Obesity: Addressing the Causes and Health Costs Associated with Rising Rates of Disease Associated with Our Diet


The United States population is currently facing the worst health crisis that it has ever seen. The obesity epidemic now directly affects at least one-third of our population, with the average American now carrying roughly twenty-three extra pounds of weight (Fulkerson, 2011). Yet, the discomfort suffered by carrying around these extra pounds is not the only negative side effect associated with this drastic increase in weight gain. Exponential increases in a variety of chronic, life threatening disease have also occurred in the past twenty years, with the most alarming statistics being seen in our children. Children as young as the age of four are now being classified as obese and diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension, diseases that traditionally have only ever affected aging adults. These facts clearly prove that something drastic needs to be done to save our citizens (Moss, 2).

The main causes of obesity can be directly tied to the food that we eat. Since the 1950s, food corporations have greatly increased the amount of refined and highly processed foods used in their products. These ingredients, while being highly toxic for your health, masks themselves by being highly enjoyable to one’s sense of taste, as well as tricking our brain into thinking that we need to eat more of them in order to become satisfied. However, it is not only our reliance on these highly processed foods that is causing our health problems. An increased consumption of animal based products can also be linked to this rise in disease. Overall, it cannot be denied that it is our diet that is the primary culprit behind our failing health.

The only way to fix this problem is by educating our population. Many individuals have no idea that the ingredients in their favorite foods are actually toxic to them. There also needs to be an increase in physician nutrition education, as most physicians today receive barely any nutritional training in medical school, a key tool that could be used in the prevention of disease. While it would be beneficial if such ingredients were banned from the food market all together, realistically this is unlikely to occur. Therefore, it is crucial that we focus on the low cost alternative of educating our population in order to solve this epidemic.

Decriminalizing Addiction


The War on Drugs has been raging on since the 1970s when President Nixon declared drugs as America’s Public Enemy Number One. Since then Reagan increased the efforts against with a popular “tough on crime attitude” in which drug users, addicts, and traffickers alike were all treated as serious criminals. America now incarcerates more of its population per capita than any other sovereign nation in history. America’s jailing of its people has gotten to a point where the private prison industry is a lucrative and ever-expanding market; but if so many of our “criminals” are in correctional facilities, then why then does the United States of America still have the biggest drug use problem in the world?

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Using tools such as empirical data, academic journals, economic ideologies, and utilitarian philosophy it is easy to see that the current “tough on crime” system the United States uses to combat drug use is plain not working. Mass incarcerations have led to fraudulent, corrupt, unethical and amoral private prison corporations and the suppression of America’s weakest peoples. Meanwhile, across the pond, countries like Portugal are experiencing great success with the decriminalization of drugs. The United States Government needs to acknowledge the flaws of its current system and acknowledge the potential of decriminalization.

Check out this website to learn more and be sure to read my white paper!

http://www.thehouseilivein.org/

https://sites.google.com/a/bucknell.edu/biz-gov-soc/research-for-white-papers/white-paper-archives-or-sources/DecrimAddiction.Berman.docx

The (Low)lights of Los Angeles


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Have you ever been to Los Angeles? No, I’m not talking about Hollywood, the Staples Center, or Universal Studios. I’m talking about Downtown LA. As someone who grew up in New York City and still frequents there often, I was astounded by the stark differences between the two cities when I took a family trip to LA last summer. Continue reading

Virtualization of Education


Education, policy, and the future; these are all facets which this white paper aims to address by illustrating a lifestyle that is not so far off. The reader of this paper will better understand the possibilities of where education can go, understand what technologies are already out there to support those directions, and what schools and corporations are already doing to capitalize on the possibilities offered to this sector. Furthermore, the reader should better understand that the changes that need to be made to make way for this type of education are not just technological, but behavioral and political, as the landscape of education could change drastically.

To help explain what benefits lie ahead for a culture that adapts, the paper goes into what has already been proven through the use of virtual learning techniques and the effects that it can have on society. For example, it has been proven that while students only retain 10% of what they read, they retain 90% of what they do, even if it is a simulation. This means that schools, from Kindergarten to higher education, can use these simulations to increase the learning ability of their students. Along with the many opportunities offered to the education sector, technology poses as a huge enabler for new forms of innovation in the corporate world which can have much longer lasting and impactful effects on society.

At the end of the day, this paper shows that the speed at which education through this medium advances is the result of how open policy makers and everyday citizens are to the changes being made. This paper should serve as a starting point for anyone making a decision on whether or not to try these new methods and technologies.

Discussion Questions From Class Leadership – The Weekend That Changed Wall Street


As promised, here are the discussion questions we addressed at the end of my teaching session.

1.What would you have done differently in the shoes of Dick Fuld?
2.Do you think Lehman Brothers should have been bailed out? Why or why not?
3.Who is really to blame for the economic troubles following Lehman’s collapse?
4.Are we in danger of repeating our mistakes? How can we prevent them from happening again?
5.Any other points you want to talk about