Friday, February 26, 2010

An Interesting Quote

The article itself was a bit off-topic. Nicholas Kristof of the NYTs was blogging about chemicals in the environment and the impact those chemicals may have on the escalating rates of autism. Towards the end of the article he says;

"I am of course a huge believer in health reform, but I also think we tend
to focus so much on the clinical side that we neglect public health issues. And
the greatest strides in mortality and health in the U.S. in my lifetime didn’t
come from any medical breakthrough but from public health steps such as the
cigarette tax, auto safety measures, the ban on leaded gasoline and so on. Some
scholars believe that the ban on leaded gasoline has raised the I.Q. of today’s
children by as much as 5 points."

You can read the entire article here:

Yesterday I posted about research showing that a tax on high fat, processed food could actually work to reduce the rates of obesity in this country.

We have massive deficits and a sick population because we choose to eat unhealthy foods. Doesn't taxing unhealthy food to encourage better eating behaviors make sense particularly when we can use the tax revenues to pay down the deficit?

I don't know about you, but if I'm going to have to pay extra taxes (and with the deficit situation what is is you know eventually it will happen), I'd rather pay it if on a bag of potato chips and a can of soda then pay extra income taxes.

In a way, when you think about it, our government is failing us. In past centuries our government protected our health by passing seat belt laws, banning lead in gasoline, regulating the water supply, taxing cigarettes and alcohol and regulating what could be dumped into the environment.

But now, it seems that the government will let anything go, no matter what the public health consequences, out of fear of corporate reprisal.

What do you think?


  1. For the last few years, I have been wondering if it is our environment that is causing the increased rates of autism.

  2. I think much of the disease we see today is caused by the chemicals in our environment or diet. I'm in my early 60s (and I'm a registered nurse) and things that are common now were unusual when I was young or even when I started my career.