This post is for those who haven’t yet realised that Twitter is a fantastic source of public health news. And it’s also for those who might have realised this, but don’t have time for Twitter-trawling.
Below are links to recent news and reports found via Twitter about:
- tobacco control
- public health
- health policy
- the use of Twitter in health
- health and the media.
• According to this report in The Guardian, fast food companies McDonald’s and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo have been given the job of helping to write UK government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease. One expert compared this to putting tobacco companies in charge of developing tobacco control policy. Meanwhile, on a similar note, The Guardian has also recently reported that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is to be stripped of its power to turn down new medicines for use in the NHS, “ending emotive battles with patient groups but raising the spectre of a postcode lottery for care”.
• This is a report of a recent talk by US public health nutritionist Professor Marion Nestle who doubts whether the food industry can play a constructive role in tackling obesity “because the goals of industry and public health are not the same”.
• McDonald’s has lost a high-profile obesity lawsuit, with a Brazilian court ordering the fast food giant to pay $17,500 to a former manager who says he gained 65 pounds while working at a franchise.
• Meanwhile, some McDonald’s outlets in the US want their staff to vote Republican.
• New research shows that kids in the US are seeing more junk food ads than ever, despite industry promises to the contrary.
• Washington state voters have rolled back new taxes on lollies, gum, softdrinks, bottled water and some processed foods following a multi-million dollar campaign led by the national soda lobby’s American Beverage Association,
• The European Food and Safety Authority has struck a blow to the confectionery industry by saying there is not enough evidence to support a link between cocoa flavanols and some of the often touted health benefits.
• More attention should be paid to the problems caused by ultra-processing of food says this article in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association.
• What will climate change mean for food regulatory bodies? A report from University of East Anglia researchers.
• On a similar note, a new book examines the links between climate change and obesity: Energy Glut: the politics of fatness in an overheating world.
• A New York Times story on how the tobacco industry is fighting public health measures around the world.
• The Public Health Advocacy Institute in Boston has done this “webinar” on tobacco industry tactics to shift blame from industry to the public
• Is using the term “Big Tobacco” counterproductive? An exploration of terminology in tobacco control.
General public health issues
• How the law is being used to silence public health experts in France.
• Oregon to study health effects of windfarms.
• “The problem with prosperous Australia,” an article in EurekaStreet by Dr John Falzon (sociologist and CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia) on poverty and the voices of the unheard. Mentions public health guru Professor Ian Webster.
• Australian Institute of Criminology report on safety issues in Indigenous communities.
• Deadlines are looming if you want to have your say on reviews of MBS items for obesity surgery, ophthalmology, colonoscopy, and pulmonary artery catheterisation.
• How can evidence be used to inform policy? A guide from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
• Research highlights some limitations of a US website for comparing hospitals. Meanwhile, myhospitals may finally be about to launch in Australia. In the US, there are now so many report cards comparing health service performance that there is now a report card of the report cards – the Informed Patient Institute.
• But it’s no good having safety and quality in health care without also addressing equity. So says this new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What’s Quality Without Equality? Using Data on Patient Race, Ethnicity and Language Preferences to Improve Care.
• Professor David Henry (formerly of Newcastle and now of Toronto) writes in this PLoS article about the enduring “warm embrace” between doctors and pharma.
• How doctors, emergency workers and others used Twitter to communicate during recent flooding in Thailand. One interviewee calls Twitter “the hero of this crisis”.
• A BMJ blog on why Twitter is useful even in times of information overload.
• How the pharma industry is using Twitter.
• A Twitter session run by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US on improving health literacy.
Health and the media
• South Africa is to get a new university centre in health journalism – and the critique of health journalism in that country is scathing.
• More critique of health journalism, from Dr Ivan Oranksy, who is Executive Editor of Reuters Health in the US, and holds appointments at New York University.
• Using social media in public health – a session from the recent American Public Health Association conference.
• Social media advice for the not for profit sector.