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Public Health

Tax a Cola, Improve Life for San Francisco's Children

Jeff Ritterman, MD | Posted 06.02.2014 | Food
Jeff Ritterman, MD

In San Francisco, the communities with the highest hospitalization rates for type-2 diabetes are the same communities with the highest rates of soda consumption. Type-2 diabetes is far more costly and far more regressive than any soda tax ever could be.

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

Socheata Poeuv | Posted 05.31.2014 | Politics
Socheata Poeuv

Most of us never register the scale of gun deaths in America. But doctors like Vivek Murthy who are often on the front line of our country's social problems know this scale all to well.

ACA's Fourth Birthday: A Good Reason to Celebrate

Dr. Georges C. Benjamin | Posted 05.31.2014 | Politics
Dr. Georges C. Benjamin

The "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" is now four years old and March 31 brings to a close the first major enrollment period of our nation's health reform law. And there is good reason to celebrate.

Do More Guns Cause More Suicide?

Evan DeFilippis | Posted 05.27.2014 | Politics
Evan DeFilippis

The same bad arguments forwarded by politicians are being used by the NRA to challenge gun regulation. This insistence by gun advocates that suicide is a foregone conclusion is not only factually incorrect, but incredibly dangerous.

Editorial Shorthand Fails Our Debates On Public Health

Marice Ashe | Posted 03.27.2014 | Food
Marice Ashe

The word "ban" is a loaded one, virtually guaranteed to inflame readers' passions on an issue.

Human Rights in Indonesia: The Foundation of Our Future

Hashim Djojohadikusumo | Posted 05.26.2014 | World
Hashim Djojohadikusumo

Indonesia has made great strides since we embraced the democratic system in 1998 and I believe, despite great challenges, we have a bright future ahead of us. To realize our nation's promise, however, we must first protect the fundamental rights of our people.

The War Against Polio: It's Not Over Yet

Kelsey Davenport | Posted 05.24.2014 | College
Kelsey Davenport

What sets Rukhsar apart from other polio victims, however, is that she is the last: the last recorded case of polio in India.

Investing in the Science of Public Health

Linda P. Fried | Posted 05.24.2014 | Science
Linda P. Fried

When we think of science for health, we think first -- and invest mostly -- in curing diseases once they have occurred. This is vitally important. However, the greatest return on investment often comes from the science of preventing the disease in the first place.

When Health Care Outcomes Are Determined Outside of Health Care

Brad Stulberg | Posted 05.21.2014 | Healthy Living
Brad Stulberg

It's time to start thinking about innovation in health care not just as some new fancy machine or surgical technique, but also as how we identify, approach and work with vulnerable people so there is less need to treat them as acute patients.

Sugar Kills! How Do We Decrease Consumption?

Jeff Ritterman, MD | Posted 05.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Jeff Ritterman, MD

Our advice could be simple: "Eat real food. If they advertise it, don't buy it." The explanation simple as well: They advertise food and beverages because they want you to eat and drink products that are unhealthy."

How Safety-Net ERs Can Save Health-Care Reform

Andrew G. Lim | Posted 05.19.2014 | Politics
Andrew G. Lim

In the coming years of health-care transition, county-hospital ERs will continue to be the first refuge for America's marginalized and vulnerable populations. They must evolve to become coordinating centers for society's health needs and champions of cost reform.

From the Sushi Plate to the Investment Portfolio: Three Ways to Take Action on Ocean Health

John B. Thomas | Posted 03.17.2014 | Green
John B. Thomas

If you're ordering sushi in the United States, you may not be eating what you think you are.

Dave Jamieson

White House's Gift To The Poultry Industry Under Fire From Congress

HuffingtonPost.com | Dave Jamieson | Posted 03.17.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It appears the Agriculture Department's controversial plan to create faster line speeds in poultry processing plants has hit another sna...

Convenience Stores: C Is for Conundrum

Jeff Ritterman, MD | Posted 05.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Jeff Ritterman, MD

Is it possible to save our teens from the adverse health impacts of sugary drink consumption without destroying the livelihood of the C-store shopkeeper? What kind of transformation of the C-store would be needed for this to happen?

Want to Legalize Marijuana? Learn From Regulating Alcohol and Tobacco

Michele Simon | Posted 05.14.2014 | Politics
Michele Simon

The most painful lesson from alcohol and tobacco control is that profit motive can trump all other concerns. The right preventive measures should be put in place early on, and then need to be vigorously defended against the tidal wave of deregulation, to strike the right balance between legal availability and protecting public health.

Holder Outlines Plan To Address 'Urgent Public Health Crisis'

The Huffington Post | Ashley Alman | Posted 03.10.2014 | Politics

Attorney General Eric Holder promised Monday to address the recent rise in heroin overdoses with enhanced enforcement and treatment initiatives in his...

FDR's Lessons for the Global Fight Against Polio

Ziad Haider | Posted 05.05.2014 | Impact
Ziad Haider

FDR provides a powerful reference point to measure the dramatically reduced reach of polio today. During his lifetime, the disease coursed far and wide including through the White House. Today it is endemic in just three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

Big Soda's Front Group Arrives Early in San Francisco

Michele Simon | Posted 05.05.2014 | Food
Michele Simon

Lawmakers in San Francisco introduced a bill that would tax sugary beverages at two cents per ounce. The estimated $31 million in annual revenue would go to local health programs. It didn't take long for Big Soda to respond in the way it knows best: by setting up a front group.

Childhood Obesity: Have We Turned the Tide?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.30.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The headline in the New York Times, was: "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43 Percent in a Decade." This, and similarly effusive headlines reverberating throughout the news media, would seem to invite the question: have we, in fact, turned the tide? Is the mission accomplished?

When Health Is Your Business: Pharmacies Must Stop Selling Cigarettes

Claire Pomeroy | Posted 04.26.2014 | Impact
Claire Pomeroy

Every business that is involved in health and health care must now do its part. Time is of the essence; tobacco is an epidemic that must be stopped.

Genetic Testing Needs a Nudge

Dov Fox | Posted 04.24.2014 | Politics
Dov Fox

This innovative approach to the management of genetic health information better balances the goals of patient health and consumer freedom. Genetic testing is the next frontier of personalized medicine. But it needs a nudge.

Way Too Many Americans Go To Work While Sick: Survey

The Huffington Post | Dave Jamieson | Posted 02.19.2014 | Business

Worried about lost wages, a backlog of work or punishment from the boss, more than one in four American workers recently surveyed said they show up to...

The Other NRA: National Restaurant Association Eviscerates the Rights of Customers, Workers, and Children

Michele Simon | Posted 04.21.2014 | Business
Michele Simon

Food movement leaders tend to stick to their specific issues, whether it's advocating for healthy food, fighting for workers' rights or curbing marketing to children. There is one organization that conveniently provides us with one giant target for all of them: the National Restaurant Association.

Three Surprising Hazards of Worksite Wellness Programs

Leah Binder | Posted 04.20.2014 | Business
Leah Binder

Bad wellness programs send the message that your boss thinks you're an idiot. This typically isn't a good strategy for improving morale, though it does improve motivation to update your resume.

Can a Hat Trick Reverse Obesity?

Jeff Ritterman, MD | Posted 04.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Jeff Ritterman, MD

For decades the medical profession has recommended that we reduce our fat intake. We have. We lowered our fat intake from 40 percent to 30 percent of total calories. Why then have obesity, and the diabetes that often accompanies it, become so prevalent?