Determinants of health

If you follow fitness instructors on social media, you hear a common refrain: Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a trend. In many ways, that is true. But in some ways, that statement is completely incorrect. Sometimes being healthy has nothing to do with how many servings of fruits and vegetables you consume daily. Sometimes your health is determined by factors beyond your control – like your genetics, where you live or even how you look.

Why do mentholated cigarettes still exist?

A few weeks ago, a group of black doctors urged federal officials to ban the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes because of its high usage in black communities. They’re right. It’s long overdue.

Are we really talking about Hillary’s cold?

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I noticed the news program I was watching focused mostly on one story—it wasn’t the 9/11 memorials or the ceasefire in Syria after a bloody weekend. It was about Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton falling ill on the campaign trail. As pundits and reporters speculated whether…

The ignored epidemic

I went to my primary care doctor for my annual checkup recently. I got a full physical, which included an EKG for my heart, breast exam, and a full blood workup. I had to wait for my blood test results. And I have to say, I was a bit nervous about a particular blood test…

The major and the minor

I was speaking with a marketing veteran last week about passions, gifts, and goals. The conversation helped me process through blocks I have been having for quite some time — what is my next right step to turn my gifts and passions into measurable goals. But before we get to that, we have to go back.

The war on drugs: Fighting a losing battle

If you ask anyone in my age group about Fancy Nancy, they’ll likely exclaim, “Just say no!” or “Crack is Wack!” Emblazoned on the back of my summer camp t-shirt was “this is a drug-free body.” On face value, these are good things to tell children. Crack is wack – prolonged use of crack cocaine can cause anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, heart disease, stroke, seizure, sexual dysfunction, and infertility. The use of other “illicit” drugs can be just as dangerous, particularly for developing bodies and minds.

The problem with that seemingly innocuous campaign is it launched America into a 30-years war that has done little to quell the tide of drug use, marginalized those that needed help and propagated false theories about drug use that will not subside.

Charlie Sheen, TV quacks and armchair psychology

I’m concerned about Charlie Sheen. Like genuinely concerned. It’s not because he disclosed he is HIV positive. It’s not because as of late he looks like a character on The Walking Dead. It’s not because he went off his antiretrovirals to take an alternative treatment method (well I am concerned about that but not as much).

Ranking the senses by value, according to insurance companies

When I took my writing vow of poverty, I never expected to have to spend that kind of money on a non-emergent health care item. And I have health insurance that’s coming out of my paycheck every couple weeks. Shouldn’t that cover this disability?