Monthly Archives: November 2015

Does the L.A. Food Environment Matter for Obesity?

Since the introduction of the term ‘food desert’ in the 1990s, public health efforts have increasingly focused on providing mostly low-income neighborhoods with access to fresh, healthy foods. The logic is that if people live or work in an area that lacks food outlets with healthy options, they are more likely to eat foods high […]

Cars vs. Health

The always fascinating podcast Talking Headways has done an interview with Fielding School Professor Dick Jackson, and it’s a great listen.  Dick has been a major thought-leader in public health for years, and this interview shows why.  With insight and erudition Dick takes on the health implications of urban planning and climate change, and argues […]

Advertising to our youth is costing us in more ways than one

It’s clear that the environment a child grows up in plays a fundamental role in their development, and a lot of time and money has been committed towards learning about the different pathways that influence our younger selves. Research has been devoted to the effectiveness of advertising on the human brain, particularly among our youth. […]

Facing Football’s Failures Head-On

Growing up in small-town Alabama has made me intimately familiar with the importance our country assigns to football. Between the NCAA and NFL, football dominates over half of the nights of the week. Given this level of fanaticism, it should be clear that my ideas expressed herein are not popular, but the evidence of the […]

The Most Bang for your Buck

There is a plethora of research on programs and policies that aim to positively impact public health. While there are great resources online that synthesize the evidence, such the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a gap still remains: how do we determine the cost of these interventions and decide if they are feasible in a […]

Private Spending and Public Inequality

Voters across the political spectrum are concerned about income inequality, but inequality hardly ends with the paycheck. In fact, it continues each time you open your wallet.   Many studies show that income inequality is inversely related to population health, and they typically use inequality in stated income. The effects of taxes and transfers can […]

School Segregation Perpetuates Racial Health Inequities

School segregation is worse than it was 45 years ago. While we saw relatively rapid integration after the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, we have been back pedaling since 1988. Racial isolation, particularly of low-income black students, is increasing,   At the same time, racial and ethnic inequalities in morbidity and mortality persist. […]

Deference to Preference

I don’t agree with the scientific views of those who think vaccines are harmful. I think the science showing huge net benefits of required vaccines is quite clear, and moreover, I know just where the rumor about supposed vaccine dangers came from originally. Nonetheless, public health ethics requires us to give due deference to people’s […]

Fuzzy Logic

We can’t do good public health if we don’t recognize it when we see it. Without an adequate definition, the unique lens of public health is fuzzy.   In writing about the future of public health in 1988, an IOM committee pronounced public health to be “in disarray.” Part of the problem was a generally fuzzy […]