Public Health

Crystal Hefner, wife of Playboy entrepreneur Hugh Hefner, recently elected to have her breast implants removed because she believed that they “were slowly poisoning her.” This was after she read Internet comments from people who shared similar symptoms and said implants were the problem, and after she believed she had chronic Lyme disease.

Science is not on her side. Not even close.

Habitual cycling, whether as transportation to work or as a recreational activity, has been associated with lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to an epidemiology paper in PLOS Medicine, which affirms that Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, brought on by too many calories and not enough exercise.

The cohort analysis, conducted by Martin Rasmussen of the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues, included 24,623 men and 27,890 women from Denmark, recruited between the ages of 50 and 65, and compared the association between self-reported recreational and commuter cycling habits with
type 2 diabetes


The New York Times (NYT) article is discussing a recent publication in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives related to “Project TENDR”, which stands for “Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks”. In the NYT piece, statements of the Project TENDR group presented in the published paper are summarized and it is pointed out that this publication comes at the same time as the signing into law of the overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Current federal agricultural subsidies focus on financing production of food commodities, a large portion of which are converted into high-fat meat and dairy products, refined grains, high-calorie juices and soft drinks (sweetened with corn sweeteners), and processed and packaged foods.

Karen R. Siegel, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and coauthors used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2006 to calculate an individual-level "subsidy score" for consumption of subsidized food commodities as a percentage of total calorie intake.

The study, which relied on a single day of 24-hour dietary recall, included 10,308 participants, about half of whom were men, with an average age of about 40.


On June 15 the EU Commission (EC) issued its highly anticipated “scientific criteria” for identifying Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). Now that the dust has settled, and stakeholders around the globe have had a chance to offer their thoughts, the time is ripe to explore to the heart of the criteria – what the EC selected (and what it didn’t select), and the potential impact their choices will have on consumers, industry and the global regulatory arena. 

Just a few years ago, I was a practicing naturopathic doctor. I considered myself to be a primary care physician who had been trained in the best of two worlds: supposedly, one was modern medicine and the other was a mixture of alternative practices based in “ancient wisdom.”

The risk of people developing Type 2 diabetes is lower for people who consume more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, notes a study in PLOS Medicine.


British taxpayers spend billions for the health care of an increasingly overweight population. The World Health Organisation predicts that almost three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2030.

Graham MacGregor is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London was trained as a nephrologist but then became interested in blood pressure control mechanisms, particularly related to the renin-angiotensin system, the mechanisms whereby salt puts up blood pressure. Now he says he knows a magic bullet for halting obesity: unsurprisingly it is in line with all of the latest fad claims in media.
A core platform of the massive promotion of e-cigarettes has been the argument that because these products involve no combustion but only vaporization, they must be substantially less dangerous than smoked tobacco. Few – including me – would disagree with that.

Acupuncture, like most other alternative therapies, is particular popular for indications that are:

1. chronic

2. associated with a high burden of suffering,

3. not easily treatable with conventional therapies,

4. are frequently resolved without any intervention.

Infertility or subfertility tick most of these boxes. It is therefore not surprising that acupuncturists the world over claim that acupuncture can cure infertility. But is this claim based on evidence or on wishful thinking?