Category Archives: Context of Population Health

Raising the Floor on Gasoline

It’s time to put a floor under the price of gasoline.   The climate talks going on in Paris this week will determine how many hundreds of millions of people will be displaced by climate change. At stake is whether the planet warms by 4 degrees Celsius, or only about 2 degrees. The effects of a […]

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 […]

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. […]

Equal Pay Benefits Everyone, Not Just Women

Earlier this month, California adopted one of the strongest pay equity laws in the U.S. aimed at decreasing the wage gap. Women have always been paid less than men for the same work, currently a median 84 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means women would have […]

A Triple Win for Corn (yes, corn)

  Corn is much maligned in public health because of its use in stuffing beef cattle till they fart.  And of course high-fructose corn syrup. But corn doesn’t have to be all bad, so let’s take a moment to look at the bright side.   An American maize researcher in Mexico is working with New […]

More on Racial Profiling

My original post on racial profiling provoked quite a discussion on the Spirit of 1848 listserve.  A colleague wrote that he wasn’t sure that racial profiling has a profound effect on health outcomes.  Indeed not. But I use the word “profound” not as a simple synonym of “big”, but to mean deep — going down many […]