Mental health, public health, global health. New and interesting developments in technology and the arts. Meditation research. And occasionally cute animals.

 

thedailywhat:

Meet The New Muppet of the Day: Sesame Street is set to add a new member to its roster of friendly, fuzzy characters: Lily, the 7-year-old “food insecure” Muppet.
Lily — who represents the 17 million children for whom access to food is uncertain — will be introduced to viewers during an upcoming Sesame Street special about hunger in America.
“We thought long and hard about how do we really represent this from a child’s point of view?,” said Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for outreach and educational practices Jeanette Betancourt. “We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way.”
Everything from Lily’s clothing to her voice and mannerism has been geared towards making her as realistic and empathetic as possible. “She wants to talk about this topic,” says Betancourt, ““because she knows it will help many other families and children, but it isn’t an easy topic to talk about in the first place.”
“Growing Hope Against Hunger” is scheduled to air this Sunday on PBS.
[artsbeat.]

thedailywhat:

Meet The New Muppet of the Day: Sesame Street is set to add a new member to its roster of friendly, fuzzy characters: Lily, the 7-year-old “food insecure” Muppet.

Lily — who represents the 17 million children for whom access to food is uncertain — will be introduced to viewers during an upcoming Sesame Street special about hunger in America.

“We thought long and hard about how do we really represent this from a child’s point of view?,” said Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for outreach and educational practices Jeanette Betancourt. “We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way.”

Everything from Lily’s clothing to her voice and mannerism has been geared towards making her as realistic and empathetic as possible. “She wants to talk about this topic,” says Betancourt, ““because she knows it will help many other families and children, but it isn’t an easy topic to talk about in the first place.”

“Growing Hope Against Hunger” is scheduled to air this Sunday on PBS.

[artsbeat.]

jayparkinsonmd:

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”
This is just plain wrong.
(via)

jayparkinsonmd:

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong.

(via)

Florida Bill Would Prohibit Doctors From Asking Patients About Their Guns

With a stroke of the governor’s pen, Florida is positioned to become the first state in the nation to prohibit physicians from asking patients if they have guns in their homes, a move some doctors say will interfere with health care.

How to make oatmeal......wrong

McDonald’s and oatmeal:

Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)

That would mean not only changing the way Americans eat and the way they farm — away from industrialized, cheap calories and toward more organic, small-scale production, with plenty of fruits and vegetables — but also altering the way we work and relate to one another. To its most ardent adherents, the food movement isn’t just about reform — it’s about revolution.

I Stand with Planned Parenthood

The House voted to bar Planned Parenthood from federal funding. They cut funding for HIV tests, cancer screenings, birth control and more, putting millions of women and families at risk. We can’t let it go unanswered. It’s time for us to stand with Planned Parenthood. Sign the open letter to the reps who voted for this bill - and to the senators who still have a chance to stop it.

Hollywood's obsession with tiny women, big meals

Stars are increasingly being pressured to show off their appetites while staying skinny. It’s time for it to stop.

whitecoatwanderlust:

publicradiointernational:

gregleding:

From Slate: Food Deserts in America:
A 2009 study by the Department of Agriculture found that 2.3 million households do not have access to a car and live more than a mile from a supermarket. Much of the public health debate over rising obesity rates has turned to these “food deserts,” where convenience store fare is more accessible—and more expensive—than healthier options farther away. This map colors each county in America by the percentage of households in food deserts, according to the USDA’s definition. Data is not available for Alaska and Hawaii.

It’s like a food-desert belt across the South.

Talk about “access to health!” When I lived on the north side of Chicago, I was within walking distance of a Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and a new Jewel-Osco was set to open in the fall… you can bet that there was nothing like that grocery trifecta on the south or west sides of the city. 
Some innovative solutions have received attention, such as opening farmers’ markets in low-income areas, increasing the amount of healthy foods at corner bodegas, and introducing produce at Walgreens, but someone needs to convince the Jewels and Safeways of the world to set up shop in these food deserts. Any MBA/MPH people wanna work on a pitch? :P

whitecoatwanderlust:

publicradiointernational:

gregleding:

From Slate: Food Deserts in America:

2009 study by the Department of Agriculture found that 2.3 million households do not have access to a car and live more than a mile from a supermarket. Much of the public health debate over rising obesity rates has turned to these “food deserts,” where convenience store fare is more accessible—and more expensive—than healthier options farther away. This map colors each county in America by the percentage of households in food deserts, according to the USDA’s definition. Data is not available for Alaska and Hawaii.

It’s like a food-desert belt across the South.

Talk about “access to health!” When I lived on the north side of Chicago, I was within walking distance of a Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and a new Jewel-Osco was set to open in the fall… you can bet that there was nothing like that grocery trifecta on the south or west sides of the city. 

Some innovative solutions have received attention, such as opening farmers’ markets in low-income areas, increasing the amount of healthy foods at corner bodegas, and introducing produce at Walgreens, but someone needs to convince the Jewels and Safeways of the world to set up shop in these food deserts. Any MBA/MPH people wanna work on a pitch? :P

7 Things I Learned About Food in 2010

#1 The intersection of food, culture and class is a conversation we might finally be ready to have. In the course of 2 short weeks The Washington Post, Newsweek and The New York Times all ran articles about how class and food divide us, or don’t. At the same time, Sarah Palin fused food and politics, pitting herself against Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity initiative. Now maybe you didn’t think trying to reverse diet-related disease was political, but I assure you, now it is.

Palin’s not just willingness, but glee, at politicking over things like our children’s health infuriates me to no end.  But the article does make a good point - food, nutrition, and food production have gotten particularly political recently.

Distraction, noise cause overeating

…Beegah says he usually does not eat this way. At home he wouldn’t think of loading up on triple portions of fatty foods for breakfast. But traveling, being on the go, it turns out Beegah’s brain isn’t processing food the same way as it would if he were having a quiet meal in his own kitchen. The sensory overload can really throw off judgment or inure us to the sensation of feeling full. Scientists are just beginning to understand how this disruption works.

‘I like it on the…’ Kinky Facebook Meme For Breast Cancer

Before I’m lynched, I’ll put it out there: I am not anti-breast cancer research. I’ve known too many women lost to the disease and their families devastated to be that cold-hearted. Like everyone, I pray that a cure is found for breast cancer.

It’s just the crap I can’t abide.

Not suprisingly, when I found out that this whole “I like it on the…” Facebook meme was a flirty trend that somehow was meant to “raise awareness for breast cancer,” I was equally grossed out.

Good intentions, but poor execution?  What do you think?

Oil spill's human health impacts might extend into the future

Scientists are still assessing the ecological damage wrought by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. Other researchers, however, are looking at subtler signs of the disaster’s potential impacts on human health.

Smoke more, drink more to help the state, Russians urged

abcsoupdot:

From the Toronto Star:

Smoke and drink more, Russia’s finance minister Alexei Kudrin said to citizens on Wednesday, explaining that higher consumption would help lift tax revenues for spending on social services.

“If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems such as boosting demographics, developing other social services and upholding birth rates,” Kudrin said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

“People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state,” he said, offering unconventional advice as the Russian government announced plans to raise excise duty on alcohol and cigarettes.

Sewage Could Spawn Hurricane Protection, Wetland Growth in New Orleans

New Orleans plans to pipe semi-treated sewage into a bayou to help regrow a cypress-tupelo wetland and protect the Lower Ninth Ward from flooding.