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A New Approach to Nutrition and Obesity Research

by Sandy Todd Webster on Oct 31, 2012

Food for Thought

People are profoundly tuned in to the fact that obesity and all the chronic disease that goes with it are plaguing much of the world. But, why, with such hyperawareness plus so many research developments on the nutrition and obesity fronts, do we still seem to be getting fatter and sicker?

Peter Attia, MD, and Gary Taubes, founders of the newly launched San Diego–based Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), have an idea or two about that. Mainly, they ask, what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if all the research that leads to the recommendations we get from the scientific community about nutrition and weight loss is flawed? They propose that official dietary guidelines are not based on rigorous science and may well contribute to the problem, doing far more harm than good.

Attia and Taubes set up their nonprofit organization with a simply stated, yet lofty, mission: to reduce the economic and social burden of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease by improving the quality of science in nutrition and obesity research.

“NuSI is unencumbered by bureaucracy or by an obligation to do anything other than find the truth. We can move quickly and efficiently to execute a novel plan: Harness the talents of the best scientists in the field and channel their skills into one concerted effort to generate reliable knowledge, once and for all, on the nature of a healthy diet,” says the NuSI website.

“We build teams of multi­disciplinary researchers from independent universities and institutions, and we make it possible for them to do targeted, cutting-edge experiments that will directly address the key questions of obesity and health. We then communicate the results to all audiences. Everyone deserves the truth.”

Stay tuned. We will be following this with interest. Learn more at

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.