Health

The Unreasonable Risk of TSCA Reform

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups.  And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever.  […]

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The Climate-Nutrition Nexus

healthy diet

The  advisory panel on nutrition ruffled some congressional feathers by taking environmental impacts into account.  The panel’s report concludes that “a dietary pattern that is higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is […]

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A Link Between Climate Denial and Autism? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

climate denial photo

You too can be a denialism/autism truther.

Let’s start by being candid and admitting that the jury is still out on this one.  Still, there are reasons for concern about the possibility that climate denial can be associated with autism.Anyone who says this is false is just being dogmatic.  We should at least openly acknowledge the existence of scientific uncertainty. Just consider […]

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The Dietary Supplement Scandal

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS PIC

There are 65,000 dietary supplements on the market, and almost half the population uses at least one of them. Americans spent $13 billion on dietary supplements last year, according to the Washington Post.  There are disturbing indications that nearly all  that money is wasted — or to put it more bluntly, that the industry is essentially […]

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Food Policy: A Reply to Dan Farber

Earlier this week on this blog, Dan Farber made the excellent point that although the average American is neither malnourished nor obese, both persist as significant problems revealing deep failures in our food system. But his juxtaposition of statistics regarding obesity with those regarding malnourishment reflects a common misunderstanding of malnourishment, which is often equated with […]

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Food: Too Much and Too Little

Actual malnutrition among American children (weight more than two standard deviations below normal) is rare in the U.S. Most of the estimates that I found range around 1%. Still, there are roughly 45 million children under 12 in the U.S., so 1% amounts to almost half a million children. Malnutrition seems considerably more common among […]

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Reaching Across the Aisle?

Washington D.C.

The safest prediction is that our Democratic President and Republican Congress will not in fact be able to work together.  Their present gestures toward cooperation may mean nothing more than a willingness to accept the other side’s surrender.  But hope springs eternal.  Are there areas where common ground exists?  That seems nearly impossible on some […]

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The Ebola Panic

Some politicians encourage panic about a small outbreak in Texas, while thousands in Africa are dying.

The National Lampoon once put out a mock edition of a newspaper from the fictional city of Dacron, Ohio.  There was a screaming headline reading: TWO DACRON WOMEN MISSING.  A much smaller subheading read: Japan destroyed by tidal wave.  We are now seeing something similar in the U.S. reaction to Ebola.  So far, only three cases […]

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The State(s) of Obesity

obesity image

There are big differences between states, but this really is a national epidemic.

State of Obesity, a joint project of the Trust for America’s Future and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has released a fascinating report about adult obesity.  There are large national disparities.  The obesity rate is over 35% in West Virginia and Mississippi, but only 21% in Colorado. Despite these disparities, obesity rates have grown everywhere since 1990, […]

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UARG Strikes Back

supreme-court

Will UARG Persuade the Supreme Court to Overturn New Air Quality Standards?

“UARG” sounds like the name of a monster in a children’s book or maybe some kind of strangled exclamation.  But it actually stands for Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents utility companies in litigation.  UARG did well in two important Supreme Court cases last year, winning part of the case it brought against EPA climate change […]

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