Category Archives: Context of Population Health

A Public Health Concern: Summer Music Festivals

Summer often marks the reprisal of long-awaited music festivals that students have paid months in advance for to watch their favorite artists play live. While many hope for a fun weekend with friends, music festivals have increasingly become a public health concern. HARD Summer Music Festival took place about two weeks ago. As overwhelmingly fun […]

Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job

The short-term benefit is money in their pockets. The long-term benefits are improved educational, employment and health outcomes and reduced drug/alcohol use, arrest rates for violent crime and incarceration. Summer jobs for youth do more than save kids from boredom during their time off from school.   After generally trending downward since 1989, the labor […]

The Geometry of Justice

Atlanta highway congestion

On a recent trip to Minnesota, a good friend — someone I like and whose opinions I trust — blistered my ear about the self-entitlement of public transit authorities.  He was speaking particularly about Metro Transit in the Twin Cities, but some of what he said could be leveled at lots of transit agencies.   They […]

Using College Food Waste to Feed Food Insecure Students

Approximately 19% of University of California students go hungry at times due to limited resources and an additional 23% lack steady access to a variety of quality, nutritious food. Yet, college campuses are one of the biggest food wasters. College campuses throw away about 22 million pounds of uneaten food each year. That’s a lost opportunity […]

Are e-cigarettes sending progress on tobacco control up in smoke?

Tobacco control has been viewed as a public health victory. Since the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health more than 50 years ago, smoking rates in the U.S. are falling. However, with the introduction of e-cigarettes in 2007, public health experts may have a new hurdle to overcome.   E-cigarettes have been promoted […]

Density gets People Moving

Map of urban zoning in Berlin

I’m in Berlin this week, and I’ve been amazed how quiet it is. Unlike Paris or New York, where you’re always hearing trucks backing up, horns honking, and motorcycles zooming through, Berlin is stunning for its quiet.   Germans seem to put a premium on quiet. I remember a friend telling me that he’d gotten […]

The (In)effectiveness of Workplace Wellness Programs

Once popular workplace wellness programs may be leveling off, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found last month. Three years ago, approximately half of U.S. employers with 50 or more employees had wellness programs. Today, services offered through wellness programs are decreasing. Last year 61% of employers offered flu vaccinations at work, […]

Tax more tomorrow

Two of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the US are electricity generation and transportation. But while the electricity sector is doing a great job bringing down its emissions, the transportation sector is not. Why not? Mostly because of a complete reluctance among politicians to raise the gas tax.   A recent study […]

US Gas Policy Gets Tanked

As if right on cue, the New York Times is reporting that Americans are buying gas-guzzling vehicles again. Sales of SUVs and pickup trucks are back up to historically high levels, and 75% of people trading in a hybrid or electric vehicle are replacing them with gas-only cars. This is terrible news for the environment […]

Blood Ban: Defense or Discrimination

On June 12, 2016, the LGBTQ+ community was targeted by a gunman, leaving 50 people dead and 53 people injured. Doctors treating the injured pleaded for people in the Orlando community to donate blood to save lives, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the very people who were targeted in the attack […]