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July 2012

June 2012

New directions in health care

In this HND piece, I examine some new thinking in health care, and I don't necessarily mean "alternative" medicine, either---unless we are talking about REAL alternatives to the current "disease care" model of health care. Considering that we spend lots more money than any other country to achieve less-than-stellar results, everything should be on the table.

In the cavalcade of bad ideas, alongside the cholesterol theory of heart disease, is our absurd official obsession with a low-fat/high carb diet. It is clear to all but officialdom this this single factor has probably done more to cause the current epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes than anything else. No doubt, there are good people at the USDA, ADA, and other places who would love to come clean, but feel that they are unable to do so.

Read the complete article.

John Carter (2012) retrospective

I let a little time pass before posting a review on this movie. While it's nowhere near as bad as the media coverage might have led you to believe, it certainly did fail in a number of areas. The key failure was that there was nothing in it to appeal to the all-important 17-year-old male market.

There was precious little romance, the action was boring, the pic was too long, and the producers should have been more careful about looking derivative. Yes, yes, the source material for Carter predates all the films the dummies think were ripped off, but still. With the special effects budget they had, they could have made it look more original—and more compelling.

Read the complete review.

At least ten people infected with hepatitis C---In Exeter, NH hospital

By the time my latest HND article was posted, the figure had increased to 14. Considering the relatively small cohort of possible victims, this is a catastrophically large outbreak of the dreaded disease.

What makes it even worse is that the victims are all heart patients, who already have more than enough health problems—thank you very much. Worse still is that just a year ago, this same hospital settled a whistle-blower lawsuit with a former nurse who—among other things—complained about the facility's poor infection control practices.

It is likely that this outbreak will be traced back to a case of so-called "drug diversion"whereby an infected addict with access to the narcotics cookie jar uses a syringe to withdraw some med, and then uses the same syringe to refill the vial with saline. Life without parole works for me.

Read the complete article.

It isn’t the soda, and it isn’t the size

My fellow HND columnist Jo-Ann Heslin does a bravura job in explaining why there's an obesity crisis in America.

Here are a few key excerpts:

The real driver of obesity in this nation is the volume of food available. As a nation we produce too much food and it’s cheap. Recently, food costs have risen, but we still spent less than 10% of our total income on food, down from 23% in the late 1920s.

The idea that overproduction of food in the US is the driver of obesity is not a very popular theory. Restaurants don’t want to stop offering value meals, it drives traffic. Casual restaurants see unlimited drink refills as a perk that gets customers to sit longer and order more food. Food companies are in intense competition to come up with the next hot food item that will spark sales.

Think about it—do we really need a full aisle of cereal choices, hundreds of energy drinks, or 50 different doughnuts to choose from? These foods are developed and marketed to compete for your food dollar. They entice you to buy which entices you to eat. Little of this has anything to do with your health, but it may have everything to do with your body size.

Finally, someone is telling it like it is! Read the complete article.

Putting a stake through the cholesterol theory of heart disease

My latest HND piece runs the gamut from the origins of the cholesterol theory back in 1913, through some of the latest research. HINT: These new studies aren't exactly ringing endorsements for this threadbare theory. In fact, one of them demonstrates that although high HDL-C is probably a marker for a lower risk to heart disease, artificially raising it via drugs doesn't help at all.

In others, that "bad" LDL-C might not be so bad after all. Note that low LDL-C is connected to higher rates of cancer, lowering the immune system, and likely neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Read the complete article.

Sex-selection abortion: The real war on women

Well said, although that sort of statement is preaching to the choir. Of course, filicide for sex selection has been going on since the dawn of civilization, and legalized abortion just makes it a whole lot easier.

Perhaps for the purpose of going on-record against this reprehensible practice, some members of Congress proposed a law to ban it, even though there was no chance of getting it passed. For one thing, any move against abortion would be fought tooth and nail, and such a law could never be enforced. It is a sad commentary on our times that the absolute number one issue to all liberals is abortion. This trumps civil rights, gay rights, women's rights, the environment, "migrant" rights, health care, and anything else you might care to mention. Think about that for a moment.

For another, how in the world could you ever prove that sex selection was the purpose of an abortion? You couldn't. Besides, the entire notion of restricting certain types of abortions implies that the other abortions are being performed for "good" reasons. Otherwise, why shouldn't they all be banned?

It has been said that you can judge a society by the way it treats its women. Indeed.