Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Obesity, Weight, and Eating Disorders

The Dangers of Workplace Snackage

By Robert Press | November 21, 2016 | Comments Snacks

It’s one of those things that just kind of happens. Maybe someone in your department is getting married, or it’s someone’s birthday, and one of your coworkers decides to commemorate the day with treats. Maybe they leave those treats sitting out in the open, where anybody can walk by and... Read more

Battling Adolescent Obesity with Behavioral Therapy

By Abbey Anderson | September 21, 2016 | Comments image from

Now that we’re well into September, many families are settling into the swing of school schedules, band practices, dance lessons and packed daily agendas. With so much running around going on from September to June, it can be easy to lose sight of keeping up a healthy diet and active... Read more

The Skinny on the Weight Loss Balloon

By Abbey Anderson | July 6, 2016 | Comments Balloon

With beach season now in full swing, it’s not surprising that the latest weight loss balloon has been making headlines. The newest balloon, known technically as an intragastric balloon, is a space-occupying device which is placed in the stomach by swallowing a pill, and then inflated – a new design... Read more

Mind Over Matter: Mental Health Conditions in Bariatric Surgery Patients

By Abbey Anderson | April 20, 2016 | Comments image from

Many would argue that more attention needs to be paid mental health issues in the United States. In recent months, this topic has been picking up steam with attention from the Chicago Tribune in an article that stresses the need to end mental health stigma. More pop culture-focused outlets are... Read more

Let’s Take a “Micro-break” and Talk about Standing Desks

By Steve Graff | February 26, 2016 | Comments Standing

As news media professionals working for a health system, the people in Penn Medicine’s Communications office are not only an inquisitive bunch, but also a health-conscious one. So when the opportunity to get standing desks, a workplace trend sweeping through cube farms and office spaces around the world, came our... Read more

Who Is the Cookie Doctor?

By John Shea | January 29, 2016 | Comments Cookie Doctor cover

Peter T. Pugliese, MD, a member of the Class of 1957 of what is now the Perelman School of Medicine, has had a varied career. Becoming a doctor was, he says, “a long and arduous trip.” Along the way, “I found God, lost him, and found him again. . .... Read more

Expanding Care for a Growing Population

By Abbey Anderson | December 14, 2015 | Comments Scale

Over 78 million adults and nearly 13 million adolescents. These staggering numbers represent the number of Americans who are obese. With these individuals making up nearly one-third of the country’s population, many of whom live here in the Philadelphia area, the need for effective, durable, and safe obesity treatment—like bariatric... Read more

The Skinny on Fat

By Olivia Fermano | September 14, 2015 | Comments Junk food head

For more than a few decades the medical community told us that fat was bad. Much maligned, fat was deemed enemy number one of hearts and minds (clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes, oh my!) as well as waistlines. However, as new research shows, the tide against some fats is... Read more

Beyond Skin Deep: How Scars Affect Psychosocial Well-Being

By Katie Delach | May 18, 2015 | Comments Laser-for-scars-face-body2

Americans spend more than $12 billion per year on cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance, whether it’s tanning, implanting, nipping or tucking. That’s because physical appearance influences nearly every aspect of our lives. And it’s not all our own insecurities or judgments, either. Studies show that strangers who observe photographs... Read more

Perhaps We are Not What We Eat After All

By Lee-Ann Donegan | December 12, 2014 | Comments Wu_gary

It’s no accident that we’re talking a lot about food on here these days. ‘Tis the season, as they say. Here at Penn Medicine, we’re finding that what we eat has a greater effect on us than we ever thought. For example, the common thought has always been that a... Read more

The FaLaLaLa Fallacies about Holiday Weight Gain

By Anna Duerr | December 8, 2014 | Comments Holiday tarts

Despite the joy and festivity of the holiday season, this time of year has a bad reputation for people who are trying to lose weight—or even just avoid gaining weight. Amid the office parties, the family gatherings and all the baked goodies, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day... Read more

Exploring the Human Microbiome

By John Shea | July 2, 2014 | Comments PENN-Med_SPRING_2014_F3b_LR-1

Like many people, I have gone through life without paying much attention to my gut –- except, that is, for the times my stomach gave unmistakable indications that it was upset. Most of the time, what was happening inside said stomach remained unknown. On the whole, it was out of... Read more

Breast Reduction Not a Magic Fix for Weight Loss

By Kim Menard | May 27, 2014 | Comments image from

A new trend has started emerging in an unlikely area: Penn Plastic Surgeons have encountered an influx of women looking for a breast reduction surgery as a primary tool for weight loss. While there may be no magic solution to mastering the scales, experts suggest going back to the basics, and recommend that people dedicate time and energy to taking good care of themselves. Read more

Science Communications, One White-Board Video at a Time

By Karen Kreeger | May 1, 2013 | Comments FitzGerald Nat Med mouse side by side image Nov 12

In an online video series, Florie Charles, a doctoral student at the University of California at San Francisco, and founder of Youreka Science, simply uses a white board and colored markers (and occasionally a small cut out mouse -- animal, not computer peripheral) to explain findings from recent papers in an accessible, fresh, and engaging way. One of her newest videos happens to feature a recent publication from the lab of Garret FitzGerald, MD, FRS, director of Penn Medicine's Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. Read more

Gadgets to Seamlessly Integrate Health Apps Into Daily Life

By Kim Menard | April 16, 2013 | Comments David-bill-intouch

In early April, Penn Medicine hosted a fast-paced lightning round of presentations highlighting new and emerging technology being used inside and outside the Health System that may help patients and medical professionals alike. “Connected health” is about continuous sensing and monitoring to enable early detection, diagnosis and intervention, and improving outcomes at lower cost. Alternating between internal and external projects, the presenters brought their best ideas and applications to share, explaining how these new devices fit within the existing health care system and, in some cases, how they stretch the boundaries and may change the way healthcare is delivered. Read more

The Many Faces of Metformin

By Karen Kreeger | January 30, 2013 | Comments Metformin blog post goat's rue Jan 13

Metformin, the most widely prescribed diabetes drug, has come full circle from a home remedy in the European medieval apothecary called goat’s rue to now being investigated for a host of modern chronic conditions. Read more

You Can Do It!

By Sally Sapega | January 21, 2013 | Comments IMG_0355

The new year frequently brings with it resolutions to improve our lives. And the two goals topping most people’s lists are losing weight and getting more exercise. Every January, gyms suddenly become more crowded and weight-loss programs see significant increases in membership. Diet aid apps are downloaded by the thousands.... Read more

Helping Mothers Give Their Babies the Best Start in Life

By Olivia Fermano | July 3, 2012 | Comments 391px-Breastfeeding_WPA_poster

All of Society Needs to Support Breastfeeding for Everyone to Reap the Maximum Benefits Medical journals, magazines, websites… they’re all touting the same message, something nature has known all along: breastfeeding is beneficial for both babies and mothers. The message is getting through - but not always to everyone who... Read more

Behind the Scenes of the Drug Approval Process

By Holly Auer | June 29, 2012 | Comments

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new prescription weight loss drug – the first in more than a decade. Advocates of the drug, which trials showed helped users lose an average of about five percent of their body weight, say it provides an important new weight loss option for the 35 percent of Americans classified as obese. But the medication, which will be sold under the name Belviq, is not without risks. Some studies showed that it causes heart valve problems, an issue that echoes the reasons why the weight-loss drug combination known as Fen-Phen was pulled from the market in 1997. A Penn medical toxicologist and emergency physician, Jeanmarie Perrone, played a role behind the headlines about the drug’s approval, as a member of an FDA advisory committee tasked with reviewing the data about the drug and making recommendations to the agency about whether or not it should be approved. Read more

Pre-eclampsi-whaaa?: One of the most common, most dangerous, least known threats to pregnant women…

By Olivia Fermano | April 30, 2012 | Comments Pregnancy-Heart Disease

I remember the first time I heard of preeclampsia . Despite the fact that I’ve worked my whole adult career in hospitals and health care, I didn’t first learn about preeclampsia on the job. In truth, I read about it years ago – and rather graphically – in the John... Read more

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