In last week's New York Times, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel suggested that this year's resolution might be to abandon the ritual of your annual physical. The title of his column, perhaps chosen by an editor to maximize glibness and thus provocation was: "Skip your annual physical." But permit me to suggest you don't commit to that just yet. The annual physical exam warrants some more examination, a defense to follow its prosecution.
Now that Ebola is here, it has captured the attention it arguably deserved from us long ago. The latest news is that the patient first diagnosed in the U.S. is in critical condition, and receiving experimental therapy. Lapses in our public health system have been acknowledged, and a scramble to contain the damage, and prevent spread, are playing out as we look on, and worry.
A commentary was published last month on the blog site of the prestigious British Medical Journal telling us, in essence, that lifestyle medicine is ineffective. Specifically, it said that screening for chronic disease risk factors in the general population, and addressing them with lifestyle counseling in the clinical setting, is of no value.
News came in the past week that the front-of-pack nutrition guidance program offered by Canada's Heart and Stroke Foundation, presented as a seal of approval in the form of a check mark, was being decommissioned. With all due respect to my friends at the Foundation, and the good intentions that brought the system into existence -- good riddance to it.
A significant shift in the law has just made it more difficult for the injured to get justice in Florida. The change occurred quietly when Florida's Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of the personal injury case of Maria Franco Perez, a Miami woman who brought suit against her employer alleging that her stress level at work caused her to give birth 20 weeks early.
Improving food labels, as planned by the USFDA and much in the news over the past week or so, is a welcome thing. But I do think we have cause to wonder if all the fanfare and media hype are really warranted. When all is said and done, what improvements are in the works, and how much will they really matter?