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Dr David Katz

The Measure of a Massacre: Guns and Numerical Nonsense

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.12.2013 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

In the current, intensifying debate about gun control, all valid arguments should be heard. A numbers-based argument is not among them. What matters here is what is being assaulted -- and that was never just a number.

Bullets for Gun Control

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.10.2013 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

The notion that weapons like the ever-popular Bushmaster model used in the Sandy Hook massacre have any legitimate use in civilian hands is the effective marketing of a money-making fantasy. Which matters more to us: the money to be made selling guns, or the lives of our children?

HuffPost Q&A: Minding Gun Control and Minds

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.06.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The trouble is, like most misfortunes of health, mental health disorders come to us across a spectrum. In some cases, they are merely troubling, and do not rise to the level of renouncing personal autonomy. In some cases, they are so extreme as to be all but unmanageable.

Fat, Fear, and the Truly Absurd: The Perils of Ping-Pong Science

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.06.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

At the population level, epidemic obesity is incontrovertibly established as a clear and all-but-omnipresent danger. It is absurd to suggest otherwise. And it's those who do so -- who play ping-pong with science -- who frighten the hell out of me.

Fiscal Cliff Diving: Here's to the Pool!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.05.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Hanging on to a bit more of our money might sound good until the day of reckoning, whenever and however it arrives, when our flight is ending and our landing becomes salient. At that point, we are apt to find ourselves wishing for... a pool.

Love In The New Year: Happily Ever After Is A Possibility

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.28.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Happy ever after is possible after all -- if we tally the reasons for it in one another's eyes. And remember why we started to keep that tally. And remember to keep on doing so. And remember to remember.

Childhood Obesity: Not Just Waitin' on the World to Change

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.26.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Children trying to overcome the burdens of obesity on their health and self-image are routinely obligated to weather a daily storm of bullying, abuse, and derision. They are denied the solace of friendship -- and often turn to food for comfort.

The Missing Link?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.19.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

My opinion is that the next big thing in health promotion will be a rediscovery, and reaffirmation, of the family. Because children and parents shape one another's culture. Because adults and kids will get to health together, or probably not at all. Because in unity, there is strength.

Shore as Shooting

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.16.2013 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

This really has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, and certainly doesn't infringe on it. The Second Amendment doesn't say anything about what kind of "arms" we can bear. We are left, as a modern society with weapons unimagined in the days of our Founding Fathers, to figure that out for ourselves.

Anti-Vaccine Vitriol: Seeking Reason

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.09.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I stand by my support for the flu vaccine. Reasonable people might disagree -- and when they do, I will listen to them and encourage others to do likewise. Not so those who renounce reason altogether, and in its place offer only vitriol.

Flu Me Once

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.06.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Familiarity breeds contempt, or at least complacency, and perhaps the annual return of influenza has induced that response. Perhaps that's why we seem to be dismissive of this germ, and overlook what a serious illness it can be. But that tendency is at our peril.

Nutrition Guidance: What's Novel, What's NuVal

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.02.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

My career is devoted to the use of lifestyle practices -- and above all, diet and physical activity -- to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. Feet and forks, along with fingers that do or don't hold cigarettes, are well established as the master levers of medical destiny.

The Mammography Muddle

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.27.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Mammography specifically, and cancer screening in general, is often something of a muddle. We should acknowledge the trade-offs, work toward better screening methods, and in the interim -- muddle through.

HuffPost Q&A: Fishing for the Truth About Nutrition

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.26.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Eating fish confers net benefit. Maybe it's the omega-3, and maybe not. Maybe it's because of adding fish, and maybe it's because of displacing meat. Maybe it's all of these, and it's in spite of the contaminants that come along for the ride.

Thanksgiving Poetry: Why Do We Give Thanks?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.21.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Most days, I let one thing or another distract me from the bountiful reasons I have to be thankful. But I do, on occasion, reflect deeply on the tensions between striving and cherishing. And when those reflections take me over, they often engender a poem.

Those Thanksgiving Calories: Of Hollow Leg, And Hypothalamus

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.19.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

There is a particular "Thanksgiving moment" that occurs as the meal is winding down. I set down my fork -- groan -- and say something like: "My goodness, I couldn't eat another bite..." This, of course, is promptly followed by: "What's for dessert?"

Health Lessons From... Horses?!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.13.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The predominant efforts of health promotion might reasonably be catalogued in terms of carrots, sticks, and leading people to water -- whether or not we can make them drink it. Which leads, naturally, to horses.

Seeking Genetically Modified... Perspective

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.06.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

If I lived in California, I would vote for Proposition 37; it makes sense to be informed. But wholesale opposition to genetic modification makes far less sense.

Forewarned Is Forearmed, Except When It Isn't

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

As told most famously by Shelley, the kingdom of Ozymandias fell to ruin in the desert sand. We are misguided to think we are too mighty to do the same. Signs of our vulnerability abound.

Chewing On The Future of Food

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.26.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Our cultural attitudes about the use of our feet and our forks are ill-advised, but not crazy; they always made sense before. For most of human history, calories were relatively scarce and physical activity was unavoidable. Our prevailing inclinations are well-suited to that scenario.

The Raw Food Diet, Overcooked

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.25.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Many foods can be eaten raw, and many foods are the better for it. An emphasis on eating mostly plants is irrefutably good, be they raw or cooked. But the case for raw food diets is oversold, the rhetoric is overheated, and the claims of universal benefits -- substantially overcooked.

The Good News About Multivitamins

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.19.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

As has likely come to your attention by now, a new study shows that daily multivitamin use is associated with a reduction in the overall rate of cancer. These findings are intriguing and promising, but far from the proverbial slam-dunk.

Why I Can't Quite Be Okay With 'Okay at Any Size'

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.17.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

So "okay at any size" seems to be gathering pop culture momentum. And I regret to say, I can't be entirely okay with that. It's not the size I'm not okay with -- it's the consequences.

Updating School Food, and Why Kids Aren't Lovin' It!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.08.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We want our kids to eat well because we want them to be healthy, and we want them to be healthy because we love them. They need to know that -- and that job resides with families, not government. They need to know that they can wind up loving foods that love them back.

Sowing Smaller Government, Reaping... Salmonella?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.04.2012 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

"Smaller government" makes a swell sound bite, because it sounds like standing up against waste, inefficiency, and the quagmire of bureaucracy. But in the course of political harangues where sound bites prevail, it's often hard to tell exactly who is apt to get bitten.