In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 19, 2011 / 15 Nissan, 5771

Government Makes a Poor Physician

By Mona Charen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conservatives, particularly those of libertarian bent, have always bristled at government efforts to do good, believing that the state has no business performing any but essential functions. They're the ones who, when a government shutdown loomed and it was announced that only "essential" workers should report to work following a budget impasse, asked, "Why the heck do we have non-essential workers?"

Neo-conservatives, at least in their early incarnation in the late '60s and '70s, tended to stress that the unintended consequences of government efforts to do good were often more important (and usually more harmful) than the intended consequences.

Writing in City Journal, Steven Malanga reminds us of another reason to resist government-sponsored attempts to improve us: Government frequently gets it wrong. They don't intend to do harm, but through a combination of zeal and haste, they often do.

American life is characterized by pervasive, low-level anxiety about health risks in our air, water, cell phones, power lines, chemicals, prescription drugs and, most of all, food -- punctuated by periodic panics about this or that (avian flu, "flesh-eating" bacteria, H1N1, SARS, and on and on). We are healthier than human beings have ever been in the history of the world, but we are beset by an epidemic of worry.

The federal government both responds to and contributes to this fear. Picking up on the then-fashionable view that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat were responsible for heart disease and other ailments, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, chaired by George McGovern, issued food guidelines in 1977. All Americans were urged to reduce the proportion of fat in their diets from 40 percent to 30 percent, and to increase the percentage of carbohydrates to 60 percent of daily calories.

Though some members of the committee, notably Republican Charles Percy, demurred, noting that there was considerable debate within the scientific and medical worlds about the role of dietary fat in disease, the guidelines were embraced by busybodies and earnest improvers of their fellow men.

As Malanga details, when large studies on the effects of low-fat diets were conducted during the 1980s and beyond, researchers found that the link between dietary fat and heart disease was not clear at all. One study found no difference between a group assigned to limit dietary fat and cholesterol and a control group that was simply urged to see the doctor regularly. Further research continued to undermine the government guidelines. One showed no effect for women who reduced their cholesterol levels. Another found that men with elevated cholesterol were more likely to suffer heart attacks, but that those who reduced their cholesterol to very low levels were more likely to die of all causes.

Malanga writes: "There was little doubt that some public-health researchers wished such research would go away. 'Some people don't want to talk about it,' said Michael Criqui, an epidemiologist at the University of California at San Diego and an associate editor of Circulation. … 'They think it is going to impede public-health measures.'"

Arguably, Americans followed the government guidelines first promulgated by McGovern's committee and later updated with minor changes. Yet, as three prominent physicians concluded in a 2008 article for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the government's guidelines may have harmed public health. During the past three decades, American men, on average, cut their fat intake from 37 percent of calories to 32 percent and increased their consumption of carbohydrates from 42 percent to 49 percent. Over the same 30 years, "the fraction of men who were overweight or obese increased from 53 percent of the population to about 69 percent." As the doctors concluded in their piece, "it now seems clear that the U.S. guidelines recommending fat restriction may have worsened rather than helped the obesity epidemic and, by so doing, possibly laid the groundwork for a future increase in cardiovascular disease."

Woody Allen used ever-changing health recommendations to comic effect in "Sleeper," when his health food store-owning hero wakes up in the 22nd century to find that cigarettes are healthy, but lettuce will kill you.

The lesson of the past few decades of government-issued health guidelines is not that nothing is knowable, but that skepticism, flexibility and an open mind are required to make sense of constantly shifting information. Those are not the qualities at which government excels.

The feds are moving against salt next. Take it with a grain.

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