Walking, Junk Food, and Health

By Tom Farley

Our new and energetic Surgeon General just put out a “call to action” on walking and walkability for health. It’s something I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about. But it comes just a month after Coca-cola got slammed on the front page of the New York Times for funding a handful of professors calling themselves the “Global Energy Balance Network” to push physical activity as a solution to obesity.

Why Obsess About Sugary Drinks?

By Tom Farley

People who work in public health have been stirring up a lot of fuss lately about sugary drinks.  Besides education and school vending bans, they’ve fought for taxes, warning labels, and - ahem - even a proposal to limit portion sizes. The soda companies feel unfairly singled out, and they correctly point out that sugary drinks make up only 6% of the calories in the American diet. Why are health people so obsessed?

Banning Goop: A Brief History of Trans Fats

By Tom Farley

It’s about time. The FDA is finally banning artificial trans fats. You probably haven’t spent a lot of time lately worrying about them; people today seem more fascinated with gluten and GMOs.  But trans fats are far more important to our health.

It all started in 1901, when a German chemist combined vegetable oil with hydrogen gas at temperatures approaching 1000 degrees. The oil turned into a semi-solid goop.