UNIT: Promoting Healthy Behavior Change
Crimes of the Heart, Walter C. Willett and Anne Underwood, Newsweek, 2010
Major improvements in public health were seen in Albert Lea, Minnesota in 2009 as a result of the city's decision to become involved in the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project, which promotes healthy behavior. The town helped to support healthy behavior change by changing the town's environment to include ways that encouraged a healthier lifestyle.
American Plague, Michael Hobbes, The New Republic, 2014
Michael Hobbes addresses the reasons why AIDS has killed more people on a per-capita basis in the United States than in other developed countries. Reasons include health promotion in other countries such as needle exchanges, drug rehab, and a system of funding these initiatives.
Solve Your Energy Crisis: A Guide to Finding—and Fixing—The Cause of Your Fatigue, Consumer Reports on Health, 2014
The article discusses health behavior strategies, including improving sleep hygiene, eating a healthy diet and exercising more, that consumers can use to reduce fatigue levels during the day. Health conditions, including anemia, depression, and diabetes, which can cause fatigue and drugs to offset fatigue are noted.
UNIT: Stress and Mental Health
Sound Mind, Sound Student Body, Kristen Domonell, University Business, 2013
Kristen Domonell discusses the challenges and strategies for dealing with the increasing mental health crisis on college and university campuses. Mental health illness such as anorexia, depression, anxiety, and other conditions are becoming more and more common on campuses across the country.
Anxiety Nation, Sophie McBain, New Statesman, 2014
Sophie McBain looks at social and medical aspects of anxiety and notes that it appears to have become more common in Great Britain and the United States. She discusses physiological versus social-psychological explanations, the relationship between anxiety and depression, drug therapy for anxiety, and rates of anxiety in developed versus developing countries.
Go Forth in Anger, Joann Ellison Rodgers, Psychology Today, 2014
This article focuses on the positive values offered by anger to the emotional lives of men. Among the positive values is anger as a sense of control, which promotes cooperative relationships, and fuels optimism of rewards within reach. Also addressed is anger which enables leadership, focuses on the practical, and encourages ambition and creativity; anger as an emotional intelligence; and anger that helps us understand others.
Stress: Its Surprising Implications for Health, Honor Whiteman, Medical News Today, 2015
Most people experience stress at some point in their lives and approximately 75% report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in any given month. It is well known that stress can cause sleep problems, headaches, and raise the risk of depression, but the author addresses some of the more surprising ways in which stress may harm our health.
UNIT: Nutritional Health
The Truth about Gluten, Consumer Reports, 2015
Gluten-free foods and the reasons why consumers should think before buying them are discussed. Many gluten-free foods contain rice, which may contain arsenic. One study found that a gluten-free diet increased the risk of becoming overweight. Additional information is presented about sensible gluten-free eating, along with reviews of some gluten-free products.
Food Myths, Harriet Hall, Skeptic, 2014
Physician Harriet Hall offers information regarding food myths, diet and nutrition and, the role of science in providing it. She discusses preventing cancer through healthy diet, Paleolithic diet, and moral aspects regarding dietary recommendations, and the impact of organic food and genetically modified organisms on health.
Fat Facts and Fat Fiction, Consumer Reports on Health, 2013
While many consumers believe fats in the diet are harmful and should be reduced, there appears to be considerable confusion about which fats are healthy and which should be minimized.
Fast, Good and Good For You, Mark Bittman, The New York Times Magazine, 2013
Journalist Mark Bittman believes there is a market for fast food that's not only healthy but has menu options that are sustainably produced, reasonably priced, and meat-free.
UNIT: Exercise and Weight Management
The Trouble with Diet Pills, Consumer Reports on Health, 2015
The editors of Consumer Reports on Health report on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States and on the financial costs which consumers are willing to endure in their efforts to solve their weight problems. A discussion of the benefits and disadvantages that are associated with weight loss supplements, prescription diet pills, and bariatric surgery is addressed. The benefits of low fat and low carbohydrate diets are examined as well.
Dieting on a Budget, Consumer Reports, 2009
With the economy in a downturn, the editors of Consumer Reports offer advice on how to lose weight without spending a fortune.
Can Government Regulate Portion Sizes? Jennifer L. Pomeranz and Kelly D. Brownwell, The New England Journal of Medicine, 2014
Americans eat over 40% of their meals prepared away from home and there are no government regulations on portion sizes, though external cues such as large portions can have major effects on eating habits. According to the authors, larger portions encourage greater consumption, which leads to weight gain.
UNIT: Drugs and Health
Pot Goes Legit: What the End of Prohibition Looks Like in Colorado, Jacob Sullum, Reason, 2013
Under Colorado's Amendment 64, the state government has allowed local governments in the state to remove any bans from consumption of the drug effectively legalizing the production, possession, and distribution of marijuana for recreational use. Jacob Sullum discusses the pros and cons of legalization as many other states consider following Colorado.
Rethinking Drug Policy Assumptions, Jefferson M. Fish, The Humanist, 2013
The author presents his thoughts on U.S. drug control policies and the possibilities of legalizing some drugs. He states that drug prohibition, or the war on drugs, leads to an illegal market for the substances that ultimately results in higher rates of crime, corruption, and disease. In response, he suggests that rather than decriminalizing drugs the U.S. government should institute a policy of legalization for adults that differentiates between drug abusers and non-problem users.
When It Comes to E-Cigs, Big Tobacco Is Concerned for Your Health, Martinne Geller, Reuters, 2015
Electronic cigarettes have lengthier health warnings than tobacco-containing cigarettes. While many applaud this, it appears that major tobacco companies have pushed for these labels and scientific testing in an effort to scare e-cigarette users.
Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions, Alan Schwarz, The New York Times, 2013
Increasing numbers of college students use and abuse prescription drugs they don't need and were not prescribed for them including Ritalin and Adderall. Students claim these drugs enhance their mental abilities while ignoring the dangers of addiction, dependence, and overdose.
Smoking with Mom, Ralph Keyes, The Antioch Review, 2015
Author Ralph Keyes' essay concerning his mother's smoking is presented. Keyes discusses the mainstreaming of smoking among women starting in 1929 through an advertising campaign of the then American Tobacco Company. The author relates his experience being born to a mother who had been smoking at age twelve and died of lung cancer at age 66 and narrated how smoking had been a part of the story she wrote.
UNIT: Sexuality and Relationships
My Brother's Secret, W.K. Stratton, Texas Monthly, 2015
W.K. Stratton discusses how his brother Dale hid the truth about his sexuality from their parents who were closed minded. AIDS was not discussed in the author's family because of the conservative nature of his parents while his brother was suffering from pneumocytosis, an effect of HIV. Stratton discusses his reaction when he came to know about his brother's sexuality.
The Marriage Paradox: Loves, Lies, and the Power of Self Deception, Clancy Martin, The Chronicle Review, 2014
Clancy Martin claims that to get married shows a leap of faith and not because it "makes sense." Martin believes that marriage is not a rational thing to do; that life and love are risky but marriage is the riskiest of all.
Sexual Paranoia, Laura Kipnis, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2015
Laura Kipnis discusses views on sexuality and the purported vulnerability of female undergraduate and graduate students at U.S. universities and colleges. She includes the sexual involvement of faculty members with students, training intended to prevent sexual harassment, and the notion of social power in relation to sexuality and gender including the legal role of Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.
Swipe and Burn, Shaoni Bhattacharya, New Scientist Magazine, 2015
The author discusses the link between location-based dating apps, such as Tinder and Grindr, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including the rise in the number of syphilis cases in the United States, Australia, and Great Britain. She addresses research that found location-based apps played a part in how men who have sex with men with STIs me their sexual partners.
UNIT: Preventing and Fighting Disease
Refusing Vaccination Puts Others at Risk, Ronald Bailey, Reason, 2014
Ronald Bailey reports that refusing vaccination may put others at risk. Vaccines are among the most effective health care innovations ever devised though they do not always produce immunity, so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be vaccinated remain vulnerable. Defenseless people include infants who are too young to be vaccinated and individuals whose immune systems are compromised.
The High Cost of "Hooking Up", Kurt Williamsen, The New American, 2013
According to Kurt Williamsen, promiscuity can lead to the 47,000 new diagnoses of HIV each year in the US as well as the risk of transmitting the more than 30 different sexually transmittable bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause disease.
The Secret Life of Dirt: At the Finnish-Russian Border, Scientists Investigate a Medical Mystery, Andrew Curry, Smithsonian, 2013
Curry discusses health aspects of dirt and germ exposure, especially examining the idea that exposure to dirt during childhood leads to lower rates of diseases including Type 1 diabetes, allergies, and asthma. It appears that if we are too hygienic, our immune systems turn on us increasing the risk of auto immune diseases.
The Broken Vaccine, Melinda Wenner Moyer, Discover, 2013
Melinda Wenner Moyer discusses the increase in cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the United States since the 1990s and why the currently used acellular tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine (Tdap) is losing effectiveness. Information is presented on efforts of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to track pertussis outbreaks and epidemics, as well as infection and immunization rates.
No Exit, Kent Russell, The New Republic, 2014
The author notes that the number of people in the world with Alzheimer's disease is expected to reach 76 million by 2030 and considers how the world is going to cope. The author provided care for his father, a victim of the disease and he discusses how he coped with it.
UNIT: Health Care and the Health Care System
Deviated: A Memoir, Jesse Kellerman, Commentary, 2012
Author Jesse Kellerman, presents a personal narrative describing his experiences dealing with having a deviated septum and as a result, having his health insurance coverage denied.
How Government Killed the Medical Profession, Jeffrey A. Singer, Reason, 2013
Physician Jeffrey A. Singer states that Medicare has been using its price-setting systems to maintain its price control system for over 20 years. He believes that the coding system introduced to improve accuracy of medical claims submitted by doctors has further eroded health care and doctor-patient relationships.
Problems with Modern Medicine: Too Much Emphasis on Disease, Not Enough on Managing Risk, Maciej Zatonski, Skeptical Inquirer, 2014
According to physician Maciej Zatonski, health care today goes beyond making sick people well. It is turning into a risk-management and quality of life improvement service.
Still Unsafe: Why the American Medical Establishment Cannot Reduce Medical Errors, Philip Levitt, Skeptic, 2013
Each year, there are approximately 138,000 preventable deaths in American hospitals. According to Levitt, about 30 percent of those deaths are due to the incompetence of health providers. The medical establishment addresses this not by disciplining the provider, but by standardizing the delivery of medicine.
UNIT: Consumer Health
Consumers Should Drive Medicine, Kmele Foster, Reason, 2014
Kmele Foster interviews David Goldhill, chief executive officer of Game Show Network LLC. Goldhill says that the United States spends lots of money on medical care. According to him, there is a need to reduce medical care costs and unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act did not deal properly with preventative care.
Bed Bugs: The Pesticide Dilemma, Rebecca Berg, Journal of Environmental Health, 2010
Pesticide-resistant bed bugs are back, and the good news is they don't appear to transmit disease with their bites. However, they invade beds, interfere with sleep, and can impact people emotionally.
How Not to Die, Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic, 2013
Dr. Angelo Volandees believes that the US medical system was built to treat anything that might be treatable, at any state of life even when there is no hope of a cure and when the patient might not want or benefit from the treatment.
Antibiotics and the Meat We Eat, David A. Kessler, The New York Times, 2013
In the United States, meat and poultry are monitored by the Food and Drug Administration for the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This monitoring has shown that the numbers of resistant bacteria are growing and the problem is getting worse.
Overexposed, Consumer Reports, 2015
Several radiations emitted from medical equipment including Computer Tomography (CT) scans and X-rays act as potentially cancer-causing agents. The authors suggest ways to avoid the exposure by knowing when to refuse since about one-third of scans serve little if any medical purpose.
UNIT: Contemporary Health Hazards
The Great Ebola Scare, Michael Brooks, New Statesman, 2014
Michael Brooks discusses the Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa, focusing on the likelihood of it becoming a major world pandemic. He addresses the medical infrastructure, burial practices, and fear of modern medicine in West Africa; the progression and transmission of Ebola; and includes a discussion on whether Western reactions to the disease are a result of concern for West Africans or fear of the disease spreading to the West.
The Fever, David Ferry, Mother Jones, 2015
David Ferry addresses the fungal infection disease coccidioidomycosis (cocci), or valley fever, and its prevalence in the United States. Valley fever affects the lungs and respiratory system and kills more Americans than West Nile virus, rabies, and Ebola combined.
Brain Cancer Cases Shot Up in This Florida Town—Is a Defense Contractor to Blame? Sharon Lerner, The Nation, 2014
Sharon Lerner discusses how cancer has impacted various children and their families in the Acreage, a South Florida community which has experienced pediatric brain cancer clusters. The cancers may be linked to groundwater contamination and radiation claims associated with a mining company and a defense contracting firm located in the area.
Public Health Issues to Watch in 2015, Jane Esworthy, State Public Health, 2015
Infectious disease outbreaks, electronic cigarettes, prescription drug abuse, motor vehicle accidents and injuries and marijuana use are a few of the major topics expected to impact public health and healthcare costs in 2015.
Giving ADHD a Rest: With Diagnosis Rates Exploding Wildly, Is the Disorder a Mental Health Crisis-or a Cultural One? Kate Lunau, Maclean’s, 2014
Kate Lunau discusses the rise in diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, focusing on the argument that many cases are misdiagnosed and the majority of children are prescribed medication to control the disorder.