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salmon, eggs, cheese and other low carb foods on a table with veggies

“Dr. Spiegel, why is your institute trashing the Atkins diet?” This was the question angrily posed to me by Congresswoman Anne Northup (R-KY) at the 2003 House Appropriations hearing for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, I testified annually (1999–2006) at this Read more

Overweight woman adjusts medical scale

TV shows such as The Biggest Loser are hugely successful, attracting viewers who watch contestants compete to see who can lose the most weight. Over the long term, however, the show has had more ratings success than participants have had success at keeping the pounds off. A recent New York Times article profiled several contestants Read more

Strawberry protein drink/meal replacement

The typical dictionary definition of fasting is 1) to abstain from all foods or 2) to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance. Few practice the former, at least not for any significant length of time. The second definition, however, has taken many forms, though in modern times Read more

Close-up of a Latino boy with his grandmother eating dinner

As a pediatric nutritionist in a clinic that serves children with special needs, I see all kinds of family situations and all kinds of caregivers. Usually the primary caregiver is a parent. But for a variety of reasons, the primary caregiver may be a relative who cares for the child during much of the day Read more

Bag Of Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I direct a nutrition clinic in a large center for children with special needs, the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. My “kids” can have everything from mild learning disabilities to genetic disorders that affect growth and development to profound intellectual and physical impairments that cause them to be unable to Read more

Elementary school student receives nutrition advice while snacking on an apple

When I was a child, one of my favorite sugary snacks was basically a small vat of frosting. It came with cookies for dunking. I won’t lie; some of that stuff is delicious, but with help from my family and what I learned in school, I came to appreciate healthier alternatives. No question, it seems Read more