The Great Debate

America’s secret weapon

April 18, 2016
UCLA's Interface Message Processor (IMP) (R) is pictured in the birthplace of the Internet, at 3420 Boelter Hall, the original location of the first ARPANET node at UCLA in Los Angeles, California June 2, 2011. UCLA professor Leonard Kleinrock and his team used the IMP, the packet-switching node used to interconnect participant networks to the ARPANET to send the first message, the letters LO to Stanford Research Institute on October 29, 1969. The UCLA Department of Computer Science and Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have collaborated in creating the Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site and Archive (KIHSA) with the center recreating the lab at its original site in 3420 Boelter Hall from which that first message was sent, which for years had been used as a classroom.The recreated lab will open October 29 with a reunion of the computer scientists responsible for the first message. Picture taken June 2, 2011.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS) - RTR2T6UP

UCLA’s Interface Message Processor (IMP) (R) is pictured in the birthplace of the Internet, at 3420 Boelter Hall, the original location of the first ARPANET node at UCLA in Los Angeles, California June 2, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

What should we eat to stay healthy? Why experts actually have no idea.

August 11, 2014

To match FOOD-GLUTENFREE/Have you ever wondered why nutrition experts so often change their minds about what constitutes a healthy diet? In the last six months, a variety of experts and nutrition organizations have issued at least as many major dietary guidelines proclaiming the next set of instructions on what to eat to prevent cancer, whether processed foods are really food, whether the type of fat you eat has any effect on developing heart disease, and how to control diabetes with diet. And the next set of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) dietary guidelines, due out next year, are already creating a buzz.

Why low social status can be bad for your health

October 30, 2013

Inequality is at an all-time high in America. Since the 2008 crash, recent IRS figures show, the wealth of the top 1 percent grew 31 percent while the rest of American incomes grew by less than 1 percent. But although it might appear that income disparities affect only the poor and have primarily an economic impact, dozens of studies now link extreme inequality with poor health and shorter lives, across the entire socioeconomic spectrum.

New bird flu strain creates fear and surveillance

April 2, 2013

An emerging bird flu that is mysterious and deadly is haunting China. With four fresh H7N9 cases reported in Jiangsu Province and no indication as to how three Chinese adults caught the little-noted avian flu virus that killed two of them in March, the global medical community is hoping the new flu will calm down until China’s health system can determine how it spread.

The keepers of truth: Seth Mnookin on fear and the vaccine wars

January 18, 2011

Whooping cough. Measles. These diseases, once thought almost gone, are creeping back into schools and hospitals around the country. The reason? Parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated, because they’re afraid that the shots can cause autism.

Business must change to earn back the public’s trust

March 17, 2010

— Jeff Kindler is the chairman and CEO of Pfizer. He has agreed to reply to readers’ responses about this opinion piece. The views expressed are his own. —

Your health plan’s Toyota complex

February 25, 2010

 Ford Vox is resident physician at Washington University School of Medicine’s neurology department.

— Ford Vox is a medical journalist and a physician. The opinions expressed are his own.–

Live Debate: Breast cancer screening and mammography

November 16, 2009

cancerSweeping new U.S. breast cancer guidelines released on Monday recommend against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, and suggest women 50 to 74 only get a mammogram every other year.

from Ask...:

Should junk food be taxed?

September 2, 2009

Increasingly vocal calls for taxes on sugary drinks and junk food are fueling a behind- the-scenes battle that public health officials say is reminiscent of America's war on cigarettes.

Moore is less for healthcare reform

August 5, 2009

Peter PittsPeter J. Pitts is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner. The views expressed are his own.