Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Your consumer powers when choosing a hospital

From an August posting by at

The casual attitude people demonstrate when choosing doctors incurs a steep price. Let’s direct our attention to your consumer powers when choosing a hospital.

The imperative ‘caveat emptor’ (let the buyer beware) carries the most consequence when you purchase health care. When it comes to hiring a hospital’s services, it’s more caveat empty than caveat emptor.


It’s time to impart the same lessons for hospitals as we did for doctors. All hospitals are not the same. Each is its own unique brand. We, a nation of shoppers, are obsessed with brand names that tout their distinctiveness. In reality, most consumer products in any given category are all but indistinguishable from each other.  We think we can see the smallest pixel a human brain can process on a video display. We taste the figs and peaches in a $9 bottle of wine. We claim the sensory hyper-acuity possessed by dogs, dolphins and nocturnal predators….

Read the article

 Resources for comparing hospitals




August 28, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | | Leave a comment

The entire approach to food based on nutrients is wrong

From an August 2011 article by   in

The science of nutrition is changing and not in the way you might expect. After years of “reductionist” thinking — where food has been viewed as the sum of its parts – a call to treat food as food has been sounded. No more poring over nutrition labels to calculate grams of fat or chasing down the latest go-to chemical – be it vitamin E, fish oil or omega-3. Instead we are being asked to call a potato a potato and a piece of steak, well, a piece of steak…

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August 28, 2011 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Global Obesity Pandemic – Lancet articles & related articles (including press coverage)

From the 26 August edition of The Lancet

This four-part Series critically examines what we know about the global obesity pandemic: its drivers, its economic and health burden, the physiology behind weight control and maintenance, and what science tells us about the kind of actions that are needed to change our obesogenic environment and reverse the current tsunami of risk factors for chronic diseases in future generations. …

Series Papers**
The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments

Boyd A Swinburn, Gary Sacks, Kevin D Hall, Klim McPherson, Diane T Finegood, Marjory L Moodie, Steven L Gortmaker

Summary | Full Text | PDF

Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK

Y Claire Wang, Klim McPherson, Tim Marsh, Steven L Gortmaker, Martin Brown

Summary | Full Text | PDF

Quantification of the effect of energy imbalance on bodyweight

Kevin D Hall, Gary Sacks, Dhruva Chandramohan, Carson C Chow, Y Claire Wang, Steven L Gortmaker, Boyd A Swinburn

Summary | Full Text | PDF

Changing the future of obesity: science, policy, and action

Steven L Gortmaker, Boyd A Swinburn, David Levy, Rob Carter, Patricia L Mabry, Diane T Finegood, Terry Huang, Tim Marsh, Marjory L Moodie
Summary | Full Text | PDF
Media Coverage
  **Do not have a subscription to The Lancet? Click here for suggestions on how to get these articles for free or at low cost.


August 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment


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