Because I was involved in health care reform in the ’90s–two books, four or five New York Times op-ed pieces, a couple of essays in Newsweek , and two testimonies before U.S. Senate committee—a lot of people ask me to help them separate fact from fiction in the current debate.
Tensions are high. When a congressman from South Carolina, long and widely known as a fool and a boor, yelled, “You lie!” Read more
Obesity is an evolutionary legacy, which is why it’s so hard to control.
I said a few weeks ago (before I was rudely interrupted by the swine flu epidemic) that I would try to explain why the battle against overweight is such a hard and so far losing one, for the species if not for the individual. Read more
Could it be in the end we will thank this virus for bringing us together?
The H1N1 epidemic is not much in the news anymore, but of course it’s percolating along. WHO now calls it “sneaky” because human-to-human spread is rapid and because the virus has the potential to mutate into a more virulent form. As of May 25 the number of countries affected (46) has doubled Read more
How can we be sure how serious the threat is? We can’t.
According to the World Health Organization, which is carefully tracking the new H1N1 virus and reporting daily, as of 4 PM today (Wednesday, May 6), 23 countries have reported 1,893 official cases (822 in Mexico) and a total of 30 deaths (29 in Mexico). Since I wrote on this last week, Read more
Is obesity an epidemic? Is it even a disease? Semantics aside, it’s huge and growing burden.
I’m writing this in an airport, and a couple of hours ago as a line of passengers filed past me in the airplane aisle, I noticed, as I often do, that some of them were not just overweight—many are that—but obese. I remembered from yesterday’s news that some airlines are considering charging such people for two seats. It seems unfair, and yet… Read more
If you want to go forward send girls to school; to regress, try sending them home again.
For many years now, a growing number of authorities on aid to the developing world have come to the conclusion that there is no better way to spend an aid dollar than in underwriting schools for girls.
From java to Jack Daniels, we've long accepted our daily cognitive enhancement along with our daily bread
On December 7 the distinguished journal Nature published a thoughtful but surprising essay, "Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy."
An excellent new study once again takes us back to the future.
Last week’s issue of The New England Journal of Medicine carried another powerful vindication of The Paleolithic Prescription, a book co-authored by Boyd Eaton, Marjorie Shostak and me just twenty years ago. Boyd and I fired the first salvo in the same journal in 1985, with an article called “Paleolithic Nutrition.”
"Maladaptive" habits help the poor cope with their stressful lives, and the best healers don't blame them.
I recently had the privilege of "shadowing" one of the best docs I know as she made hospital rounds at Grady. Grady is one of those places-like Los Angeles County Hospital, Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and Kings County in Brooklyn where I volunteered as a high school kid-
Welcome to the Age of Personal Genomics
I had a celebrity sighting in mid-town Manhattan a few weeks ago. It was unmistakable: the unkempt sparse white hair, the glasses slipping a bit on the nose, the eyes intense in conversation, the head leaning into the world—this was James Watson, who 55 years ago, with the late Francis Crick, played around with some cardboard cutouts representing nucleic acids and (with some help from Rosie Franklin’s X-rays) built the strange spiral that changed the world.