Taxing Our Way to Health

Philadelphia has taxed sugary beverages for just over a year, but regulations and taxes like this are popping up all over the world. In Chile, policy makers have won one of the biggest battles against powerful sugar, junk food, and soda lobbies. Corporations are prohibited from using cartoon characters in advertising, cannot play commercials during […]

A Prescribed Epidemic

Prescription opioids (aka painkillers) like morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin (to name just a few) peaked in 2012, with 81.3 prescriptions per 100 persons. The rate of prescriptions has since fallen, but the United States still represents 80% of world opioid prescriptions (via 2015 data), and has high rates of opioid prescriptions among people under the […]

Climate Change, Hurricanes, and Humans

This Vox video is a really helpful primer on the impact of climate change on weather events. On top of that, Houston is located in a wetland area that has largely been paved over in the last few years, decreasing drainage opportunities. Where water might go naturally into the ground, it’s now sitting on top […]

Healthy Outdoor Spaces & Environmental Pollution

For people living in large, urban areas like Greater Philadelphia, access to nice outdoor spaces is really important for human health. So… what happens when those outdoor spaces are polluted? 

PSAs Two Ways: Zika Virus

  I saw this bus-shelter PSA about the Zika virus recently and thought it was interesting for a couple reasons. It’s an ad about the sexual transmission of Zika, but does not mention actual sexual transmission. There are kind of a lot of instructions  (1. Love your partner. 2. Wait to get pregnant. 3. If […]

Racism is a Public Health Issue

“Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call “race”, that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.” —APHA Past President […]

Links Roundup: Opioid Addiction

Opioid abuse is a growing epidemic in the United States, and frequently makes headlines. I think it’s particularly hard to get nuanced stories about the opioid epidemic because drug use is highly stigmatized and many journalists, even sympathetic ones, frequently write stories pumped with *shocking* details and descriptions, which is less humanizing than what they’re […]