Public Health

Atherosclerotic Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is responsible for one in every six deaths in the United States as well as being the leading cause of death throughout the developed world.

 The theory of dietary saturated fats as the principal promoter of elevated serum cholesterol and heart disease stems from research beginning in the 1950's by an American scientist Ancel Keys. It was this hypothesis which was embraced by the American Heart Association and the US federal government in the 1960s and until recently. However, at the same time of Keys research, a British physiologist named John Yudkin argued that sugar intake was more closely related to incidence of and mortality from CHD. 


Pre-test Q: What in blue blazes does he mean by that? (Answer at the end)
**A commenter pointed out to me the apparent insensitivity of the juxtaposition of "Watermelon" and Obama. I am sorry — that thought never crossed my mind. IF you'd be so kind as to either read till the end OR skip to it now, you'll see that no such disrespect was intended! I do apologize if anyone was offended--the furthest thing from my mind.  GR

Wikipedia may be wildly inaccurate but at least it isn't dangerous. For really dangerous advice, the assumption has been to go on Internet health forums. 

Faint praise, but a new analysis suggests that medical advice given on Internet health forums may be of better quality than people tend to assume. They focused on three popular online discussion forum websites - reddit, mumsnet and Patient.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that U.S. Marshals seized almost 90,000 bottles worth over $400,000 of a dietary supplement said to contain a psychoactive plant. 

President Barack Obama has used an executive order to bypass Congress and tighten control and enforcement over firearms in the United States, in response to concerns about gun violence and gun safety.

If it survives the inevitable court challenges, it will mean more background checks, expanded registration and $500 million for mental health initiatives. President Obama believes these measures will keep firearms from criminals - and they should - but he also claims that it will reduce suicides. That is not so simple to believe. As is well-known, 60 percent of deaths due to firearms are suicides and the lack of gun ownership in Japan did not prevent any of those, they simply use rope.

Urban elites tend to think being fat and dumb is a rural problem but studies show just the opposite; that is why so many health planners want to add more parks and places for people to walk, it emulates country life more.

Genetics are somewhat important, it impacts how many calories someone can eat given their metabolism, but social environment is a big factor. Since agricultural science has made it possible for poor people be fat, that is exactly what has happened, and not just in America. Obesity has risen dramatically in Europe as well. 


When government pays for your health care, they get the right to tell you what behavior can be detrimental to your health - but before that they will pay for medication to help them stop smoking.

But only 10 percent are doing so. Why?

 Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States and it puts a particularly heavy burden on Medicaid. One-third of US adults with Medicaid coverage currently smoke, a rate that is roughly twice as high as that for the general public.


It won't surprise you to learn that people have different metabolisms and body types. Some people can eat a lot and stay thin, others have to struggle to keep pounds off.

While there is no "obesity" gene, it is the time of year when epidemiologists talk about it anyway. One such gene that has been causalated to obesity is FTO and a new paper suggest a physically active lifestyle can change that genetic determinism. 

Yes, if you exercise and burn more calories, you will lose weight.


America has led the way in achieving something that was once believed to be science fiction: For the first time in history, poor people can afford to be fat. 


In the spirit of year end top 10 lists, but not restricting myself to 2015, I offer the following as the best 10 books ever written on the topic of obesity and/or weight loss.

1. Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes