The food industry pays “influencer” dietitians to shape your eating habits, new study shows–The Washington Post, September 13, 2023
The food, beverage and supplement industries are paying registered dietitians that collectively have millions of social media followers to sell products and advocate for questionable nutrition info on Instagram and TikTok, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by The Washington Post and The Examination, a new nonprofit newsroom specializing in global public health reporting. These dieticians are promoting candy, ice cream, diet soda and sugar, and downplaying the health risks of highly processed foods while pushing unproven supplements—messages that run counter to decades of scientific evidence about healthy eating. The analysis studied thousands of posts.
High blood pressure is the world’s biggest killer. Now the WHO has a plan to tackle it–Wired, September 19, 2023
A new report from the World Health Organization reveals that a third of all adults worldwide now have hypertension (double the numbers from 1990). Once considered a disease of the affluent, three-fourths of people with hypertension reside in low- and middle-income nations. Nearly half have no idea they have the condition and four-fifths aren’t getting adequate treatment to control it. The WHO wants nations to get organized to combat it and has laid out its first plan to conquer the killer condition.
Saudi Arabia is dangling billions for research on aging. Scientists are lining up to take it–The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2023
Vast oil wealth has enabled Saudi Arabia to establish dominant roles in everything from global sports to tech startups. The kingdom’s next target may be its most ambitious yet: extending the human lifespan. It plans to put more than $1 billion (about $3 per person in the US) a year into global efforts on longevity by a group called the Hevolution Foundation. This is causing a stir among longevity scientists, and for some, some hesitation. “People in the field are kind of holding their breath to see how the money is going to be spent.” Initially more of the money will go to research at Western universities but the goal is for an even split with investments into antiaging startups.
The beauty of a silent walk–The New York Times, September 23, 2023
No talking. No podcasts. No music. Just some time alone with your thoughts. The silent walk is TikTok’s latest wellness obsession, a blend of meditation and exercise. Unlike the similarly trendy “hot girl walk,” a four-mile odyssey that requires goal-setting and giving thanks, the silent walk does not involve multitasking. There is no agenda other than to set one foot in front of the other and take note of the world around you. The fact that the silent walk is nothing new has attracted a chorus of critics: “Gen Z thinks it just invented walking,” they say. But as radically simple wellness trends take off, it’s a testament to just how much sanity we have lost.
A Striking Stat:
The wealthiest 10% of Americans are responsible for 40% of its planet-heating pollution; the top 1% for 15-17% of this pollution.