Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Does Income Inequality Kill People?

September 6, 2021 — In a 2015 review now cited more than a thousand times, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson do not equivocate. The relationship between income inequality and poor health meets criteria for causality. The causal path involves violence and other problems with social structures. So reducing inequality will improve public health and wellbeing. Predicting COVID-19 Deaths In […]

The Moral Hazard of Demonizing the Food Industry

September 5, 2021 — The global food industry is huge – so big that people have a hard time putting firm numbers on it. But roughly, it’s worth about ten trillion dollars. It’s also very diverse. The top ten multinational food and beverage companies add up to only half a trillion dollars of those sales. Nonetheless in public health […]

Blurring the Line Between Righteousness and Health

August 22, 2021 — Make no mistake about it, public health is a righteous cause. Overwhelmingly, people choose careers in public health because they believe in the mission and they want to make a difference in the world. But righteous causes can bring a loss of objectivity. It happens because strong, human feelings come into play. When we hear […]

Understanding the Legacy of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids

August 13, 2021 — A decade has passed since President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law. In this time of great polarization, any big policy decision can generate controversy and this one is no exception. The purpose was to improve the quality of nutrition provided in school lunch and breakfast program, But some want to […]

Shifting from More to Better in Food Systems

August 10, 2021 — We have food systems that have done a fine job of meeting goals to provide abundant quantities of nourishment. But there is broad agreement that this abundant food supply has fueled global growth in obesity. So the question becomes what to do about it. Can we fix food systems by shifting from a mission to […]

Public Policy Based on Anger and Fear

August 8, 2021 — Anger is circulating freely these days. It’s nothing new. But harnessing anger and its close cousin – fear – is a skill social media algorithms seem to have mastered. Thus, politicians see an opportunity and anger grows. Punitive public policy scores points with constituents stoked by anger and fear. It seldom solves problems, though. In […]

What Does It Mean to Be Dead Last in Healthcare?

August 6, 2021 — It is a jarring headline. U.S. health systems cost the most and perform the worst in comparison to ten other wealthy countries. In fact, the comparison is not even close. So what does it mean to be dead last in healthcare? Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia have the top performing health systems. The list also […]

Shame Gets a Failing Grade for Health Promotion

July 28, 2021 — Is it helpful to use shame for health promotion? The impulse is certainly strong. Shame and blame have been consistent threads through years of grappling with the health impact of obesity. Along the same line, we’re seeing shame and blame trotted out for the unvaccinated in the U.S. as a the Delta variant produces a […]

Sorting Out the Cost of a Broken Food System

July 24, 2021 — America has some of the cheapest food in the world. Out of pocket, we spend less for food than people in any other country in the world. Food beckons us to eat everywhere we turn. But the actual cost of cheap food can be quite high. A new report from the Rockefeller Foundation tells us […]

Tax the Poor to Overcome Obesity

July 23, 2021 — The UK has a proposal for a new national food strategy, but it seems to be sailing in some very choppy waters. The most noted feature of this plan is its proposal to tax the sugar and salt that goes into processed, restaurant, and catered food to help overcome obesity. In addition, there’s a proposal […]