Diet and Weight Loss

The link between abdominal fat and death: What is the shape of health?

Body mass index is commonly used to assess a person’s weight status and health risk, but it does not indicate how much fat a person has or how it is distributed throughout the body — indicators of metabolic health. A recent study analyzed different measures of body shape to determine which are most predictive of premature death.

3 easy ways to eat a healthier diet

The very best intentions for healthy eating can fail if a new diet is too ambitious or restrictive. Taking small, easy steps toward healthier eating—and taking them one at a time—can help you make lasting changes.

Quarantine snacking fixer-upper

Eating more than you should since the start of the pandemic, especially unhealthy, highly processed snack foods? If you’re looking for advice on how to break your snacking habits and form new, better habits with healthier snacks, try these tips.

Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not?

Growing evidence shows that intermittent fasting leads to significant weight loss. A recent study contradicted these findings, but the way this study was designed and implemented raises some questions about its conclusions.

6 all-natural sex tips for men

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications are relatively safe and work for most men, but they aren’t right for every man. Here are six proven strategies that can help –– and offer added benefits on overall health and quality of life.

Lifestyle changes are important for managing atrial fibrillation

Many lifestyle factors can influence the development of atrial fibrillation, and doctors now better understand the importance of these factors in treating afib. Those who are at risk of developing afib can take action to improve their health, and in some cases they may be able to reduce their symptoms.

Better heart health in eight weeks? Double down on fruits and veggies

Want to improve heart health? New research based on blood samples from the original DASH diet shows the DASH diet and another diet high in fruits and veggies can lower measures of heart strain and heart muscle damage within eight weeks.

When dieting doesn’t work

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most diets can help you lose weight, but that weight is frequently regained within a few months — a fact supported by an analysis of more than 100 research trials on diets. But losing weight is easier, and more likely to be permanent, if you choose a diet with foods you actually like.

Are sugar substitutes too sweet to be true?

Many people wonder if sugar substitutes are worth choosing, or are even safe. There may have a slight benefit for some, but there is also the potential for increased risk of diabetes.

Weight loss can help head off lasting damage caused by fatty liver

Irun Bhan, MD

Contributor

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. The key to preventing complications is to detect and treat it early, but getting a diagnosis can be tricky.