Jim Gaffigan Got Cut Like an Abercrombie Model

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The comedian and author of "Dad Is Fat" was only fat for a little while. In this debut episode of our newest show, Gaffigan tells host Sara Schaefer about his background as a gymnast.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Eating Fat Doesn't Make Us Fat

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

For decades, many people have believed that fat, especially saturated fat, makes us gain weight, but that turns out not to be true.

Comments [63]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Book of Schmaltz

Friday, November 22, 2013

Michael Ruhlman sings the praises of schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), a staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine. But schmaltz is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient. The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat takes a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also ventures into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat.

Comments [8]

Listen to Lucy

The business case for hiring the fat and the ugly

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The business case for hiring the fat and the ugly


The Leonard Lopate Show

Michael Moss on How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Friday, March 08, 2013

The book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us reveals how companies create foods to addict us - from the food science labs to the marketing campaigns.

Comments [25]

The Takeaway

Obesity Intervention from Your Doctor

Monday, July 02, 2012

How would you react, if during a regular doctor’s checkup, your physician told you that you were obese? That’s what the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has suggested in a new set of recommendations. It says all adults should be screened for obesity and patients with a high body mass index should be receive intervention.

Comments [21]

The Takeaway

Too Fat to Work as a Health Professional?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Citizens Medical Center is, by most measures, a respected and respectable hospital. A non-profit, their mission is to serve their community of South Texas. And in their mission, they’ve been mostly successful, appearing on Thomas Reuters’ list of top 100 American hospitals three times over the past decade. 

And yet, the Victoria, Texas hospital has people across the country outraged. The reason: a hiring policy they instituted last year. In short, the policy requires potential employees to have a body mass index below 35. This means that a man who is 5-foot-10 and 245 pounds would not meet the hospital’s hiring requirements.

Comments [6]

The Takeaway

Anti-Obesity Drug Approved by FDA Advisory Panel

Friday, February 24, 2012

This week a Federal Drug Administration panel backed the approval of a weight loss drug called Qnexa. Strictly intended for use by clinically overweight people with BMIs over 27kg/m2, Qnexa is a combination of an already-existing weight loss drug and another drug not yet approved for weight loss. At present, many doctors use this particular combination of drugs to treat obese patients, but this approval would allow them not to go "off the label" with their prescriptions.


The Takeaway

Food Pyramid is Ancient History

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to knock down the 20-year-old nutritional food pyramid and replace it with a simpler guide to healthy eating — a plate. Today the USDA will unveil how they think your dinner plate should look. But while the portion-divide plate might be a more digestible representation of a good diet, the question is will the message get through to people who really need to change their habits? Tony Geraci, former food service director for Baltimore City Schools and consultant for the Got Breakfast Foundation says that the USDA is addressing many health problems head on.



Councilman Fighting Fast Food Gets Ribbed for His Weight

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


A Queens lawmaker who's pushing a bill to fight childhood obesity is getting attention for being overweight himself.


The Takeaway

DIY Checkup: Taking Control of Our Health

Monday, June 14, 2010

What does "healthy" mean in America today? From trendy diets to calorie-burning shoes, we get so many confusing messages about what we need to do to be healthy that we lose sight of the goal. Maybe it's time to reconsider how we define health.

What does healthy mean to you? When it comes to maintaining your health, what works for you?

Comments [10]


Exercise Will Set You Free. Not!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Ask anyone the best way drop a few pounds and chances are you'll hear that if you exercise, you'll lose weight. But many adults who exercise at the gym or run or bike say their weight has remained the same year after year. A Time Magazine article says the basic problem is that while exercise burns calories, it can stimulate hunger. WNYC's Amy Eddings interviewed John Cloud who wrote the article.

Amy Eddings: First of all, you have got to be kidding me! No! For years we've been hearing that key to weight control was diet and exercise, diet and exercise, like peanut butter and jelly, together forever, one linked to the other -- and you're telling me now, no?

John Cloud: Right and let me just begin by saying exercise is not completely useless, in fact you want to exercise for all kinds of reasons for your heart health, for your mental health for your joints.

Eddings: But we want to get thin, John, we want to get taut.

Cloud: In terms of weight loss and exercise, there are a couple things going on. One study I quote at length in this story was a study with a group of women in Louisiana and Texas, 464 women who were recruited to exercise three to four times a week with a personal trainer. Their exercise was very carefully calibrated, their heart rates were measured. This was a serious exercise group. They were followed for six months. Their diets didn't change. In fact, they were told, 'Maintain your standard diet and everything'. They compared this group to a group of women who didn't exercise. All they did was fill out monthly forms detailing any medical symptoms they had.

At the end of the six months, they found that the women who exercised had lost no more weight than the women who all they did once a month was think about their health and their diets. They filled out these forms, which had the effect probably of causing them to eat a little bit less, so that they lost a little bit of weight, too.

The person who runs the study calls this phenomenon 'compensation.' Whether because you are hungrier or you reward yourself when you get home, you tend to eat more when you exercise a lot.

Eddings: If you rule out compensation. if people get honest with themselves and stop overeating after a hard work out, then does exercise help?

'In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,' Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.

Cloud: Sure, but we're not really built very well to do that. You know a lot of people have this up and down roller coaster thing with their weight. They'll either go on a diet or they'll adopt some exercise regimen. In the year 2000, these psychologists published a pretty well-known paper in psychology circles about self control. They observed in this paper that self control is like a muscle. If you go out and go running for an hour, it's going to be much harder to get back home and make decisions about anything really, but particularly about food. You've already done this great thing for yourself. That's just kind of how we're built psychologically.



We're Here, We're Fat, Get Used To It?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sondra Solovay and Esther Rothblum, co-editors of The Fat Studies Reader, tell Brian Lehrer we need to stop obsessing about weight -- and start accepting fat people.

Brian Lehrer: First off, Esther, we are supposed to use the word fat right this has been reclaimed by the movement.

Esther Rothblum: That’s right. The word fat focuses exactly on what we’re looking at and that’s body fat. For example, if we just talk about weight, somebody who is tall and thin may actually weigh more than someone who is short and fat. If you think about elite athletes like Serena Williams the tennis star, she has a lot more muscle, let’s say than someone who doesn’t play tennis so she would weigh more.

But fat studies scholars use that term just the way other oppressed groups have reclaimed words like people of African decent reclaimed the word black and some young gay men and lesbians are reclaiming the word queer. So what words like fat and black and queer have in common is people are saying let's take a word that really says who we are, perhaps even a word that’s been used negatively and let’s reclaim it.

Lehrer: We have a history, Sonrda Solovay, of increasing obesity in the United State to the point where now the National Institutes of Health defines over 60% of Americans as overweight or obese. That’s a lot more than it used to be. So if we’re going to look at fatness as in the category of civil rights and say that it’s like being black or it's like being queer, can we really go there, because since this is something that behavior is causing?

Sondra Solovay: First of all, I don’t agree with your assumption that this is something that behavior is causing.

Lehrer: At least for a large percentage of obese people, is that not accurate?

Solovay: No, I think it's way more complicated then that simple sentence. I know that the discourse that people have about weight makes it seem just that simple. Calories in, calories out, don’t sit on the couch, don’t eat donuts, you’ll be thin. But, in fact, there have always been fat people and there always will be fat people. And what we do is, we change the definitions of who is fat, literally overnight. The definition of who was fat was changed several years ago, around the time when my first book was coming out, so that people who went to bed not fat, woke up fat just because we changed how we defined that.