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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

Society's health does not depend on medicine

By George Will




JewishWorldReview.com | In September 1958, a future columnist, then 17, was unpacking as a college freshman when upperclassmen hired by tobacco companies knocked on his dormitory door, distributing free mini-packs of cigarettes. He and many other aspiring sophisticates became smokers. Nearly six years later — 50 years ago: Jan. 11, 1964 — when the surgeon general published the report declaring tobacco carcinogenic, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults smoked. Today, when smoking is considered declasse rather than sophisticated, fewer than one-fifth do.

In 1971, a New York couple decided their Bon Vivant brand vichyssoise tasted strange so they put aside their bowls, too late. Within hours he was dead and she was paralyzed from botulism poisoning. And within a month Bon Vivant was bankrupt, proof of the power of health-related information to change Americans’ behavior.

These two excursions into the sociology of health are occasioned by the remarkable recent report of a 43 percent reduction in the obesity rate among children ages 2 to 5. In 2004, about 14 percent of those children were obese; in 2012, about 8 percent were. The New York Times, which showed sound news judgment in making this the lead story on its front page, reported that the result of the large federal survey was “a welcome surprise to researchers.”

It was welcome because obesity begins early — people obese from age 3 to 5 are five times more likely than others to be overweight or obese as adults, when being so makes people more susceptible to cancer, heart disease and stroke. It was a surprise because no one knows why the rate dropped.

A reasonable surmise, however, is that one cause is the cumulative effect of talk about sensible eating and exercising. Certainly one lesson of the past 50 years is that one of the most cost-effective things government does is disseminate public health information concerning behaviors as disparate as smoking and using seat belts.

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Mark Twain said humans are the only animals that blush — or need to. Leon Kass, a University of Chicago professor emeritus now at the American Enterprise Institute, has written that humans are the only animals that do not “instinctively eat the right foods (when available) and act in such a way as to maintain their naturally given state of health and vigor. Other animals do not overeat, under-sleep, knowingly ingest toxic substances, or permit their bodies to fall into disuse through sloth, watching television and riding in automobiles, transacting business, or writing articles about health.”

There may be no such thing as an unmixed blessing, and there was a cost even to the conquest of polio. Americans, whose national DNA disposes them to anticipate progress to be a product of technology, interpreted the Salk vaccine as establishing what can be called the “polio paradigm.” It is the mistaken idea that large improvements in public health result primarily from new medicines.

In 1900, the death rate from tuberculosis was nearly 200 per 100,000; by 1950, after the first effective anti-TB drugs arrived, it was approximately 20 per 100,000. This enormous improvement was largely the result of improved nutrition, housing, hygiene and food handling. Typhoid became rare before effective drugs became available.

Streptomycin may have produced only 3 percent of the reduction of TB, but our cultural bias is toward the improved-health -through -medical -intervention model. This produces high-tech, hospital-oriented, disease-and-therapy-centered policy. The premise that health is the product of medicine leads government to believe it can deliver health by judiciously distributing preventive or therapeutic medicines.


A significant portion of America’s health-care bill — caused by violence, vehicular accidents, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, AIDS, Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity, among other problems — results from behavior widely known to be risky. So as we wallow waist deep in the muddy debate about health care, we should remember that the relationship between increased investment in medicine and improvements in health is complex and tenuous.

As Kass has said, in an era of organ transplants and the cracking of the genetic code, it seems boring to suggest that the most important path to health is a vanilla virtue: prudence. Nevertheless, unlike oysters or ostriches or ocelots, featherless bipeds — Plato’s unenthralled description of human beings — are animals that go through their days making choices. And they often make bad ones.

Such choices often require ameliorative medicine. Which illustrates this point: Although preventive medicine is real, society’s level of health does not depend primarily on medicine, which too often must be resorted to when our behavior has forfeited our health.

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