Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vote for Veritas Health Content!

I want to hear from you! See that new poll to the right of the this post??

In order to keep this blog interesting and relevant to my readers I want to know what you would like to see more of on Veritas Health? 

And, if you don't see what you want to read represented to the right, just comment below and I'll be sure to address it! Thanks for reading VH. 

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

From Cigarettes to Snus: Tobacco Advertising Returns!

I had read about the tobacco industries attempts to shift its marketing from cigarettes to a "spitless" tobacco (or what it is calling Snus), but it didn't really sink in until I was reading Entertainment Weekly.

Sitting on the T on my way up to Cambridge I saw this ad. My first thought while reading it was "That's interesting...Camel is promoting quitting smoking?" It's fascinating how quickly I recognized it as a smoking ad...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Embrace Life PSA (Video)

How often do you wear your seatbelt? If you live in California, chances are you wear your seatbelt every day (a 2007 survey found that 92% of Californians wear their seatbelt). Having lived in California, I am pretty sure that people wear seatbelts because chances are you will get pulled over if you (or someone else in your car) is not wearing a seatbelt. I know that all too well.

But if you live elsewhere in the country, you might not wear your seatbelt. Or maybe you wear it occassionally. In North and South Dakota only 58% of residents wear a seatbelt.

Yet, how do you communicate the importance of seatbelt safety? Everyone knows they should wear their seatbelt. But many just don''s too uncomfortable, it's a hassle, i'm only driving a short won't happen to me.

People make excuses.

Well, take the time to watch this *short* 90 second PSA from Essex, UK. It might make you think differently next time you get into the car.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

FDA May Tackle Serving Size Concerns in Food Labeling Overhaul

"Once you pop, you can't stop!"

What clever marketing. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, really. I mean "Bet you can't eat just one!" -- that'll get you, too.

Well, it's time we faced the facts of American food culture straight up. Bigger is better, and more makes you merrier. Tell me, who eats for breakfast a bowl filled with only 1 cup of cereal or -- heaven forbid -- 1/2 cup of granola? And how many people eat 1 oz (about 6-10) of tortilla chips and stop at that?

Yet, if you look at the food labels -- that is what a typical serving size would be!

While food companies have known this (and exploited it) for years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been slow to catch on...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jamie Oliver (Naked Chef) Takes on Child Obesity at Ted

Jamie Oliver gives a Ted Prize speech on childhood obesity at the Ted Conference in southern California. He believes that the food reality in America is awful and that action must be taken.  Oliver is a food ambassador that commands attention, even of our nations tech leaders!

This is not a research presentation; it's a passionate, moving talk on the realities of death and the TRUE costs of a poor food culture.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's Move! Prevent Childhood Obesity

It's no surprise that childhood obesity is drawing more public attention than ever before. Evidence is growing on the ill-effects and complicated origins of childhood obesity, making inaction impossible both for public health programs and politicians.

We can prevent childhood obesity. And that's precisely what the White House initiative, Let's Move!, intends to do.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soda Causes Cancer, Could it be?

A study done in Singapore has found that drinking 2 or more sodas per week is associated with nearly twice the risk of pancreatic cancer than staying soda free. The study was published this month in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention and reported on WebMD.

It's no surprise that the beverage industry is doing all it can to discredit the study; however, the methods used seem surprisingly sound. In fact, while the American Beverage Association claims that other studies have shown no association between soda and pancreatic cancer, a 2005 study out of Harvard School of Public Health found that soda (i.e. sugar sweetened beverage) consumption was associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in women, particularly those who were overweight.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pap Test PSA: Video

Saw this PSA from the Michigan Department of Community Health (on BroganBlog) and thought it was a pretty clever 30 second ad. Why do I think it works:

  1. Good use of humor. (Come on, you laughed a little, right?)
  2. Simple, clear message. 
  3. Songs just get stuck in your head.
  4. Links to birthday so you don't just think about getting tested once, but once a year.

What do you think about this PSA? Was there anything missing?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Text4Baby Service Launched Today

Ever have trouble keeping track of taking your vitamins? How about making sure you make (and keep) your doctor's appointments? Get enough exercise? Well this can be even more complicated when you are pregnant or are caring for a new baby!

Today Text4Baby (text BABY or BEBE to 511411) was launched by large coalition of partners -- and it's designed specifically to help pregnant women and new moms. The service is free and sends 3 well thought out text messages to your phone as reminders about: nutrition, health care, flu prevention and treatment, mental health, and more. The service is in English and Spanish.

If you sign up - let me know what you think! You can get much more information on their website,

You can read more about it at the following sites (great publicity!):