Blog Archives


Raise money to cure diabetes while simultaneously developing your own case of diabetes!

I should’t be surprised to see this. But I still am.



I should point out that this isn’t new–it dates back to 2011–but it was shared with me this week, so it is new to me!

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Where we donate vs. diseases that kill us

Earlier this week I was talking to my Health & Behavior Change class about the leading causes of death, most of which are chronic diseases that are caused, in large part, by health-related behaviors. In our discussion the students expressed some surprise at what diseases really kill the most Americans each year.

It turns out that much of what we perceive to be the biggest threats to our health come from what we know is based on fund raising and PR efforts from organizations that represent specific diseases. The recent Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS is one example.

No question, this—and others like it—are worthy causes. But it does distort our perception of the health problems we should be most concerned with, and the things we can do to prevent or delay these conditions.

This infographic, from VOX, makes clear the difference between where we donate money and the diseases that are most likely to kill us.

Donating vs Death infographic

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t raise money to support ALS research. But we should pay attention, through fundraising and personal interest, to the diseases that are most likely to impair our health.


Sad, but true.



Stairs vs. escalator

Stairs vs. escalator

Yes, you should take the stairs.


Sadly, this is the truth.


It shouldn’t be food vs. health — it should be food AND health. I wonder when we will get this right?


A picture is worth a thousand words

A picture is worth a thousand words

A former student sent this to me today, thinking that I would like it. I do.

No, taking the escalator won’t make you fat and taking the stairs isn’t the key to weight loss.

But people who are more active, including regular exercise and incidental activity like taking the stairs, do tend to weigh less and have better luck losing weight and keeping it off.

Even those of us who should know better sometimes find ourselves on an escalator when there are perfectly good stairs nearby. Maybe reminders like this could help us make the more active choice.

Actually, it probably would make us take the stairs. There is a good bit of research showing that signs and other prompts do increase stair use and the effect lasts even after the sign is taken down.

I wonder if seeing this picture here will influence whether you take the stairs the next time you have a choice?