Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A wave of obesity blamed (at least in part) on kids slurping cheap slushies and scarfing chips from local convenience stores has the Los Angeles City Council considering an unusual proposal: limiting the development of new corner stores in South L.A. Is the council's proposed moratorium a smart way to address a public health epidemic? Or is it an unfair attack on the convenient storefronts that serve low-income neighborhoods, where big chain grocery stores don't dare to enter?
We speak to public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen; Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the executive director of a nonprofit health policy and education organization in South Los Angeles; and Jeff Lenard, the spokesperson for the National Association of Convenience Stores.
"The problem is that we have too many food cues that make us hungry, and make us eat too much. People were designed to overeat."
—Public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen, on the danger that the kinds of cheap, highly processed foods usually available in convenience stores pose to public health
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As we await the peak season for the H1N1 virus, one simple act may prevent the spread of infection: washing your hands. According to new research in the journal Risk Analysis, one-third of the risk for H1N1 infection comes from hand-to-face contact. We talk with Tara Parker-Pope, who writes the "Well" column for the New York Times, about why the routine act of washing your hands can have such big consequences for public health.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In an attempt to slow the spread of HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might begin recommending circumcisions for all infant boys. The announcement comes out of this week's National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta. The CDC likely won't release a formal draft of the proposal for another four to six months, but speculation on it already has emotions flaring.
For more on the debate, we are joined by Dana Goldstein, public health reporter and associate editor for The American Prospect magazine; and Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The U.S. government is seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to roll up their sleeves for the first clinical trials of an H1N1 flu vaccine. The race is on to test whether a new vaccine really will protect against this virus before its expected rebound in the fall. Will the vaccines work? Will there be enough vaccines for everyone? What are the dangers of the vaccine itself? The Takeaway talks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which will oversee the trials.
"We think the risk is extremely small because we give tens of millions of doses of seasonal flu vaccine every year to adults, the elderly and children, and there's not a significant, at all, degree of adverse effects."
—Dr. Anthony Fauci on the H1N1 vaccine
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
"Collectively, we're making all these small little decisions, but across the country I think it's pretty clear that adds up to a safety risk."
—Adam Bryant of The New York Times on texting while driving
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
For more on the importance of clean water and sanitation, watch the video from the International Federation Global Water and Sanitation Initiative (GWSI) in action at the Zambia Red Cross Society:
Friday, February 20, 2009
For more, read Robert Pear's article, Health Care Industry in Talks to Shape Policy, in today's New York Times.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Read Susan Okie's article, The Epidemic That Wasn't in today's New York Times.