from the world's big
Government in the Pantry
Question: \r\nWhat do you think of New York's proposal to ban salt in restaurants?\r\n\r\n
Mark Bittman: \r\nI think it's moronic. I\r\nthink that the problem with salt, to the extent that there is a problem with\r\nsalt, and this is not really, really clear, but to the extent there is a\r\nproblem with salt, it's the salt in processed foods. People who don’t eat a lot of processed foods don’t have\r\nproblems with salt. People who add\r\ntheir own salt to food have no problems with salt. Chefs who make their own – chefs in restaurants who cook\r\nfrom scratch and add salt to their taste or to the perceive tastes of their\r\ndiners are not adding criminal amounts of salt. If you want to limit the amount of salt that McDonalds puts\r\nin its processed foods, that's great. \r\nI'd like to limit the amount of food they can sell period. It's not really a salt problem, it's an\r\noverall food problem.\r\n\r\n
Question: Why are proposals to tax sugary sodas important?\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: Well, I think it is happening, which is\r\nreally amazing. The mayor of\r\nPhiladelphia just proposed a very – the proponents of a soda tax or generally\r\nproposing a penny per ounce as an excise tax, which means 12 ounce can of soda\r\nmight cost a $1.12 instead of $1.00 and a 24-pack case of soda might cost --\r\nmight double in price from a sale price of $2.99 or $3.99. That's really incredible. The guy in Philadelphia, I think his\r\nname is Nutter, but hey it's his name. \r\nThe guy in Philadelphia is proposing two cents per ounce, which is\r\nreally quite amazing because it means a $1.00 can of soda would cost a $1.25. A 32 ounce bottle of soda that was a\r\n$1.00 would cost a $1.64 and so on.\r\n\r\n
So I think it is\r\nhappening. Why is it\r\nimportant? Soda is the leading\r\nsource of calories for Americans. \r\nAmericans get seven percent of their calories from soda, which is more\r\nthan they get from any other single food. \r\nAnd let's think about this, it's non-nutritive. That is to say no benefit\r\nwhatsoever. None. Like it's not harmless, it's negative. Secondly, it's a leading cause of\r\nobesity in the United States. I\r\nmean, if obesity is a problem, you have to look at where the calories are\r\ncoming from. If soda is the number\r\none source of calories in the United States and it's not a beneficial source of\r\ncalories, it's something people can do without.\r\n\r\n
So if you're\r\nobese and you're looking for ways to help people figure out what they can do\r\nwithout, soda is a very good start. \r\nSo I think the tax is a very smart thing. There is some research that shows that taxing junk food,\r\nwhich soda is a junk food, taxing junk food is more likely to help people eat\r\nwell than subsidizing healthy food. \r\nThe irony is that if you subsidize healthy food people will take the\r\nmoney they're saving and buy junk food, which is sad but true.\r\n\r\n
I think the soda\r\ntax makes sense. I think it's\r\nhappening. I think it's going to\r\nhappen this year and next year. I\r\nthink it is going to be a swell of soda taxes and I think once the greedy state\r\nlegislatures realize they can make money on this thing it's going to have even\r\nmore momentum.\r\n\r\n\r\n
Proposals to tax sugary sodas are good -- but plans to remove salt from restaurants are "moronic."
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".