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 … More >
If you’re inclined to doubt science, why not start with the germ theory of disease? After all, isn’t it implausible that illness, death, and even mass epidemics are caused by tiny invisible organisms that invade our bodies?
19th-century French scientist Louis Pasteur, as painted by artist Robert Thom
And what’s the … More >
In my professional role, I am interviewed by the media to explain why this flu season is so “deadly.” I have a more mathematical explanation here (which is challenging to simplify). However, Rob Roth from KTVU Channel 2 interviewed me and suggested the term “susceptible list” to describe the people … More >
Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury. But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, … More >
If you ask young Americans how good their health is, they’ll tell you it’s great. The U.S. ranks #1 among 17 affluent, western countries in that regard, in the percentage of people aged 5 to 34 who rate their health as good. Unfortunately, when doctors look at people’s actual health, … More >
Anderson Cooper’s coming out was important for the shaping of the discourse around sexual orientation. Public figures’ attitudes around same-sex couples (including President Obama’s) have real psychological power to change the public’s own attitudes. A turn in attitudes in this domain is evident even in Robert Spitzer’s apology for his support of a … More >
Wars drive technology and technology drives warfare. All too often, generals and politicians fight today’s war with yesterday’s strategies.
In the American Civil War generals sent men into battle to face greatly improved firearms, but they continued to marshal their troops in the formations Napoleon had used. At Gettysburg over … More >
Public Health Degree has a list of the twenty cities in the world with the cleanest air. (I was pleased to see my prior home Minneapolis on the list — not surprisingly, my current home in the Bay Area didn’t qualify.) That got me interested in looking … More >
It might seem counterintuitive to think that striving for perfection would be related to overeating. Shouldn’t perfectionism, after all, be related to a desire to have the “perfect” figure? The answer, as it turns out, is yes, but recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology(Sherry and Hall, 2009) shows … More >