While cigarette smoking has declined in the US, vaping has increased dramatically—especially among younger Americans. While vaping may be less harmful to human health than combustible tobacco products like cigarettes, it still contains highly addictive nicotine and other potentially harmful but not well-understood chemicals. And yet many of us don’t really know exactly what vaping is and how it differs from cigarette smoking. Should vaping be seen as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes for smokers, or a gateway to nicotine and other addictions for teens and current non-smokers? How is vaping regulated and does this need to change? In the sixth episode of Epidemiology Counts, Bryan James and Matt Fox interview Dr. Craig Ross from the Boston University School of Public Health about the health effects and increasing rates of vaping, and whether this can be seen as a net benefit or harm to society.
Did you get your flu shot? Employers and other institutions that have a stake in our health, wellbeing and productivity have decided the flu shot is a worthwhile investment. However, many people seem ambivalent about the flu shot. What is behind these different perspectives? In the 6th episode, Matt Fox and Jennifer Ahern interview Dr. Arthur Reingold on the topic of influenza and the flu vaccine. In this episode we uncover some of the details behind the flu as a disease, its transmission, and learn about the flu vaccine to help everyone make better informed decisions for themselves and their families.
How do we know what’s really making us sick? And how to do we make it better? If we read the newspaper, we might think it’s whether we follow a low fat diet, whether we took the stairs those two flights to our office instead of jumping on the elevator, and ditching cigarettes once and for all. But our guests today, Sandro Galea and Katherine Keyes, will argue that those decisions are all part of a broader picture of what drives health, and that intervening upstream of diet and cigarettes has a greater potential to affect the health of populations. We know that education, poverty, social injustice, and health care system organization have vast consequences for life and health; Galea and Keyes will discuss how these factors shape population health, and what we can do to re-prioritize research so that we maximize the potential to improve health for many.
Did you know there are 39 grams of sugar in a standard can of soda? That’s approximately equal to consuming 10 sugar cubes in one sitting! In the fourth episode, Matt Fox and Hailey Banack interview Dr. Barry Popkin on the topic of sugar sweetened beverages. In this episode we highlight the links between sugar sweetened beverages and obesity and discuss some ideas for public health policy to limit consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.
In the third episode, Matt Fox and Anna Pollack interview Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, professor at NYU Langone Health, on plastics. In this episode, we answer that nagging question as you microwave your lunch – should we microwave our food in plastic? Do plastics in consumer products reflect a health risk? If so, how could we change our habits to minimize that risk?
In the second episode, Matt Fox, Justin Lessler and Jennifer Ahern discuss the concept of herd immunity or community immunity. What is it? What has it accomplished? How do we know it works? What happens when we lose it? Interviews with Walter Orenstein, Elizabeth Halloran and Saad Omer, enrich the discussion by bringing historical, technical and social perspectives to understanding of this important phenomenon.
Welcome to Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research! Each episode delves into a particular disease or health condition or something that we are exposed to in our daily lives that may affect our health, and bring you a look at what we currently know and don’t know about each of these conditions or potential causes of disease.
In this inaugural episode, Matt Fox, Hailey Banack, and Bryan James give a big picture look at why you should believe anything epidemiologists do and how you can digest all the health information you hear in a way that makes sense and will set the stage for future episodes that take on specific disease areas.