Floods, heat, smoke: The weather will never be normal againThe New York Times, July 12, 2023 
 The first sentence says it all: “Global warming is accelerating, with temperatures not just rising but rising faster than ever.” Progressively, once-in-a-thousand-years climate events are becoming the norm, but as human beings we are incredibly adaptable, and recent research suggests we may come to accept weather extremes as normal within two yearsa grim prophecy of accommodation to disaster as a form of adaptation.” Maybe, but for investors and other decision-makers, the consequences will be momentous.

How ultra-processed foods trick you into eating more, and how you can free yourself of its addictive propertiesBBC Science, July 16, 2023
From the MD who just authored Ultra Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food…and Why Can’t We Stop, here is a series of simple yet interesting insights. Ultra-processed food (UPF), defined as food wrapped in plastic that contains an additive not found in a typical domestic kitchen, drives weight gain because it’s soft and energy dense. We eat it at a much higher rate than real food. UPF also contains additives that have direct effects on our brains and on our microbiomes. One example are emulsifiers, the molecules that bind fats to water. They act like a sort of detergent that scrubs out our guts and removes the layer of healthy mucus, fostering the growth of less friendly, more inflammatory bacteria. The food industry is “obliged” to make it addictive. 

Living near green spaces could add 2.5 years to your life, new research findsWashington Post, June 28, 2023 
The study found an association between long-term exposure to greenery and slower aging, showing that it caused positive biological and molecular changes. “This is one of the first studies that demonstrates how exposure to nature may get under our skin and lead to fundamental changes to these biomarkers of aging,” noted Peter James, an environmental epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We need to start changing our perspective on green space and really view it as an essential piece of infrastructure, just the same as sewer systems and garbage collection. This is something that we require as human beings to thrive, to be healthy.” 

People just want to lose weightThe Atlantic, July 21, 2023 
People go on yo-yo diets, but we also have a yo-yo relationship to dieting. A major reinvention of the diet industry is now underway. At big weight loss companies such as Noom and Weight Watchers, behavior change, coaching and exhortations to embrace “joyful fitness” are shifting to services that allow customers to obtain Ozempic and other blockbuster new GLP-1 obesity drugs, such as Wegovy and Mounjaro. Noom recently launched Noom Med, which pairs its behavior-change program with prescriptions for various weight-loss drugs, the GLP-1s among them (the doctors subscribe, but people pay their often-gargantuan monthly cost.) Weight Watchers recently acquired Sequence, an online provider of obesity drugs, to do just the same. Olga Khazan discusses the implications.  

A Striking Stat:

Vegans are responsible for 75% less in greenhouse gases than meat-eaters. 

 Source: University of Oxford study that drew on the actual diets of 55,500 people in the UK and data from 38,000 farms in 119 countries, July 2023  

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