In Washington, DC, Doctors Add Vegetable Prescriptions to Anti-Obesity Arsenal - Lifestyle There are plenty of cities trying to tackle obesity with punitive measures, by banning sodas or ditching vending machines. A new program in Washington, DC is taking an opposite approach, encouraging healthy eating not by preventing people from eating poorly but by subsidizing healthy foods. We Can helps low-income families in the District access fruits and vegetables, an essential but often too-expensive portion of any healthful diet, by providing a "prescription" for subsidized items from the farmers' market. It's hosted by the Unity Health Care Upper Cardozo clinic in Washington, DC and is a part of a suite of programs, including cooking and yoga classes, designed to help low-income families confront the challenges of obesity. While the food prescriptions are new to DC, the concept was piloted by Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit that helps underserved communities get access to local food with incentive programs. Image via (cc) Flickr user USDAgov
Worst TB outbreak in 20 years kept secret JACKSONVILLE — The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop. That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. The Clara White Mission in Jacksonville. As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. The public was not to learn anything until early June, even though the same strain was appearing in other parts of the state, including Miami.
White phosphorus: The new napalm? - Vietnam War “Too hot! Too hot!” wailed 9-year-old Kim Phuc as sticky napalm burned through her clothes and skin. The photograph, taken by Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut for Associated Press on June 8, 1972, became emblematic of the terrible impact on civilians of the U.S. In the decade that followed, the shocking consequences that napalm inflicted on civilians in Vietnam and elsewhere became a major factor motivating adoption of a new international law restricting the use of some incendiary weapons. Today, children continue to endure the devastating impacts of incendiary weapons. Napalm is the most notorious incendiary substance, but it is only one of more than 180. The Associated Press reported that an 8-year-old Afghan girl, Razia, was injured when a white phosphorus shell ripped through her home in the Tagab Valley of Kapisa province in June 2009. White phosphorus munitions cause particularly severe injuries, including chemical burns down to the bone. White phosphorus munitions are not banned.
Vegetable oils promote obesity Soya oil, maiz oil and sunflower oil promotes weight gain. (Photo: Colourbox) A recent study suggests a close association between dietary omega-6 and the development of overweight and obesity. Omega-6 is a type of fat found in certain vegetable oils which is present in large amount in processed and junk food. New results from experiments using animal models show that a high intake of omega-6 led to overproduction of signalling compounds that stimulate the appetite, with the result that the animals ate more and developed obesity. “People in the Western world are eating less and less fat, but at the same time our body weight is increasing, so the type of fats we eat would seem to mean more for developing overweight and obesity than just how much fat we consume,” says NIFES scientist Anita Røyneberg Alvheim. Increase in consumption of vegetable oils The fat-promoting effect of omega-6 was reduced when the feed was supplemented with marine omega-3. More weight, not more food
Global Food Disparity: A Photo Diary In an increasingly globalized world, it’s still sometimes shocking to see just how disparate our lives are compared with other human beings around the world. A book of photographs by Peter Menzel called "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats" ("©Peter Menzel www.menzelphoto.com. Ten Speed Press, published in 2005) makes a relevant point with great irony: at a time when hundreds of millions of people don't have enough to eat, hundreds of millions more are eating too much and are overweight or obese. "Today, more people are overweight than underweight." It is these cultural differences, emphasized and reinforced by the author, which exemplifies the lifestyles and dietary habits of people around the world. You can buy the book here. You may have seen some of these photographs from the book as it been widely circulating on the net, if not, I urge you to purchase it and as one of my friends said via email: "I don't know about you, but I'm counting my blessings."
Growing Fear Over Fukushima Fuel Pool 4 as Wall Bulge Detected A new bulge in the walls of the Fukushima Unit 4 nuclear plant has driven growing new fears over in Japan. The No. 4 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Saturday, May 26, 2012. New concerns have risen after its operator reported a bulging of the building's wall. On Saturday Japan’s government sent Environment and Nuclear Minister Goshi Hosonoto to inspect Unit 4. Mr Hosono said the government accepted the Tokyo Electric Power Company's assurances that reinforcement work had shored up the building. But many Japanese have scoffed at such assurances and point out that the pool's cooling system has malfunctioned several times. ''The No. 4 reactor is visibly damaged and in a fragile state, down to the floor that holds the spent fuel pool,'' said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's Research Reactor Institute. The New York Times reports:
A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity We spoke at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where Dr. Chow, 49, gave a presentation on “Illuminating the Obesity Epidemic With Mathematics,” and then later by telephone; a condensed and edited version of the interviews follows. You are an M.I.T. In 2004, while on the faculty of the math department at the University of Pittsburgh, I married. I didn’t even know what a calorie was. I could see the facts on the epidemic were quite astounding. The interesting question posed to me when I was hired was, “Why is this happening?” Why would mathematics have the answer? Because to do this experimentally would take years. Now, prior to my coming on staff, the institute had hired a mathematical physiologist, Kevin Hall. However, the model was complicated: hundreds of equations. What new information did your equation render? That the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. We think so. Right.
Gonorrhea Evades Antibiotics, Leaving Only One Drug To Treat Disease : Shots - Health Blog hide captionHealth officials say they're worried that one day there will be no more antibiotics left to treat gonorrhea. iStockphoto.com Health officials say they're worried that one day there will be no more antibiotics left to treat gonorrhea. There's some disturbing news out today about a disease we don't hear about much these days: gonorrhea. Federal health officials announced that the sexually transmitted infection is getting dangerously close to being untreatable. As a result, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for how doctors should treat gonorrhea. "We are sounding the alarm," said Gail Bolan, who heads the CDC's division of STD prevention. Gonorrhea has been plaguing humanity for centuries. "Gonorrhea used to be susceptible to penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline and doxycycline — very commonly used drugs," said Jonathan Zenilman, who studies infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins. That's already happened in other countries.
Mad Cow California The downer dairy cow recently found stricken with mad cow disease in California was infected with an “atypical” strain. Such cases are thought to arise spontaneously, a notion the USDA seized upon to explain how the disease could arise despite their regulations. If anything, that fact highlights the weaknesses in the current feed rules. If mad cow disease can arise out of nowhere, then it’s even more important to close the loopholes and stop the feeding of cattle blood to calves and chicken manure to cows to prevent it from spreading. And what the USDAdidn’t mention about the atypical strain found in California is that there’s evidence it’s a more dangerous form of the disease The California cow died of a particularly virulent form of mad cow disease known as BASE, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy, also known as L-type atypical BSE. Then cats started dying. Just as one in a million people sporadically get CJD, evidence suggests one in a million cattle get atypical BSE.
4 Things Grosser Than Pink Slime One way that nasty bacterial strains from factory farms make it to "the community"--i.e., you.Jez Page/Flickr The specter of "pink slime"—pureed, defatted, and ammonia-laced slaughterhouse scraps—has caused quite the uproar over the past six weeks. (The latest: Propublica has a great explainer on pink slime and other filler products.) But I'm wondering if focusing on the ew-gross aspects of "lean, finely textured beef" (as the industry calls it) doesn't miss the bigger picture, which is that the meat industry's very business model is deeply gross. 1. There is nothing unusual about what the Humane Society found at Kreider. Other investigations by animal-welfare groups have shown similar conditions at hog and cow confinements. 2. The researchers analyzed 12 samples—10 from the US, two from China. Then there's the antibiotics. The authors say that the industry generates 4 billion pounds of ground-up feathers each year. 3. Their finding? 4. So, yes, pink slime is gross stuff.
Day becomes night in Brazil's 'cracklands' Reuters reports from Sao Paulo — When night falls, street crack marketplaces open for business. The gritty transactions of the drug trade take over in city neighborhoods that hum with legitimate commerce by day. Throngs of stupefied buyers crowd around dealers before skulking away behind the telltale glow of cigarette lighters. These are not the images that Brazil wants to project. Ricardo Moraes / Reuters A youth consumes crack on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro on March 19, 2012. Paulo Whitaker / Reuters A combination picture shows a street in Sao Paulo during the day and at night on March 19, 2012. Lunae Parracho / Reuters A drug user consumes crack in the old center of Salvador da Bahia on March 19, 2012. Reuters photographers recently spent 24 hours in eight of those cities chronicling their "cracklands," as the neighborhoods have come to be known.
Doctor Panels Urge Fewer Routine Tests The recommendations represent an unusually frank acknowledgment by physicians that many profitable tests and procedures are performed unnecessarily and may harm patients. By some estimates, unnecessary treatment constitutes one-third of medical spending in the United States. “Overuse is one of the most serious crises in American medicine,” said Dr. Lawrence Smith, physician-in-chief at North Shore-LIJ Health System and dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, who was not involved in the initiative. Many previous attempts to rein in unnecessary care have faltered, but guidance coming from respected physician groups is likely to exert more influence than directives from other quarters. Insurers and other payers are seeking to shift more of their financial pain to providers like hospitals and physician practices, and efforts are being made to reduce financial incentives for doctors to run more tests. Other efforts to limit testing for patients have provoked backlashes. Dr.