New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, left, speaks while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks on during a news conference in March 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The man who led Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war on sugar, salt and fat in New York City is coming to Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney named him to lead the Department of Public Health on Monday morning.
Thomas A. Farley is known by critics for a brand of “dietary paternalism” that gets the government involved in the food and drink choices of its citizens — but is praised by admirers for helping New York dramatically increase the life expectancy of its residents.
Remember when New York tried to limit the size of sugary soda drinks that could be purchased? That was Farley’s brainchild.
“Dr. Farley’s ‘out-of-the-box approach’ to public health, along with his medical expertise and his experience running one of the largest health departments in the nation will make him a valuable asset to Philadelphia,” Kenney said in a statement announcing Farley’s appointment. Read more »
Map by RTI International
Philadelphia has the second-highest rate of obesity among the 10 counties containing the nation’s largest cities, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 68 percent of adults — and 41 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 — are overweight or obese.
Obesity is a more serious concern in certain parts of the city than in others. In North Philly, for instance, the CDC found that nearly 70 percent of kids are overweight or obese. That’s almost double the national average.
The nonprofit RTI International put together a map showing where obesity is more prevalent in Philadelphia and other regions. In the image above, redder colors signify higher rates of obesity among the adult population, while bluer colors indicate lower rates. Read more »
They say this city can kill you. Well now we have proof.
The Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project has released a report called “Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District” in which they measure health, access to knowledge and living standards within the country’s 435 congressional districts as well as Washington, D.C. Only a few states get called out for special notice, and wouldn’t you know it, Pennsylvania is one of them.
There’s a special section called “A Tale of Two Districts: Life Expectancy in Pennsylvania.” The reason the state gets special attention is because it’s an outlier in terms of the health metric, and not in a good way. “Only four districts outside the South have life expectancies of less than 76 years,” the report reads, and one of those is Pennsylvania Congressional District 2, shown at left, which covers much of West Philly, and other surrounding neighborhoods. The average life expectancy in this district is 75.6 years, to be precise, which is several years below the national average. Read more »
UPDATE: According to multiple reports, the Health Department has indicated that the person did not, in fact, test positive for measles.
If you were at the Please Touch Museum on Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health says you may have been exposed to the measles. Read more »
Courtesy: Philly Bike Share
When Philly Bike Share goes online this spring, the bicycles will offer a unique feature: Pedal-powered lights. The idea? Safety.
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NewsWorks reports that flu season is under way and looking to be a doozy:
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If you’re reading this article right now on Phillymag.com, you are probably not at risk for catching Ebola. You are likely in the area, and no one in Philadelphia has been diagnosed with the virus. But today Mayor Michael Nutter said Philadelphians are in no danger of contracting the virus right now. And he says Philly is prepared if any cases show up here.
The mayor also urged residents not to discriminate against Philadelphians from West African countries — where the outbreak has killed more than 4,500. Philadelphia has a large West African population living in Southwest Philadelphia.
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A new study by Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that America’s obesity epidemic might be more influenced by a lack of exercise than excess calorie consumption, the LA Times reports. The research shows that while obesity has risen in the past 22 years, the amount of time we spend exercising has taken a major dive.
In 2010, 52 percent of women and 43 percent of men reported doing no exercise in their free time, up from 19 percent and 11 percent in 1998. But here’s the kicker: The number of calories we consume has remained the same.
Read more »
I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you, but we are in the middle of a serious heat wave. With temps in the city crawling up to triple-digits today, plus humidity, anyone who steps foot outside for more than a few minutes is bound to be a sweaty, sticky mess. I, for one, am no fan of the heat. This is my first summer in Philly, and I’m thoroughly accustomed to the Northern way of receding into air conditioning until there’s snow on the ground. Turning into a sweaty disaster on my five-minute walk to the train is a brand-new phenomena for me, and one that I’m not exactly loving.
But did you know that all that sweat is actually healthy? Here, I found six science-backed reasons that being a sweaty pig actually is good for you. (Just don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!) It sure isn’t going to transform me into a summer-lover, but it might help me sleep just the tiniest bit better in my unairconditioned apartment tonight. In the meantime, if you have an igloo I can borrow, let me know. Read more »
Shoppist readers can get a discount on Boot Camp tix!
If you’re a fitness and health buff in Philly, then you probably already know about Be Well Philly Boot Camp, our sister site’s major health and fitness event that takes place in just a few weeks. And if you’re not so tuned in to what’s happening in the workout world, well, here are the details in a nutshell:
- Workouts: Indoor and outdoor fitness classes
- Speakers: Tips, inspiration and helpful info from experts
- Cooking demos: gluten-free foods, juicing, and how to prepare healthful means on the go
- Running clinic: get your gait analyzed by the pros
- Freebies: samples and shopping from top wellness brands
- When: Saturday, June 7th, from 9am to 2pm, at the Drexel Recreation Center (women only!)
Sounds pretty good, right? Tickets are on sale now and are $35, but we’ve got a way for you to score them on the cheap.