Bellevue Evacuated


Please take a few minutes to read one physician’s experience from last week’s evacuation at Bellevue Hospital.  I am so proud of my department (Psychiatry) and his description of 3 key players below brought tears to my eyes because I worked with all of them this past week and he hit it right on the money.

…the psychiatric administrators and staff worked furiously and tirelessly to get patients discharged or transferred, even before an official evacuation order came from the Mayor’s Office.  I remember seeing the head nurse of the psychiatric emergency room show up in a bright red dress, bright red lipstick, and a determined look on her face.  Everyone knew (more than even usual) to stay out of her way unless she had something for you to do.  I swear I saw Bellevue’s director of psychiatry every time I turned around, her demeanor somehow as sweet and openly caring as ever.  I worry that the pregnant director of consultation liaison psychiatry did not leave or even rest for days as she helped to coordinate the safe transfer of hundreds of patients who could not be safely discharged.

(via icopythat kellyqehudson marcmanseau)

As the storm raged outside, I sat in my relatively unscathed apartment and neighborhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn watching and reading in horror as one catastrophe after another fell upon the medical center where I had…

Be nice to people who work at Bellevue, things got worse than this.

Bellevue Evacuated


Our Food Is Not Just Entertainment, Paula Deen

Excellent piece in the HuffPo by my friend Cathy Erway [of (among other things) Not Eating Out in New York fame], on Paula Deen’s recent announcement of her three-year-old diabetes diagnosis.  I know it is asking Deen to live up to a higher moral standard than most, but when you are a public figure that makes a living demonstrating to millions your favored methods of cooking, and those methods are known to be of great detriment to your health as well as the health of the masses…you look like a fool to hide behind your network (and now pharmaceutical) sponsors instead of admitting that it’s time to make serious lifestyle changes.

I see a great missed opportunity for healthy food initiatives, organizations, and the general public in Deen’s failure to publicly recognize the errs of her gluttonous ways and perhaps partner with them instead. But that doesn’t mean it has to be everyone’s. It means we need more standing up in — okay, a reactionary — unison, and demanding good food in television and best-selling cookbooks as well as on the shelves.” – Cathy Erway

Our Food Is Not Just Entertainment, Paula Deen


For the gleaners: the more food that is in front of you, the more you will eat. Understand appropriate portion size, (e.g. 1.5 oz of cheese is the size of a 9V battery) and try to keep healthier foods around you so when you do reach for a snack it won’t be as detrimental to your waistline.


(via Massive Health – Swelling Servings: The Growth of American Food Portions [infographic])


Harvard Health Publications in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health have released the Healthy Eating Plate, a new take on MyPlate, released by the USDA back in June.  The Healthy Eating Plate is based on the most up-to-date scientific recommendations, laid out in easy to understand portions, and is free of any influence by the food industry (*cough* Meat Lobby *cough*) or agricultural interests.  Though essentially the same in layout, the mere fact that it is free of outside influences gives it quite a leg-up on its USDA predecessor.  For more information read the recommendations below and click on the image above for the official press release.

Here is what the Healthy Eating Plate recommends:

  • Make half your meal vegetables and fruits. Go for variety. And keep in mind that potatoes and french fries don’t count.
  • Choose whole grains whenever you can. Limit refined grains, like white rice and white bread, because the body rapidly turns them into blood sugar.
  • Pick the healthiest sources of protein, such as fish, poultry, beans, and nuts; cut back on red meat; avoid bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats.
  • Healthy oils (like olive and canola oil) are good for you. Don’t be afraid to use them for cooking, on salad, and at the table.
  • Drink water, tea, or coffee. Milk and dairy are not must-have foods—limit them to 1-2 servings/day. Go easy on juice. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • And stay active!

The truth about agave nectar



Agave nectar is one of those silver bullets that’s appeared, mostly in so-called health foods, in the wake of increased public consciousness about high-fructose corn syrup. Don’t believe the hype, processed sugar is processed sugar, whether it comes from corn, cane, beets or cacti. (Chef’s hat tip to Marco for the link)

ha! i was explaining this to someone last night!

too much fructose = insulin resistance (this is bad)

The truth about agave nectar



My 2004 public health graduate thesis topic was the “Association Between Low Socioeconomic Status, Race, and the Increasing Incidence of Childhood Obesity.”  I was admonished by many for pin-pointing race as a predictor of obesity.  At the time no one wanted to admit that there was a disparity between racial cohorts because they were more worried about being politically correct than recognizing that Hispanic and African-American children bore a greater risk of disease burden.

Now, 5 years later, 20% of 4-year-olds are obese.  Not teenagers, not elementary school age children, toddlers.  A diagnosis of obesity under the age of 5 is highly correlated with obesity as a teen and then as an adult.  By turning a blind eye instead of admitting to the problem at hand, minority children have been effectively doomed to a life of co-morbidities and early mortality.

Specific interventions need to be made that target minority communities.  Lack of available grocery stores, unsafe neighborhoods, and drastic cuts in physical education funding in urban schools all contribute to the dismal statistics sited in the linked article.  It’s time that we stop ignoring the numbers and facing facts.