Dr. Yoni Freedhoff on obesity, weight loss, and the need to end post-traumatic dieting disorder

Credit: Daniel Grizelj/Getty Images

As sometimes happens to visitors in Las Vegas, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff got hooked then decided to stake it all on a feeling.

Freedhoff, then a physician splitting time between a family practice and rehab hospital, was eager to visit Vegas, and a conference on obesity provided him the opportunity. Despite having no interest in gambling (“I don’t even put a nickel in the nickel slots,” he says), the Toronto native hit a jackpot of sorts in Sin City: “I enjoyed the conference so much,” Freedhoff says, “that I continued my learning and ended up becoming the third physician in Canada…

Researchers at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, in upstate New York, comb the woods in search of ticks. Photography by Kirsten Luce

Climate change and human sprawl have triggered a pandemic

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.

Kelly Oggenfuss is walking into the woods. Leading her team of four young researchers through a thicket of slender oak trees, she doles out assignments by letters corresponding to a grid. As early morning light filters through the canopy, Oggenfuss and her colleagues pull on latex gloves then disperse to gather surveillance data.

For 20 years, this has been a post-dawn ritual for Oggenfuss, a senior research specialist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, a bucolic town in the state’s Hudson Valley region. Four times…

Alex Bhattacharji

Journalist and writer. A contributing editor at WSJ. magazine whose work appears in numerous other publications. Raised in Brooklyn, lives in Los Angeles.

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