Exploring Human Potential


2004 AMA National Summit on Obesity

Keynote: RWJ Foundation, Princeton, NJ

The Cost of Obesity

The Cost of Obesity in America   The rate of obesity in America has grown to epidemic proportions.1 Sixty-four percent of Americans in 2000 reported that they were either overweight or obese.2 Rate…

March 14, 2007

Taking Action On Obesity

Taking Action on Obesity  Video    The obesity epidemic is very real, and we hear about it constantly. But the talk is mostly about  the problem – not the solution – and in the meantime, the situ…

November 10, 2004

The Real Story Behind Obesity

The Real Story Behind Obesity   Obesity in America has set off all the traditional alarms – it’s an urgent epidemic with catastrophic implications.1,2 But to date, the discussion about obesity lack…

February 9, 2005

Aging and Obesity

Aging and Obesity   Aging and obesity are two intersecting and compounding megatrends. In the United States, 130 million Americans are either overweight or obese. By 2050, the percentage of U.S. c…

October 22, 2003

Exercise and Childhood Obesity

Exercise and Childhood Obesity   The airwaves have been filled, of late, with two public health pronouncements that are increasingly linked by cause and effect. The first is that physical activity …

October 18, 2006

Overweight Kids In America

Overweight Kids in America  VIDEO   Since publication of the 2001 Surgeon General’s report, childhood obesity has become a front-  and-center public health priority.1  Everyone from the CDC,2 to t…

April 27, 2007

Corn Fed America

Corn-Fed America  Video     Obesity in America — especially childhood obesity — is front and center in today’s culture. Most  of us have absorbed the facts: The growing link between obesity and d…

August 23, 2006

Will I Be More Disabled Than My Parents?

Will I Be More Disabled Than My Parents?     Will I Be More Disabled Than My Parents? Video    Up until recently, the major focus on multigenerational family health has been on the older end  of th…

April 6, 2004

Health Care Costs

Health Care Costs   The debate around health care over the past two decades has been fundamentally unbalanced. We never pass up a chance to raise the red flag of cost, but rarely raise the legitima…

June 20, 2007

Taking Control Of Portion Size

Taking Control of Portion Sizes  VIDEO     On one level, the solution to America’s obesity epidemic seems so simple, doesn’t it? Adjust  what we eat, and eat less of it. Of course, if we cooked al…

Is It Good Fat Or Bad Fat?

Is It “Good” Fat or “Bad” Fat? VIDEO   With the announcement in December 2006 that New York City had banned trans fats from its  restaurants, most citizens responded “trans – what”?1  In an effor…

July 23, 2003

Chronic Diseases in Developing Countries

Chronic Diseases in Developing Countries   When it comes to health, many policy leaders think of developed and developing countries as two different worlds. The former is seen as having the problem…

June 20, 2003

Global Burden of Disease: Part 2

Global Burden of Disease: Part 2   Thanks to the Global Burden of Disease study, reported in 1996,and the creation of a new health measure, the DALY, or the disability adjusted life year – 1 DALY e…

January 28, 2004

Cardiovascular Disease: Still Number 1

Cardiovascular Disease: Still Number 1   Only six in 10 Americans believe that cardiovascular disease, in the form of heart attacks and strokes, remains the leading cause of death in the United Sta…

Should Food Stamps Fund Poor Health? The Case Against Soda Driven Obesity.

Mike Magee In New York City, the fourth largest city in the world, with 19.7 million people, 1.7 million or nearly 10% of its citizens use food stamps provided by the federal government and funded by public taxes. As part of the war on poverty, citizens have supported the program for a half a century. […]
Share Health Commentary

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup The Next Trans-Fat?

Mike Magee In the world of Mad Men consumer advertising, first you name it, then you sell it.(1) OK, it’s a little more complicated than that. In naming a consumer product, you consider what that product might mean to the consumer and study what types of terms resonate. And when the product is launched, and […]
Share Health Commentary

Bob Butler 14 Day Tribute Seminar With Links

The Bob Butler Tribute Seminar: Day 1. Aging Demographics ( Day 2. The Challenge of Longevity ( Day 3. Measuring Aging Vitality and Independence ( Day 4. When Caregivers Need Care ( Day 5. Long Distance Caregivers ( Day 6. The Economics of Living Longer ( Day 7. Financing Home Health Care ( Day 8. […]
Share Health Commentary

Bob Butler Tribute/Aging Seminar: 14 Topics

The Bob Butler Tribute Seminar: Final Day Day 1. Aging Demographics Day 2. The Challenge of Longevity Day 3. Measuring Aging Vitality and Independence Day 4. When Caregivers Need Care Day 5. Long Distance Caregivers Day 6. The Economics of Living Longer Day 7. Financing Home Health Care Day 8. Elder Abuse and Vulnerable Elders […]
Share Health Commentary

Childhood Obesity, the FTC, and the FDA

Mike Magee Big problems require thoughtful, integrated solutions. Case in point – childhood obesity. As I describe below in this archival report, you can’t fully address childhood obesity without passing through the doors of the FTC and the FDA FEATURED VIDEO Since publication of the 2001 Surgeon General’s report, childhood obesity has become a front-and-center […]
Share Health Commentary

Is Cadmium the New Lead?

Mike Magee MD  The report began “Could cadmium be the new lead?” and was illustrated with four “Shrek glasses”, part of a promotional McDonald’s campaign. (1) Now that caught my eye because I’ve been following lead and fast food for awhile. In 2005 I first reported on the checkered history of lead in America. (2) […]
Share Health Commentary

Survey on Drug Safety from Research America!

WASHINGTON—Research America! Press Release, May 20, 2010— Nearly three-quarters of Americans are confident in our system for reviewing the effectiveness and safety of new medicines and medical devices, yet 41% say it takes too long to approve a drug and allow it to be sold to consumers. These are among the findings in a new […]
Share Health Commentary

Doctors Don’t Discuss Diet With Obese Patients

Source: Los Angeles Times “With the nation’s high rates of obesity and the low odds of weight loss, perhaps weary doctors are just giving up. National statistics show that only about half of obese Americans were advised by their doctors to cut down on fatty foods. The rate, from a 2006 survey, has not changed […]
Share Health Commentary

The American Food Revolution: Jamie Oliver Leads The Way

Mike Magee   Last night, my wife Trish forced me to sit down and watch British chef Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution”. (1) He’s on a mission to change the way America eats. And he has some experience doing just that . His 4 part series in the UK unlocked the purse strings to the tune of […]
Share Health Commentary

“Virtual Water”: Water For Food

Mike Magee Most US health professionals understand by now that the average American diet is seriously out of wack. Both in quantity and quality we’re way off the mark. And the direct results are soaring levels of childhood obesity in the young and an ever expanding burden of chronic disease in adults. And US based […]
Share Health Commentary

Artificial Sweeteners, Obesity, and The Holidays

Dr David Ludwig, in a recent editorial comparing natural sugars with artificial sweeteners in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that  ”Problems occur when sugars—chiefly sucrose and the chemically similar product, high-fructose corn syrup—are refined, concentrated, and consumed in large amounts. Without the protection conferred by an intact, natural […]

Fat Tax: Paying Big For Poor Nutrition

Here is the cold hard truth about Prevention according to the Institute of Medicine’s senior scholar J. Michael McGinnis. People who die early in America have mostly themselves to blame. Dr. McGinnis’s analysis reveals that 30% of early deaths are driven by genetics or inherited vulnerabilities; 20% are the result of poor environmental or social […]
Share Health Commentary

Healthy Choices for Children

A critical look at Gerber Graduates Cereal Bars and healthy alternatives Looking at the list of ingredients on a box of Gerber Graduates Cereal Bars I was surprised to see high fructose corn syrup listed as one of the first ingredients in both the crust and the filling.  On the back cover of Nutrition Action […]
Share Health Commentary

New York City Takes on the American Diet

New York City is 8 million strong, the epicenter of global finance and “type A” personalities. It is also the home of 1 million obese Americans and an additional 2 million who are clinically overweight.1 Eighteen percent of those who are obese and 10% of those who are overweight suffer from diabetes.1,2 The cost of […]
Share Health Commentary

School Lunches

A smart destination for stimulus funding As the stimulus package has rolled out, I’ve been trying to think creatively. Where might we get the biggest bang for our buck?  We want to create lasting infrastructure, jobs, and savings- long and short term. We want smart integrated solutions, close to home, right here on Main Street. […]

America’s CEOs Set Priorities for the Obama Administration – Obesity Makes The List

The Nation’s Most Influential Business Leaders Have Developed Consensus Priorities for America’s FutureThis past Monday and Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal convened an extraordinary conference of about 100 CEOs to develop and recommend issue priorities for the new Administration. (See the participant list here.) This meeting brought together the nation’s industry power players. Several Senators […]
Share Health Commentary

Food and Energy

Connected at the hip If we Americans really want energy independence, we should take a long hard look at our food system. Believe it or not, second only to automobiles, food consumes the most fossil fuel on a day to day basis — an unbelievable 19% of our total consumption.  How is that possible?   […]
Share Health Commentary

Fat Chemistry

A quick history of trans fats. With all the talk about the nation’s obesity epidemic in recent years, we have been bombarded with information about fat content in food. But it’s not always easy to sort out the so-called “good” fat from the “bad.” In this week’s video, embedded with this blog, I offer a basic […]
Share Health Commentary

Food As Sport

The mixed message surrounding healthy eating habits The emphasis on the obesity epidemic by health care experts has generated widespread media coverage.  Obesity across all age groups is rampant in America and has grave consequences for our health and longevity.  While this problem continues to be studied and multi disciplinary approaches towards interventions have been […]
Share Health Commentary

PE in Our Nation’s Schools

A case of “many children left behind” and a nice “FIT” for health care Physical education used to be a standard feature in the American educational system, but it’s barely visible now. And that may be having a much greater negative impact than we realize. Claus von Zastrow, PhD, executive director of Learning First Alliance, […]

Spending More But Getting Less

Why can’t the increases in health care quality keep up with the increases in cost? The quality of health care in the United States improved by an average of 2.3% per year between 1994 and 2005, reports the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, but in the same period health care expenditures rose by a […]
Share Health Commentary

Exporting the U.S. Diet

A bad deal for developing nationsEver heard of the “dual burden of disease”? The idea is that  infectious diseases from the developing world (as a byproduct of poverty, famine, lack of access to clean, safe water and forced migration tied to warfare) are intermingling with chronic diseases from the developed world (as a result of […]
Share Health Commentary

Staying Well Past 90

Most of what matters can be managed Having hit 60, and with 3 adorable grandaughters, and potentially 4 more on the way, I’m motivated to control my “Personal Disease Burden” so that I might physically participate in life, and still have my “wits about me” past age 90. A new study of 2,300 healthy men […]
Share Health Commentary

Huckabee-Style Health Reform

Morally and physically fit Back in November, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote a remarkably candid essay for a special election issue of the trade journal Modern Healthcare. Since then, the former Arkansas governor’s campaign has morphed from single-digit obscurity to mainstream prominence, and the candor on health care has mostly been scrubbed clean from […]
Share Health Commentary

Prenatal Care and Birth Outcomes

Does Continuous Coverage Make Sense? The cost associated with premature birth and low birth weight babies is astounding.  According to a 2007 study in Pediatrics, the annual cost of hospitalization for premature/low birth weight babies in the United States during 2001 was $5.8 billion.  This cost reflects 47% of all infant hospitalizations in that year […]
Share Health Commentary

Can Good Nutrition Sell?

A look at the “Guiding Stars” rating system There’s a lot of turmoil in the food and beverage industry these days – particularly in fast foods – as brands scramble to understand the changing wants and needs of consumers. One of the driving forces at work is a new consumer consciousness about nutritional value in […]

Turning to Gastric Bypass

A glimpse of one man’s struggle with obesityThe National Geographic Channel recently examined the life and motivations of a 28-year-old grappling with obesity and the possibility of a significantly shortened lifespan. His solution was gastric bypass surgery — a procedure that is more and more common. What’s your opinion about the growing obesity problem in […]
Share Health Commentary

China Joins Cola Wars

Obesity Just Around the Corner? One thing is pretty clear if you’re a developing nation, and that is that multi-national marketers have you in their cross-hairs. And for China or India — with huge populations — that goes double. China, of course, is a special case. Whether it be tobacco consumption, an electrical grid fired […]
Share Health Commentary

“Enhanced Water” in the Schoolhouse

Who’s in Charge of the Vending Machines? Not too long ago, I wrote two Health Politics programs, one on Americans love affair with bottled water (over 10 billion dollars in sales per year) and the second on the marketing and growing sales of “Energy Drinks” in the US. If you look at where these beverages are […]
Share Health Commentary

Going Under the Knife to Lose Weight

What you don’t know about bariatric surgery can hurt you “Obesity is an epidemic!” That’s what we’ve all heard. And the facts are convincing. Our collective Body Mass Index (BMI – which factors in weight and height, and is normally 20 to 25) is growing too fast. The percentage of Americans with a BMI over […]
Share Health Commentary

McDonald’s “Hugo” vs. TGI Friday’s “Right Size” Menu

There’s a war going on in America’s fast-food nation, and consumers will determine who wins. In several recent Health Politics programs and in some previous blogs, I’ve outlined the origins of “super sizing” and our corn-based diet, and I’ve discussed the courageous efforts of TGI Friday’s CEO to bring sanity to portion sizing. Well, this […]
Share Health Commentary

Corn in My Hamburger?

The subject of this week’s Health Politics program might come as quite a shock to you. The gist? There’s corn in nearly every processed food we eat. This might not sound like such a big deal at first. Corn is good for us, right? Yes … and no. Corn in its natural state can be […]
Share Health Commentary

A New Approach to the Obesity Problem

Depending on our own particular situations, it’s likely that we all perceive the obesity epidemic differently. It may be one of the top issues on your mind, or, on the other hand, you might see it as “not your problem.” But if you watch this week’s Health Politics program, you’ll soon understand that obesity is […]

How Much Do You Know About Trans Fats?

When New York City recently announced it had banned artificial trans fats from restaurant cooking oils — and by mid next year will ban them from all restaurant food — I think there was quite a bit of confusion about what was going on and, more specifically, why. (I heard the phrase “trans – what?” […]
Share Health Commentary

Trans Fats: Out of the Frying Pan in NYC

Over the past few years, I’ve done several Health Politics pieces on obesity — dealing with the economic, health, social and scientific aspects of the challenge. I remember thinking that once a figure was put on all this excess morbidity and mortality, the political apparatus would begin to turn its wheels. And it has. Today, […]
Share Health Commentary

Healthy Lives Start at Home

In this week’s Health politics program, I discuss the history between the Federal Trade Commission, the Food And Drug Administration, and food. The program explores various attempts that have been made to combat obesity, and childhood obesity, in particular, with federal legal action over the years. And progress has been made, but the numbers can’t […]

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons