Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Quality & Safety in the Literature: March 2020
  1. Nathan Houchens1,2,
  2. Jennifer Meddings1,2,3,
  3. Ashwin Gupta1,2
  1. 1 Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  2. 2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  3. 3 Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nathan Houchens, Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA; nathanho{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Healthcare quality and safety span multiple topics across the spectrum of academic and clinical disciplines. Keeping abreast of the rapidly growing body of work can be challenging. In this series, we provide succinct summaries of selected relevant studies published in the last several months. Some articles will focus on a particular theme, while others will highlight unique publications from high-impact medical journals.

Key points

  • A study using 20 years of body mass index (BMI) data from more than 6 million adults and correcting for self-reporting bias projected that, by the year 2030, nearly one in two US adults will have obesity. The prevalence of obesity will exceed 50% in 29 states and not fall below 35% in any state. Though important geographic and sociodemographic disparities exist, severe obesity (BMI ≥35) will constitute the most common BMI category nationwide among women, black non-Hispanic adults and low-income adults. N Engl J Med, 19 December 2019

  • In a modelling study conducted in the UK, a 20% price increase in high-sugar snacks resulted in reduced energy purchased across income levels. The average per person change in energy consumption was −8900 kcal, and for obese patients, the greatest decreases were seen in low-income households. This price increase was projected to reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by 2.68%. BMJ, 17 July 2019

  • A quasi-experimental longitudinal study examining calorie labelling of menus in a large fast-food chain in the southern United States found a small decrease in mean calories purchased per transaction after implementation, particularly among side order items. However, this reduction diminished over 1 year of follow-up. BMJ, 24 September 2019


The obesity epidemic is a growing global concern that affects countries of all developmental levels.1 2 According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the prevalence of obesity (defined as a body …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @nate_houchens

  • Funding JM’s research was supported by an AHRQ grant K08HS019767 from 2010 to 2015 and is currently supported by AHRQ grants P30HS024385 and R01HS018334 as well as funding from the VA National Center for Patient Safety and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. JM’s research has recently been supported by contracts with the Health Research and Education Trust (HRET) involving the prevention of CAUTI, funded by AHRQ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. JM was also a recipient of the 2009–2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Loan Repayment Program. AG receives funding from the Moore Foundation.

  • Competing interests Honoraria: JM has reported receiving honoraria from hospitals and professional societies devoted to complication prevention for lectures and teaching related to prevention and value-based purchasing policies involving catheter-associated urinary tract infection and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Intellectual property/product development: JM’s research involves development of products to improve patient safety by reducing hospital-acquired complications. Her team has an awarded patent involving one of these products that aims to reduce urinary catheter-associated complications and has recently applied for a patent involving a device to reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. She has no associations with any companies or manufacturers, has no ownership in a commercial entity and receives no royalties.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.