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Why do you run? January 29, 2010

Posted by Renee in Blogging, Health Communications & Marketing, Prevention, Wellness.

Why do I run? I get asked this all the time.  There are lots of different reasons I run and I’m never really sure how to answer the question, but I started out running for me.  Not in a selfish way, but in a survival sort of way.  It is “me” time, it is my way of coping with life.  I am almost always in a better mood when I get back from a run.  When I run I am just alone in my head, whether I am with a group or running by myself.  Sometimes I clear my head and other times I think about anything and everything.  And I love to be outside, the fresh air is amazing and running makes it so I spend time outside all year round.  Also, I’m actually convinced the treadmill is a torture device.  I know that physical activity is good for me and all of my running has definitely made me healthier, but that was never my big motivator.  Now that’s just me.  There are a lot of people out there who run for a greater purpose, run for a cause.

Take for example, Sarah Stanley, a local DC runner, who released her 2010 project Run Ride Inspire on Friday January 22, 2010.  She has decided to run or ride (or a combination of the two) 50 miles in all 50 states during a five-month period to raise awareness for childhood obesity and the nonprofit Fitness Forward, based in San Francisco, CA.  According to Sarah’s website, Run Ride Inspire, her challenge will begin on March 8, 2010 in California and end sometime in August back in DC.

Keep reading to learn more about the staggering childhood obesity statistics that inspire Sarah’s Run Ride Inspire project: (more…)


Cadmium in jewelry: when will product quality finally outweigh a cheap price? January 28, 2010

Posted by Lindsey Realmuto in Environmental Health, Global Health, Occupational Health.
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This is not a time to be envious of all those young parents out there. Beyond the normal pressures of raising a child, parents nowadays have to worry about bisphenol-A in baby bottles, lead paint in toys, whether or not to eat fish while pregnant or breast-feeding, and now most recently, cadmium in jewelry. Cadmium? Really? I am referring to the latest safety notice to parents about cadmium in jewelry imported from China, reported by Justin Pritchard at the Associated Press.

Go ahead, get some sun! January 28, 2010

Posted by Gretchen Giannelli in Health Communications & Marketing, Mental Health, Prevention.

During the past few decades health officials have waged a campaign urging us to avoid excessive sun exposure in order to prevent skin cancer. We’ve been told to slather on the sunscreen– the higher the SPF, the better– and stay indoors during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Statistics have shown increasing rates of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.  While it makes sense to prevent skin cancer, the advice to avoid the sun may have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction and created a new problem. (more…)

Father Knows Best January 28, 2010

Posted by Sara Imershein MD in Healthcare.
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Flash from the medieval era: West Virginia Delegate Ron Walters introduced H.B. 2254 to amend the Code of West Virginia “requiring notice of an abortion to be provided to the father of the unborn child.” The provision which has been referred to the Judiciary Committee requires:

At least seventy-two hours before any abortion is performed in the State of West Virginia, the father of the unborn child to be aborted shall be notified by the physician, clinic or medical facility performing the abortion, informing him that he has been named as the father, telling him the identity of the mother of the unborn child, and the time and place the abortion will be performed.

Mr. Walters must believe Father Knows Best and wants the West Virginia State Legislature to Make Room for Daddy. The proposal returns women to chattel, personal property whose decisions are subject to the approval of a man and government intrusion.

Each woman who considers ending a pregnancy faces a unique set of circumstances. Each woman’s story is her own, to be discussed with her health care provider and her own support system which may include husband, family, or friend… but is not to be dictated by paternalistic and oppressive laws.  read on… (more…)

Housing = Prevention. Housing Saves Lives January 21, 2010

Posted by Anita Balan in Blogging, Environmental Health, Mental Health, Prevention, Wellness.
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If you are resident of Metro Washington, and interested in DC’s health issues, you would have come across a series of expose articles in Washington Post entitled – Wasting Away: The Squandering of D.C. AIDS dollars. Washington D.C has the nation’s highest prevalence of HIV at 3%. Currently there are over 440 homeless people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the district. These people are on the waitlist of Housing Opportunities for People with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) program – a federal program that was introduced in 1992 that allocates funds for subsidizing temporary and long-term stable housing for PLWHA. Affected people and their families could wait for several years before they are given a voucher. The waiting time is much longer for those who pursue public housing accommodations through section 8.  The expose articles were followed by a series of tug-of-war between the D.C. City Council, the Mayor’s office and federal department of Housing and Urban Development which manages the HOPWA program. HUD which initially threatened to withhold all of D.C. 12.2 million dollars, until D.C. got its act together, has now withdrawn its threat. But in the midst of this heated debate, what was absent was raising awareness and sharing the importance of HIV and Housing.

More after the jump


A Sampling of Public Health Blogs January 8, 2010

Posted by Liz Borkowski in Blogging.
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For our first class, here are examples of a few different types of blogs.

Political blogs: Daily Kos is a major left-wing blog, and it’s noteworthy having posts from the site’s official writers (the “front pagers”) as well as from users. (Registered users can post diaries, and the most-recommended diaries are featured in a Top Ten list.) Front-pager DemFromCT covers public health topics (as well as punditry) — see The Year of Health and Politics and Lessons Learned From the Pandemic (that would be the swine flu pandemic, which DemFromCT has been covering extensively). Advertising revenue supports the site.

Subject blogs: Many blogs cover a single topic, like healthcare or the environment. Gristmill, the blog portion of the nonprofit Grist, is an environmental blog featuring content from the organization’s staff and from a long list of contributors.  For a narrower topic, see Superbug, a blog run by a freelance writer and dedicated to the issue of antibiotic-resistant infections.