Labels were based on eating habits and nutrition data from the 1970s and ’80s, before portion sizes expanded significantly … “It’s an amazing transformation,” said Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the F.D.A. “Things like the size of a muffin have changed so dramatically. It is important that the information on the nutrition fact labels reflect the realities in the world today.”
Scientific American reports that New York City’s public awareness posters that show how many miles a person has to walk to burn off the calories in a 20oz soda can persuade people to make healthier decisions. Seeing calories is one thing, but translating that into exercise provides a whole new level of understanding.
At the turn of the twentieth century, life expectancy for Americans was just over 49 years; by 2010, that number had risen to 78.5 years, mostly on account of improved sanitation and basic medicine. But life extension doesn’t always increase our well-being, especially when all that’s being extended is decrepitude. There’s a reason that Ponce de Leon went searching for the fountain of youth—-if it were the fountain of prolonged dementia and arthritis he may not have bothered.
It’s available only in select stores for a few weeks at a time, a marketing ploy based on absence making the heart grow fonder and, perhaps, stronger: The patty gets an impressive 75 percent of its calories from fat, and marketers as savvy as McDonald’s know it does them little good to actually kill off their customers right away.
Even though the United States posted a 26 percent decrease in neonatal deaths over the 20 years, it has slipped in lowest risk rankings from 28th in the world to 41st. At 4.3 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births the US shares the 41st spot with Qatar, Croatia, and the United Arab Emirates.
"We see the potential to change the power dynamics in health care."
The concept of personalized medicine could change as well; rather than relying on pharmaceutical companies that have little incentive to individualize treatments, patients could simply try different interventions and record how their physiological signs and symptoms change in response.