Multiple and Interacting Contributors to Obesity

Written by Elise Miller, MEd
CHE Director

Elise MillerThe obesity rate for children aged 2-5 years dropped a stunning 43% over the past decade, according to a report published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is of course extremely good news. Researchers, however, are not sure what combination of factors may have contributed to this significant decrease. Some theories are that a number of programs, such as the federally-funded Women, Infants and Children (WIC) initiative, which now subsidizes proportionately more vegetables and whole grains, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which focuses on improving exercise and eating habits in child care settings, are making a difference. Others suggest that former New York Mayor Bloomberg’s declaration that restaurants should no longer use transfats has played a role or that programs started in the 1980s when people became aware that there was a growing obesity problem are finally having a positive effect on this new generation.

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The “Junk Science Threat” to Free Trade

CHE Partner Paul Whaley
Editor, Health & Environment blog

Excerpted with permission of the author.

In January this year, MEP Julie Girling contributed an opinion piece to the Wall Street Journal (Girling 2014) in which she decried “the EU’s expanding embrace of ‘precautionary’ regulation” of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), equating this to a “junk science” approach to policy-making.

Since this piece promulgates a number of misconceptions about the legal and scientific underpinnings of precautionary policy-making, which need to be resolved if we are to do as Girling wants and move “toward a common approach to these issues”, it is worth deconstructing some of the points she presents.

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