Study Shows Time-Limited Eating Doesn’t Fight Obesity

Meanwhile, CNN reports on why we shouldn’t compliment people losing weight. Also: a story about a man desperately dieting to get a Taco Bell menu item back, expanding complaints of sickness from Lucky Charms, meat allergy illness from tic bites, and the “gut healing” trend on TikTok.

The New York Times: Scientists Find No Benefit To Time-Restricted Eating

The weight-loss idea is quite appealing: Limit your eating to a period of six to eight hours each day, during which you can have whatever you want. Studies in mice seemed to support so-called time-restricted eating, a form of the popular intermittent fasting diet. Small studies of people with obesity suggested it might help shed pounds. But now, a rigorous one-year study in which people followed a low-calorie diet between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm or consumed the same number of calories anytime during the day has failed to find an effect. (Kolata, 4/20)

And more on weight loss —

CNN: We Need To Stop Complimenting Weight Loss. Here’s What To Say Instead

If your friend has recently lost weight, you might want to tell her how great she looks. Maybe you also say that you wish you had her body or self-control or you ask her how she did it. Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of such a “compliment” in the past. Such comments are well meaning but can have unintended negative consequences. “In that case, we are unintentionally exacerbating or affirming the thin ideal that our society tends to emphasize and idolize,” said Alvin Tran, an assistant professor of public health at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, who does research on eating disorders and body image. “We need to be very cautious when we do approach conversations around someone’s physical appearance, especially their weight.” (Rogers, 4/20)

The Washington Post: Man Lost 85 Pounds In A Bid To Get Taco Bell To Revive His Favorite Menu Item

The goal of his workout antic is twofold: While his primary objective is to bring back his beloved Grilled Stuft Nacho, when he began his Taco Bell challenge more than one year ago, Chris Sandberg — who weighed close to 300 pounds before the pandemic — was also seeking to lose weight. He decided to merge the two missions. Although Sandberg initially executed the idea in jest, he quickly realized “it resonates for people,” as losing weight can be a stressful struggle for many. He wanted to find a way to make his experience lighthearted. (Page, 4/20)

In other food news —

The Wall Street Journal: Lucky Charms Sickness Complaints Spread Rapidly, Adding Complexity To Safety Probe

Federal regulators formalized an investigation into the safety of Lucky Charms cereal, adding the probe Wednesday to the agency’s list of ongoing food-safety outbreaks. The Food and Drug Administration said it has received complaints from 231 consumers reporting illnesses after eating Lucky Charms recently, according to the agency’s outbreak investigation website and a person familiar with the matter. The FDA said it has initiated an inspection of the cereal’s production operations. (Gasparro and Walker, 4/20)

Fox News: Single Tick Bite Can Cause A Life-Threatening Meat Allergy: Report

Have you ever eaten steak at dinnertime and then developed hives at midnight? As tick season kicks into gear, it’s a good idea to know about a potentially life-threatening food allergy called alpha-gal syndrome that may occur after certain tick bites – especially the lone star tick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC). “An allergy to ‘alpha-gal’ refers to having a severe and potentially life-threatening allergy to a carbohydrate molecule called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose that is found in most mammalian or ‘red meat,'” according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (Sudhakar, 4/20)

The New York Times: Gut Healing Is TikTok’s Latest Trend. Does It Work?

Every few months, like clockwork, hundreds of videos promising tips and tricks to “hack” your gut flood TikTok. In March, influencers pushed shots of aloe vera juice: “My digestive system, like my gut health? Never been better,” one gushed in a video with one million likes while tapping on a purple bottle of the drink. Another, with the username “oliveoilqueen,” advocated drinking extra virgin olive oil every day in a video viewed more than 3.5 million times, claiming that doing so cleared her skin, made her periods less painful and fixed her frequent bloating. Videos tagged with #guttok have garnered nearly 400 million views. They’re crammed with suggestions for cucumber-ginger juices and boiled apples, bone broth in the morning and sludgy sweet potato soups at night. (Blum, 4/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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