Public Health

A new analysis has found that if you are on Medicare, it's better to get a female internist than a male. Female internists have lower rates of 30-day mortality and hospital readmission than those patients treated by men.

Obviously it could be a variety of other factors - modern medicine, and its government control, has created a "teach to the protocol environment", and women are more likely to adhere to guidelines -but the authors postulate that female physicians more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and provide preventive care more often, meaning that even if their careers are interrupted by child-bearing they should be paid more than men.

On November 29, an op-ed article, co-signed by 94 scientists, and entitled “Let’s Stop the Manipulation of Science” was published in Le Monde.  It makes numerous allegations, most prominent among them that industry is “manufacturing doubt” about the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  But as anyone who has followed the issue of endocrine disruptors knows, it is highly controversial and polarized with serious questions

In the United States, legalization of marijuana is happening at a record pace, thanks to governments hoping for new tax streams and public health claims giving it a free pass that literally no other product has ever gotten. However, a few experts and some users agree that package warnings stating the health risks are needed, yet what marijuana smokers think is needed is different from what the medical community believes should be required. 

Given the craze, it is no surprise journal publishers are scrambling to push out new places to lend marijuana a veneer of scientific authenticity. One new one, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

A recent study from French government researchers reported new results on the exposure of pregnant women to more than 100 substances that might be a concern for the health of a developing fetus.  The study examined exposure to various metals (e.g., lead, mercury, arsenic) and many common organic compounds that we might encounter in our daily lives.

The war on fat is back, thanks to an aggressive campaign by food pundits related to sugar, GMOs and corporations.

For a while, it looked like all thin people were going to be placed into mandatory body image counseling, the Kardashians had made plump the new natural, but doctors have overruled activists like Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle and their beliefs about nutrition and affirmed that it's calories that matter, not the scary story of the week.

It's no secret that smoking causes lung cancer, but lost in the more recent smoke and mirrors about the new war on tobacco is the fact cigarettes are also linked to many other diseases, and the risk is compounded in diabetics who smoke. Diabetes, the kind occurring naturally and the lifestyle type 2 version, is a chronic illness in which there are high levels of glucose in the blood. More than 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in four people with diabetes doesn't know he or she has it. Like smoking, having diabetes can also put people at risk for numerous other health complications.
 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity has more than quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years and it is estimated that more than one-third of kids and adolescents in the U.S. are at least overweight. Obesity in childhood and adolescence is associated with a number of later health risks, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
You should not smoke cigarettes and if you already do, you should stop. Though the U.S. FDA has damaged the smoking cessation possibilities for current users, and California has outright subsidized cigarette companies with punitive taxes on vaping, there may still be ways to limit the destructive potential of cigarettes: Red wine.
It would seem obvious that a diluted nicotine vapor is much less harmful than toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke - yet groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Tobacco Free Kids have instead adopted a 'quit or die' mentality about smoking.

Yet we engage in harm reduction when it comes to needle exchanges and, strangely, the political party that was against those is for e-cigarettes, while the party that is on the other side wants any smoking cessation or harm reduction tool not controlled by pharmaceutical companies to be penalized.

Not that many years ago, many reusable food and beverage containers on the market worldwide were made from polycarbonate plastic.  Polycarbonate, which is made from bisphenol A (BPA), is an almost ideal material for these products since its clarity is comparable to glass, making it easy to see what’s inside, and it’s virtually shatter-proof – an important attribute for consumer products that could be dropped.