McKinsey & Company recently issued a report on effective means of fighting hyper-endemic obesity in the modern world. Among other things, they concluded that "implementing an obesity-abatement program on the required scale will not be easy." I presume that is intended to be somber, but the magnitude of understatement makes it almost funny. And sad. No, it will not be easy -- not in the world as it is. In the ...

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If a foreign government took the United States surgeon general hostage, I’m confident we’d be pretty upset. I think we would be working on reprisals, and maybe even prepping a SEAL team. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that we need no help from a foreign power to take our surgeon general hostage. Our own political system manages, all on its own. Admittedly, it’s not quite the surgeon general who ...

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Remember when we were trying not to panic about Ebola? Seems like that was only yesterday. Oh wait -- it was only yesterday. But it already seems as if we are trying to remember that we were trying not to panic. I listened to my favorite news radio station out of New York City while driving to the office recently. They address all of the major news stories in the first eight ...

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See Ebola through the eyes of the virus As you no doubt know, Ebola has been brought to the U.S. Predictably, this has resulted in a media feeding frenzy, rumination, recrimination, and the familiar blend of hyberbole and hysteria that tends to populate those infamous 15 minutes during which any given crisis holds our attention. No, we are not suddenly at risk. As the media coverage spells out, the ...

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To the inevitable backdrop of John Philip Souza marches and presidential photo-ops, big soda has announced that it will do some vague kind of something about the excesses they contribute to our intake of calories and sugars over something like ten years. (Unless, of course, they don't.) Cue the 21-gun salute! Release the confetti! Folks, that this is heralded as "huge" news -- and by our former head of state, no ...

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We are, I trust, all but universally familiar with the knee jerk, or patellar, reflex. A doctor taps the patellar tendon with a rubber mallet, and our leg kicks forward in response. The reaction is famously unthinking. In fact, it is literally so. What makes a reflex a reflex is that the brain is substantially uninvolved. The stretch of a tendon by the mallet is transmitted to the spinal cord, and the ...

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I was shocked and deeply saddened when my daughter announced at the dinner table that Robin Williams had died of an apparent suicide. My wife and I and the three of our children home at the time all pretty much gasped audibly in unison, and then for a moment after, you could have heard a pin drop. For a bit after that, we talked about our shock and sorrow. And then after that, ...

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To be quite blunt about it, Ebola is a very scary disease. Among those infected, the mortality rate is, as is perhaps now widely known, an appallingly high 90%. That would seem a very good reason to keep our borders closed to this scourge -- and the consequences to the poor souls who already have it be damned. That, apparently, was just the kind of thinking behind at least 
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A recent meta-analysis by an accomplished international team of researchers, published in a prestigious medical journal, shows that high intake of saturated fat is exactly as bad for health as a high intake of sugar and refined starch. The study also suggests there is something far worse. The study, which pooled data from prior research and in the process aggregated findings for over 500,000 people, compared the rates of coronary ...

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Youre doing it wrong: The Paleo diet Go ahead, eat more meat, butter and cheese. Let me know how it turns out for you. I certainly won't be joining you, despite the current popularity of the proposition. For one thing, there is no case -- none -- that eating more meat, butter and cheese would be good for us. Rather, the case is advanced these days -- 
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