Before state intervention, parental intervention

The theorizing has become reality: In July, a round of commentary (including mine) swelled after researchers suggested that foster custody might be preferable to bariatric surgery as a remedy for a child's severe obesity.

Obesity isn't THE problem, but often is A problem

I occasionally check in with writer/dancer/advocate Ragen Chastain, who blogs at, even though we have some basic differences. A recent post  headlined, "Why Weight Loss Is Not The Solution," followed up on another entry, "Obesity Is Not The Problem," and both notions fit right into a theme I've been wanting to develop for a while.

Nourish to Flourish

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I recently had the delight of sitting down with Cathy Zolner, a compatriot in the battle for healthy living and eating who happens to live in the same town I do. We connected, quite appopriately, after a screening of the film documentary "Lunch Line" at Boston's Museum of Science. I found a great deal in common with Zolner, a "wholistic health coach" who works primarily with women.

Not "necessarily" unhealthy

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So where to begin! How ‘bout: Yes, it’s true that I do have antipathy toward many nutritionists and registered dietitians, because too often I’ve been advised, or heard friends advised, to eat moderately, without ruling out any foods — because the advisers think that advice is sound for everyone, and it’s not.

Suicide, by any path

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I'm vacationing for a few days in Glendo, Wyoming, with family, and had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. (How's that for a compelling lead? Just chomping to read more, aren'cha? But to my strong surprise, it was right on topic for this blog.)

Serena is a fascinating woman with more than a few demons who has tried suicide too many times. Worse, she's gotten better at it over the years, progressing from what some people might call "cries for help" to well-thought-out attempts that failed through flukes. It is serious frickin' business, and she comes to mind whenever the phone rings in the night. (Serena's not her real name, I have her permission to tell this story, and I asked her to review it before publishing.)

Healthy eating

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This story from has plenty to comment on, and we'll see what I get to, but I want to start with the fifth paragraph:

Nevertheless, only 44 percent said they incorporate at least one healthy food into their diet.

Where to begin? Is one going to get healthy, or even healthier, by incorporating "a" healthy food into one's diet? Isn't the goal to eat healthily, not to incorporate a healthy food?

If you're "incorporating a healthy food," doesn't that presuppose that what you're eating now is unhealthy? That can't be a good starting point for anyone.

More than half of the survey respondents aren't even incorporating one healthy food! 'Course, considering that only 39 percent say they're "very concerned" about eating healthily, maybe that's not such a bad number.

Brownies as personal expression

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"I am dealing with an office full of people that bring in desserts to share. I'm not having luck convincing them that this is as bad as smoking in the office. One woman brings in brownies every week, has been asked by the manangers not to, and she still continues. Any suggestions?"

I wrote about this reader query in my previous post, but I wanted to come back to it.


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