the world health organization on obesity prevention.

Related podcasts: Advocacy & Food | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |