FLUx et Veritas

  FLUx et Veritas I am getting a flu shot, and so are all members of my family- and you should, too. That’s the simple truth in plain light, and unlike this dangerous infection, it involves no flux from year to year. That was my position last year …

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Carrots and Sticks

  SNAP, Carrots, and Sticks The principal aim of the SNAP program, formerly “food stamps,” is important and simple: to ensure that poor people struggling with food insecurity have enough to eat. But even simple ideas can run into complications. SN …

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Beyond Monitoring Prostates

  Not Just Waitin’ on Our Prostates to Change The big medical news of this past week was a seminal study of prostate cancer, suggesting that when it is diagnosed, we men have options-including the option of waiting. The treatments studied included …

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Abetting the Minions of Meat

Abetting the Minions of Meat I keep turning up in the Yale Daily News lately. I don’t read the Yale Daily News- but well-intentioned friends and colleagues point such things out to me, as they did last week. It’s not necessarily surprising I should tur …

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Fishy Origins

  Our Fishy Origins I am just back from a sequence of speaking engagements at scientific conferences in and around Cape Town, South Africa- and, as fate would have it, a quick and illuminating trip to the Stone Age. That unexpected detour came cou …

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Taste of Sunlight

  Why Some Foods Taste Good Can a leaf taste sunlight? I guess: no. I suspect plants cannot taste sunlight because there is no value for them in doing so. By value, I mean the only truly universal currency: survival. Taste serves survival. There h …

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Faith in The Olympics

  Faith in The Olympics Is god at the Olympics in Rio? I don’t mean this in the sense of proclaiming “OMG!” after seeing something amazing. (Guilty!) And I don’t mean it in the vague and evasive god-is-all-things-to-all-people-all-the-time-and-eve …

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Dietary Doubts

  Diets, Doubts, and Doughnuts In the New York Times this past week, Gina Kolata made the case that almost all studies about diet, exercise, and health are suspect in one way or another, warranting a raised eyebrow, and that therefore we are justi …

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Politics and Prevention

Politics and Prevention As a board certified Preventive Medicine specialist, I know full well the major liability of my field. No one gets much credit for what doesn’t happen. There are no tears of gratitude from family members because father or mother …

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Dietary Pseudoconfusion

  Saturated Fat Meets Pseudoconfusion I know, you keep hearing conflicting reports about saturated fat and health outcomes. So do I. One recent study purportedly showed no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease in Dutch adults. …

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Nutrition GPS for All

Nutrition GPS for All Perhaps the single, proudest achievement of my 25-or-so-year career in public health to date was leading the development of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index algorithm, or ONQI®. That effort, completed in 2006, involved an ill …

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Understanding to Overcome

  Understanding to Overcome Like you, I have seen a lot of commentary about the shootings of both black men, and then, police, in egregiously misguided retaliation- but thus far, nothing that has asked, and answered: why are human beings prone to …

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There Is No Nutrition News

No Nutrition News Given the almost dizzying frequency of diet-related headlines, the one true revelation about nutrition is superficially the least likely: there is no real news about nutrition. There is still a lot we don’t know about this fatty acid …

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Mountains, Prairies, Oceans, and Diets

Mountains, Prairies, Oceans, and Diets The United States is beautiful, from its mountains, to its prairies, to its oceans, whether placid on a given day, or white with foam. It’s timely to recall that as we celebrate our day of independence. Kate Smith …

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Burden of Proof

  Public Health & The Burden of Proof In all of biomedicine, spanning clinical care, medical research, and public health practice- we subscribe to the “precautionary principle.” Basically, it says: if there is a chance something can be harmful …

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