Articles on Public health

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Fluoridated water is the best drink option for children, but a new study has found many are consuming sugary drinks instead. Wouter van Doorn

Study supports calls for soft drink health warning

Soft drink health warnings should include advice on the risk of tooth decay, say researchers from the University of Adelaide…
No-smoking signs may actually prompt smokers to smoke. Mykl Roventine/Flickr

Anti-smoking signs may cause people to reach for cigarettes

In 1863, Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear – and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.” According to a recent experiment…
Many Australians are concerned about whether coal seam gas extraction will affect the quality of their water. Jeremy Buckingham MLC

Dealing with the health risks of unconventional gas

Community concerns over unconventional gas (shale and coal seam) mining in Australia are increasing. These concerns relate to water and air pollution, land usage, fugitive emissions and to inadequate assessment…
Urban environments are increasingly bombarding us with unhealthy food choices. John Walker

Rethinking how we live to stop the chronic diseases epidemic

We are in the midst of a global epidemic of chronic diseases – diabetes, heart disease, cancers and respiratory disease are on the rise across the world. Posing a real and increasing threat to health and…
It’s easy to claim “wind turbine syndrome” exists, but where’s the evidence? Snurb

There’s still no evidence that wind farms harm your health

Back in July I wrote an article for the The Conversation arguing that wind turbine syndrome was a classic “communicated” disease: it spreads by being talked about, and is therefore a strong candidate for…
Coal mining in NSW’s Hunter region co-exists with wine growing, racehorse breeding, dairy and other pastoral industries. Jo Schmaltz

Coal industry thriving, but at what social and health cost?

If you believe industry propaganda, coal mining is a panacea not only for economic ills but also for smoothing troubled social waters. But a lack of local evidence about the health impact of the coal industry…
Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announcing job cuts in his department on September 7, 2012. AAP

Censoring public health in Queensland - a dangerous precedent?

Beyond the recent publicity around cuts to health and other portfolios, something deeply disturbing – even sinister – is occurring in Queensland. The state government is implementing health policies on…
Political responses to obesity have been more about creating a spectacle of “doing something” than solving the problem. Bruce A Stockwell

Why we’re losing the battle of the bulge: the politics of obesity prevention

There’s no doubt that obesity has received considerable political attention over the past decade. But data recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Australians are losing…
Reduced ozone means increased UV radiation, and that leads to skin cancer. Tracey Lawson

Saving the ozone layer saved human lives

SAVING THE OZONE: Part seven in our series exploring on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – dubbed “the world’s most successful environmental agreement” – explains how the…
The blogosphere is a sewer of frothing, often anonymous, swill. Flickr/joeshoe

Hate mail and cyber trolls: the view from inside public health

The Charlotte Dawson troll saga shocked many Australians, with revelations of vile tweets, death threats and online intimidation. Nobody should have to endure this kind of abuse, but unfortunately it’s…
Why hasn’t human health been considered in the push for expanded coal facilities? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Newcastle’s T4 project puts short-term profit before health

A massive expansion of Newcastle’s coal export terminal has been proposed by Port Waratah Coal Services. Approval is likely soon, but the expansion’s effect on human health has been ignored in the project’s…
The combination of more access and busier lifestyles has likely contributed to increasing consumption of fast food. Ben Weston

Fast food v councils: the battle for hearts, minds and bellies

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has just finished hearing submissions in a case against McDonald’s opening an outlet in the town of Tecoma. The case is part of a growing trend of…

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