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"There’s a disease that’s killing our parents and no one seems to be doing anything about it." —Seth Rogen on Alzheimer’s.
5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s—a disease without any treatment, cure or prevention. The disease could affect 16 million Americans by 2050, costing $1.2 trillion.
Yum, right? Think again, fatty-fall drink drinker! This puppy’s packing 720 calories of pure, Columbian mud jiggly. See the rest.
Might as well throw some news into the mix since we are Newsweek. Today’s main event is another dissing of Obama’s health care plan. Things appear partisan, as always. The latest count: two judges appointed by Republican presidents have struck down the law or its main attribute, while two judges appointed by Democrats have upheld it. Better get ready, Supreme Court. Here’s the main issue, according to Florida Judge Roger Vinson:
At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the assertion that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities engaged in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual’s failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional. The defendants contend that activity is not required before Congress can exercise its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance constitutes activity.
Today in stories that make us shake our heads.
In related news that doesn’t involve a $4000 bar tab, Sharon Begley on what we can learn from “curable cancers.”
And an oversharer…
Adults with the least-healthy habits didn’t fit this pattern, found scientists led by Suzanne O’Neill of Georgetown University. The unhealthier people’s habits were, the more they latched on to genetic explanations for diseases (in particular, colon cancer, skin cancer, hypertension, and lung cancer). “Those most at risk are often the most likely to downplay and distance themselves from threatening health information,” the scientists conclude.
They suspect that this was a defensive reaction, in which people knew at some level that they were engaging in behaviors likely to lead to illness down the road (remember, these were all healthy adults at the time of the survey) but wanted to blame potential health problems on factors beyond their control. In the study, 25 percent of the participants were smokers, another 25 percent were not physically active five days a week, and 36 percent had a body-mass index above 30. If you think your plaque-clogged arteries, uncontrolled diabetes, or lung cancer will be caused by genes in the fertilized egg that became you—rather than your junk-food diet and two-pack-a-day habit—it absolves you of blame.
Begley, on why it’s not your genes’ fault.
CureTogether and PatientsLikeMe are cranking out some interesting data findings right now. Notice that antidepressants don’t play a significant role in curing depression. Antidepressants are the modern snake oil. One day we’ll all wake up and realize that reductionist medicine and funny little pills don’t solve life’s complex social, behavioral, and situational challenges.
This reminds us of Begley’s nice “Antidepressants are no better than placebos" piece from earlier this year.
Animal Harm! Our list of cute, cuddly killers