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Harmful physical and social environments — Our impact

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Fine particulate air pollution linked with increased autism risk

For immediate release: December 18, 2014 Boston, MA — Women exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter specifically during pregnancy—particularly during the third trimester—may face up to twice the risk of having a child with autism than mothers living in areas…

Simple preventive measures may help stem Ebola

December 5, 2014 – The rush to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in the last few months has generated years’ worth of new information about the previously little understood infectious disease, including simple but effective prevention measures, according to Lindsey…

A wide-angle view of global health

Humanity has made huge achievements in health, but has a long way to go. That’s the message in an article by Harvard School of Public Health’s David Bloom in the December 2014 issue of Finance & Development (F&D)—the quarterly magazine of the…

Parenting skills training on Thai-Burmese border

A research project conducted among migrant and displaced Burmese families on the Thai-Burmese border found that, even in adverse situations, brief interventions can improve parenting practices, caregiver-child relationships, and family functioning, and can reduce child behavior problems. The study also found that…

Trans fats linked to memory damage

A new study shows that eating trans fats may be associated with memory loss, according to a study presented last week at the American Heart Association scientific sessions. Trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and vegetable shortening, were included…

Police face higher risk of sudden cardiac death during stressful duties

For immediate release: November 18, 2014 Boston, MA — Police officers in the United States face roughly 30 to 70 times higher risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) when they’re involved in stressful situations—suspect restraints, altercations, or chases—than when they’re involved in…

A mother's crusade for clean water

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] In 1972, Anne Anderson’s life changed forever. Her 3-year-old son Jimmy, the youngest of her three children, was diagnosed with leukemia—and other children who lived nearby were suffering from leukemia, too. “Everywhere I went—to the library, to the…

For India’s children, poor sanitation affects growth

Malnutrition and stunted growth impacts both wealthy and poor children in India, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researcher SV Subramanian said at an international research conference held November 10-12, 2014 in New Delhi. The conference, entitled Stop Stunting, was sponsored by…

Cutting crime in a cocaine capital

The city of Cali, Colombia—considered the hub of the world’s cocaine industry in the 1980s—is now a safer, better place to live, even as drug gangs continue to war with each other, thanks to the efforts of Rodrigo Guerrero, a Harvard School…

Helping doctors talk to patients about guns

Doctors don’t have good ways to talk to their patients about guns—and that’s why an upcoming conference aimed at helping them do so is important, according to David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Hemenway was quoted in an…

Rolling back school lunch nutrition standards a bad idea

Congressional efforts to undermine school lunch nutrition standards implemented in 2012 could threaten progress in the fight against childhood obesity, according to an opinion piece in the October 29, 2014 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Critics of the standards, including some…

Mass shootings becoming more frequent

The rate of mass shootings in the United States has tripled since 2011, according to a new analysis by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University. In the last three years, there have been 14 mass shootings—defined as public…

Healthy lifestyle may cut gestational diabetes cases by half

Healthy lifestyle habits—maintaining a normal weight, not smoking, and staying physically active—may help prevent about half of all diabetes cases that develop in pregnant women, according to a new study. Looking at data from more than 14,000 American women, the researchers found…

Power plant standards could save thousands of U.S. lives every year

New study from Harvard, Syracuse, and Boston University scientists links strong carbon standards to substantial reductions in air pollution and widespread health benefits For immediate release: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Boston, MA -- Power plant standards to cut climate-changing carbon emissions will…

Premature deaths could be reduced by 40%

The number of premature deaths worldwide could be reduced by 40% by 2030 with political commitment and sustained international efforts, according to a new study in The Lancet. The study suggests that half of all deaths under age 50 and a third…

Mercury exposure may cause birds to change their tune

The amount of methylmercury, a neurotoxin, in the earth’s atmosphere has quadrupled since the days before industrialization, and its toxic effects are changing the songs being sung by birds in the area of Waynesboro, Virginia. An article in Environmental Health News explores…

Low-fat or low-carb? It may not matter

Two new studies are weighing in on the ongoing debate about whether the best diet is low-fat or low-carbohydrate, but Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition expert Frank Hu says that no one diet can claim to be best for everyone.…

Instant noodle consumption linked to heart risk in women

Women who consume instant noodles frequently were found to be more likely to have metabolic syndrome—the group of risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes—according to a new…

Friends, family can influence your weight—for good or bad

Efforts to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle can be influenced positively—or negatively—by people closest to you, including your friends, family, spouse, and co-workers, according to Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chair of the Department…

Do women talk more than men?

Research could lead to better picture of patients facing mood disorders July 23, 2014 — It’s a common stereotype that women talk more than men. But a new study suggests that context is the key to whether or not that is actually…

The cost of childhood obesity

July 22, 2014 -- What’s the most cost-effective way to prevent childhood obesity? Is it by taxing sugary beverages? Requiring more physical education classes in schools? Eliminating the corporate tax deduction for marketing and advertising when it comes to food and beverage…

Overcoming inequality by improving Internet access

July 22, 2014 — Health and wealth are intimately connected. In the United States, people with lower incomes and less education are more likely to smoke, to be overweight, and to be less healthy. One reason for this may be the divide…

‘Green’ buildings appear to boost health of low-income residents

Residents of low-income housing appear to get a boost in health from living in “green” buildings that are built with eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient features, according to a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study. The researchers, led by Meryl Colton of…

Vasectomy may increase risk of aggressive prostate cancer

For immediate release: Monday, July 7, 2014 Boston, MA -- Vasectomy was associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health…

Cyclists breathe easier on their own paths

June 27, 2014 — Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average. To help urban planners continue to…

Solvent exposure may cause long-term brain damage

Workers exposed to solvents may continue to experience cognitive difficulties decades later, according to new findings by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues. In a study of retired male utility workers, the researchers found evidence of damage to thinking…

Older American workers more depressed after layoff than Europeans

Laid-off U.S. workers aged 50–64 are more likely to be depressed than their European counterparts, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues. The researchers found that job loss was related to a 4.8% increase…

FDA’s plan to issue salt guidelines for food industry is good news

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it will issue a proposal to the food industry aimed at encouraging voluntary sodium reductions in products. That’s good news, wrote Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of…

Harvard Public Health article on guns and suicide wins top award

A spring 2013 Harvard Public Health magazine article titled “Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll” has won the Grand Gold Award for Best Article of the Year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The article topped 74 other…

Nutrition is a balancing act

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition expert Walter Willett spoke about the value of fruits and vegetables during an interview with CBS Boston that aired June 5, 2014. Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chair of the…

Fighting bacteria with nanotechnology

Nanoparticles with microbial properties have proven effective in fighting bacteria; however, some may cause health risks to humans such as damage to the lungs. But now, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have developed a technique for making nanoparticles safer…

Politics & Beyond

[ Spring 2013 ] Gun violence is one of the most politically divisive issues in the United States--and this contentiousness has played out in government funding of research. In 1993, a study supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found…

The Gun Shop Project

[ Spring 2013 ] In April 2009, over a five-day period, two young men and an older woman in New Hampshire each bought handguns from Riley's Sport Shop in Hooksett and within hours committed suicide. The victims did not know each other. Soon, as…

Starting a Conversation

[ Spring 2013 ] To foster open discussion about the consequences of gun ownership, public health researchers want to know much more about the lure of guns. Why do people own guns in the first place? How do they perceive the risks and benefits?…

Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll

[ Spring 2013 ] Survivor profiles "He was struggling with nightmares." Emily Frazier's 21-year-old husband, Ryan Frazier, shot himself with a semiautomatic in November 2008, soon after bringing a lawsuit against a priest who had molested him during his teenage years. Emily, pregnant at…

Coal burning, road dust most toxic air particles

A new Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) air pollution study of millions of deaths from heart disease, lung disorders, and other causes in 75 American cities found that the effect of particles on mortality rates was about 75% higher in cities…

Keeping workers safe from health hazards on the job

September 16, 2013 -- Harvard School of Public Health’s Education and Research Center (ERC) for Occupational Safety and Health has been awarded a five-year, $1.8 million per year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety…

Reducing risk of head and neck pain from tablet computer use

January 26, 2012 -- People worldwide have been buying up tablet computers—small, thin devices such as Apple’s iPad--in droves, partly because of their ease of use and portability. However, little is known about the potential for tablet users to experience the same kinds…

Construction workers struggle with pain, stress from injuries

October 28, 2013 – Construction workers are frequently stressed about work-related injuries and pain and often fail to seek help, putting themselves at risk for more injuries and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and even suicide, according to a new study…

Leave potatoes out of federal food program

Food vouchers and baskets provided through WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) should continue to exclude white potatoes, according to a column co-authored by Eric Rimm, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of…

Survey explores communication during West Virginia water crisis

Elena Savoia, research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics and deputy director of the HSPH Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, was recently interviewed on WOWK-TV in Huntington, West Virginia about crisis communication around the state’s winter 2014 water crisis, in which…

Harvard Public Health Magazine Extra: Social Capital & Health

April 2014 - Roseto, Pennsylvania was settled by Italian immigrants who were found to have astonishingly low rates of heart disease in the 1950s. Ichiro Kawachi, chair of HSPH's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, explains why Roseto is a cautionary tale…

FDA regulation of e-cigarettes eyed

Hillel Alpert, research scientist in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), was interviewed by CBS Boston (WBZ-TV) about the April 2014 proposal by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for regulating electronic cigarettes.…

The nano state

[ Spring 2014 ] Can tiny engineered particles help protect us from infectious disease? Hotel rooms, subway cars, offices, airplanes, cruise ships: to most people, the air they breathe inside these places seems benign, if sometimes stuffy and stale. But viewed through the lens…

Where's the salt?

[ Spring 2014 ] People across the globe are consuming far more sodium than is healthy, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Cambridge. In 181 of 187 countries (constituting 99.2% of the…

High school students gain insight into public health careers

May 13, 2014 — Don’t take your toilet and clean drinking water for granted. In many parts of the world, good sanitation systems don’t exist and the consequences—such as deadly outbreaks of waterborne infectious diseases—can be devastating, emergency medicine physician Miriam Aschkenasy,…

No mental health benefit from fish oil

In spite of conventional wisdom that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can protect against depression, a large new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found no such benefit. Researchers examined the link between suicide and fatty acid intake…

Blood pressure may rise in neighbors of foreclosed homes

Neighbors of foreclosed homes may face an elevated risk of high blood pressure, according to findings by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues. A study of 1,750 Massachusetts residents participating in the long-running Framingham Heart Study from 1987 through…

HSPH goes Hollywood with Fed Up film screening

“There are 600,000 food items in America. Eighty percent of them have added sugar,” according to the new film Fed Up, which was screened at Harvard School of Public Health on April 23, 2014 in Kresge G3. The exclusive advanced screening event…

Rising CO2 poses significant threat to human nutrition

For immediate release: May 7, 2014 Boston, MA — At the elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 anticipated by around 2050, crops that provide a large share of the global population with most of their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly reduced…

Report compares dietary fat intake among countries

April 17, 2014—Harvard School of Public Health researchers and colleagues have compiled the first global data on dietary intakes of specific fats worldwide. The report compares the intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats, omega 3s, and other fats and oils among…

Improving the pollution-mortality link

Harvard, MIT researchers show the need for an improved approach to measuring pollution’s effects on human health For immediate release: Thursday, April 17, 2014 Boston, MA – As the nation celebrates the 45th Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, researchers from…

More TV watching may mean less sleep for children

A study that followed more than 1,800 children from ages 6 months to nearly 8 years found a small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration. The report, by investigators at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and…

Deadly environments

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] On a October afternoon in 1948, daylight barely trickled into the storefronts of Donora, Pennsylvania. Stagnant weather had trapped a noxious black cloud of emissions from nearby steel and zinc plants above the town, nestled in a valley…

Chefs and scientists partner to promote healthy, sustainable food

Harvard School of Public Health nutrition researchers teamed with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 2013 to create the Menus of Change initiative, which integrates the latest findings from both nutrition and environmental science into a single set of recommendations for…

Fats: Controversy and Consensus

Fats have been in the news recently following a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine questioning recommendations on limiting saturated fat intake, which was covered by many media outlets, including by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman in a column…

Guns, public health, and politics

Because the White House’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, tweeted in 2012 that “guns are a health care issue,” the gun lobby took issue and Murthy’s nomination is now in jeopardy. But [[David Hemenway]] of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)…

Federal regulations on chemicals in environment need overhaul

Federal policies regulating the sea of industrial chemicals we encounter in everyday life—and new ones being formulated in laboratories—are “broken” and in need of urgent overhaul to better protect our brains from harmful toxins, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researcher…

Impact of fluoride on neurological development in children

July 25, 2012 -- For years health experts have been unable to agree on whether fluoride in the drinking water may be toxic to the developing human brain. Extremely high levels of fluoride are known to cause neurotoxicity in adults, and negative…

Chefs and doctors team up to promote healthy cooking

Doctors, dieticians, and chefs gathered March 13-16, 2014 for the annual Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference in Napa Valley, Calif. The event, a collaboration between Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Culinary Institute of America, provides health professionals with the…

Angry outbursts appear to boost heart attack, stroke risk

People who have angry outbursts appear to be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially within the first two hours of an outburst, according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and…

SNAP reform could make program healthier

According to recent Harvard School of Public Health research, people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits actually see their health get worse. HSPH nutrition expert Walter Willett appeared on the WGBH television show “Greater Boston” to talk about this problem…

Prostate cancer: surgery vs. watchful waiting

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Boston, MA -- More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year in the United States, but determining their course of treatment remains a source of considerable debate. A new study by…

Sodium intake in U.S.

Adam Bernstein, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition, discusses sodium intake in the U.S. adult population. December 10, 2010 (3:04) Please click the player icon above to play this podcast in your browser. Alternatively, you may download the podcast in mp3 format…

Media and tobacco use

K. "Vish" Viswanath, Associate Professor of Society, Human Development and Health, on the role of media in promoting and reducing tobacco use. (Duration: 5:37, October, 2008) Please click the player icon above to play this podcast in your browser. Alternatively, you may…

The Triangle Factory fire and workplace safety regulations

On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics David Christiani talks about how the tragedy mobilized government officials and the public to strengthen workplace safety regulations. He also talks about Alice Hamilton,…

A healthier diet for $1.50 more per day

The price of eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts averages around $1.50 per day more than a less-healthy diet, according to research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the…

Heart disease

[Winter 2009] The impact of genetics, stress, and lifestyle: Q & A with Eric Rimm Every heart attack survivor has a story to tell. Harvard School of Public Health Leadership Council member Rick Smith's is a tale of good fortune. There is no history…

Arku's journey

[ Fall 2012 ] Raphael Arku should have been on top of the world. There he was, in his early 20s, a geologist for a gold mining company, a job with prestige and money—neither of which he’d ever had before. The second…

Binge drinking

[Winter 2009] Harvard College Alcohol Study calls for changes at U.S. Schools Fed up with their inability to deter underage students from binge drinking on campus, 120 U.S. college presidents proposed this past summer to open up a national debate about the…

Stealth tobacco

[ Spring 2009 ] Products Designed to Evade Control Can't smoke on an airplane, but still crave tobacco? Tobacco companies have come up with a solution for you: a pill that is packaged like a Tic Tac. With cigarette sales declining and the threat…

Prevailing winds

[ Fall 2012 ] A decades-long fight to bring clean air standards in line with environmental health science offers lessons for today. On a raw January day in Washington, DC, Douglas Dockery climbed Capitol Hill on his way to testify to Congress…

Happiness & health

[ Winter 2011] The biology of emotion—and what it may teach us about helping people to live longer Could a sunny outlook mean fewer colds and less heart disease? Do hope and curiosity somehow protect against hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections? Do…

Health & how we live

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] In the last 100 years, we have changed the way we live—what we eat and drink, whether and how much we exercise, how we drive, what we inhale. Our shifting lifestyles contribute not only to heart disease but…

Getting the lead out

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] “Every time you fill up your car with gasoline, you can think of Joel Schwartz,” William Reilly, former administrator of the EPA, remarked several years ago. That’s because Schwartz, professor of environmental epidemiology, is the man behind a…

Accentuating the positive

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] It’s an all too common scene: A girl looks at a photo in a fashion magazine and compares the model’s thin, airbrushed figure to her own rounder shape. She tells her friend, “I am so fat. I hate…

Where DNA meets daily life

[Fall 2010] The intersection of genes and the environment is the new target of public health research. Red hair is a genetically determined trait. And when redheads with Celtic roots move to sun-drenched countries near the equator, their risk of skin cancer…

Employer health incentives

[Winter 2009] Employee wellness programs prod workers to adopt healthy lifestyles A Massachusetts man lost his job at a Scotts Miracle-Gro lawn and garden center in 2006 when a routine drug test came back positive. The finding: nicotine. Company leaders were cracking…

Public housing, private vice

[Fall 2010] Should smoking be banned in people’s homes? Smoking is banned in the common areas of Yelena Lantsman’s home, a public-housing high-rise for the elderly in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she has lived for the last eighteen years. But it is not…

Protecting workers’ health

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Throughout the School’s history, researchers have sought to keep workers safe and workplaces healthy. From pioneering efforts exposing the adverse effects of early-20th-century factory life to current studies on the heart health of firefighters, HSPH researchers have uncovered…

Women, welfare & human rights

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] HSPH student examines government policies and social forces that affect the sexual and reproductive health of women. Should poor women on welfare have additional babies while receiving cash assistance? In the wake of welfare reform in 1996, some U.S. policymakers…

Tales from a long relationship

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] What would become one of the largest and most important cohort studies examining the role of environment and behavior on disease began modestly in 1976, when a small group of researchers from HSPH, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham…

Deadly occupation, forged report

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] In the early 1920s, workers at U.S. Radium Corporation’s luminous watch dial factory were mysteriously falling ill and dying. Eager to halt a mounting scandal, company President Arthur Roeder contacted industrial hygiene expert Cecil Drinker to investigate. Drinker,…

Can neighborhoods hurt our health?

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] A single mother living in public housing may want to feed her children healthy food, but if the nearest affordable grocery store is a crowded bus ride or expensive taxi trip away, that goal may feel unattainable. At…

Adding years to life--and life to years

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Today, it’s conventional wisdom and a scientific truism that regular exercise is one of the healthiest habits around. But public health researchers weren’t always so certain that physical fitness was essential. One of the first to scientifically document…

Plastics: Danger where we least expect it

[Winter 2010] They hold your water, line your canned goods, and even help save sick babies. But are the potential health risks of certain plastics so great they outweigh the benefits? In the United States, local and state governments are banning the…

Public health takes aim at sugar and salt

[Fall 2009] The war on obesity and other lifestyle ills has opened a new battlefront: the fight against sugar and salt. It may be a fight for our lives. In the last few years, evidence has mounted that too much of these appealing ingredients—often invisibly…

Shrinking the effects of the obesity epidemic

[ Winter 2011] If we can’t stop Americans from getting heavier, can we at least develop drugs that prevent them from getting sick with obesity-related diseases? The research career of Gökhan Hotamisligil, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Genetics and…

Cancer is on the rise in developing countries

[Fall 2009] by Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD Dean, Harvard School of Public Health While it's well known that cancer is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, what is less recognized and understood is the significant growth of cancer in the developing…

Obesity in China portends a diabetic disaster

[ Spring 2009 ] Like a runaway train, type 2 diabetes is speeding through many rapidly developing countries, including China. Could a seemingly simple change in diet—from white rice to brown rice—slow the spread of this disease? Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) hope…

Navigating health on the information superhighway

[Fall 2009] Researcher removes roadblocks for people with limited income and literacy With debate over unequal access to health care raging in the U.S., one place where the racial and economic divide in health is greatest is getting scant attention: the Internet.…

Tallying the true costs of controversial energy sources

[ Spring 2013 ] What are the real costs of recent and controversial energy technologies such as extracting oil from tar sands or using hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from shale? What are the far-reaching expenses, in terms of money, damage to the…

Combatting the health consequences of poverty and stress

[Fall 2009] Couple's combined expertise forges new directions for treatment On their way to school one morning, two middle-school boys skirted a crime scene where a high-schooler lay dead, shot just a few minutes earlier while waiting at a bus stop. By…

Nanoscience and health: Tiny technology raises big questions

[ Fall 2011 ] The year-old Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at HSPH (dubbed the Nano-Center) draws on the School's long history of studying air particles and their public health impacts. After more than two decades developing methods that have become industry standard for…

Unlocking the secrets of drug resistance in malaria parasites

[ Fall 2011 ] New Gene Search Tool Opens “Endless Possibilities” During a half-century of global efforts to conquer malaria, scientists have developed a series of antimalarial drugs, only to see them defanged, one by one, by the shape-shifting parasite’s ability to…

John Briscoe offers bold, unorthodox ideas for managing scarce water

[Fall 2009] What do people in developing nations understand about water that people in wealthy nations do not? "They understand the absence of it," says John Briscoe, newly appointed Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health at HSPH.  If it doesn't rain, women who haul…

New scholarship supports doctoral students in nutrition, honors Willett

[ Fall 2012 ] Prajna—a Sanskrit word that conveys ultimate wisdom—is the name of a new scholarship for doctoral students in the HSPH Department of Nutrition that was established to recognize the leadership and distinction of the department’s chair, Walter Willett. The first Prajna…

Growing number of chemicals linked with brain disorders in children

For immediate release: Friday, February 14, 2014 Boston, MA – Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children—such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia—according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and…

Fire safe cigarette law in Massachusetts linked to drop in house fires

For immediate release: February 13, 2014 Boston, MA – A six-year-old Massachusetts law requiring that only “fire-safe” cigarettes (FSCs) be sold in the state appears to decrease the likelihood of unintentional residential fires caused by cigarettes by 28%, according to a new…

Chronic stress takes a toll on the young

For very young children, growing up in a chronically stressful situation can lead to difficulties in school and poor health later in life, new research suggests. To offset these by-products of “toxic stress” in the most at-risk children, [[Jack Shonkoff]] of Harvard…

Harvard researchers launch Healthy Eating Plate

Guide to eating a healthy meal based on latest science addresses shortcomings in U.S. government’s MyPlate For immediate release: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 Boston, MA — Nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in conjunction with colleagues at Harvard Health…

Use of common pesticide linked to bee colony collapse

For immediate release: Thursday, April 5, 2012 Boston, MA – The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health…

Gun access heightens risk of suicide, murder

A new study finds that people with access to a gun are three times more likely to commit suicide and almost twice as likely to be murdered. David Hemenway of Harvard School of Public Health—who wrote an editorial in the Annals of…

Improve education to boost global economy

Despite progress made in educational systems in recent decades, over 100 million children are not enrolled in primary or lower-secondary school, and many of those who do attend lack basic reading and writing skills, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Meanwhile,…

Boosting vitamin D could reduce severity of multiple sclerosis

For immediate release: Monday, January 20, 2014 Boston, MA -- For patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), low levels of vitamin D were found to strongly predict disease severity and hasten its progression, according to a new study led…

New poll finds diabetes top health concern for Latino families

For immediate release: January 21, 2014 Princeton, N.J. – A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health poll was released today on the views of Latinos in America about their health and health care, communities, financial situation, and discrimination in…

Foods identified as ‘whole grain’ not always healthy

New Standard Needed to Help Consumers, Organizations Choose Foods Rich in Whole Grains For immediate release: Thursday, January 10, 2013 Boston, MA – Current standards for classifying foods as “whole grain” are inconsistent and, in some cases, misleading, according to a new…

Drinking coffee may reduce risk of suicide in adults

Caffeine impact on brain chemicals may play role July 24, 2013 — Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50%, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health…

Popular South African street drug may contain HIV medication

Antiretroviral resistance could increase if untreated HIV-infected individuals exposed to antiretroviral medication August 28, 2013 — A new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) calls attention to a new street drug being used in South Africa. Known as…

Graphic warnings on cigarettes effective across demographic groups

Disadvantaged Groups Stand to Benefit from Hard-Hitting Tobacco Warnings For immediate release: Monday, January 14, 2013 Washington, D.C. – Quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution for Americans each year, but research has repeatedly shown it is not an easy task.…

Our plate

May 2012 -- Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate differs in important ways from the U.S. government’s MyPlate. Watch this video to see how using our plate to guide your diet can make your whole family healthier.

Sugary drinks

May 2012 -- Most people now know that drinking soda increases obesity. But did you know that taking soda out of schools can have far-reaching effects? Watch this video to find out how.

The Curley School

May 2012 -- The kids at Boston’s Curley K-8 School aren’t just learning about healthy food in the classroom—with the help of Harvard School of Public Health, they’re loving it in the lunchroom. Watch this video to see what a difference a…

An ounce of prevention

May 2012 -- White rice is loved the world over—but too much of it is linked to skyrocketing rates of diabetes. Watch this video to see how ambitious interventions by Harvard School of Public Health researchers are making diets much healthier all around…

Video: Can You Imagine?

Can you imagine what our lives would be like without the help of public health? These adorable kids certainly can—and it’s not pretty.

Imagine a healthier world

May 2012 -- This video looks at some of the cutting-edge work being done by Harvard School of Public Health nutrition researchers to help people everywhere live healthier lives. See how their efforts are changing our very understanding of what’s healthy –…

Eating nuts may lengthen lives

Eating a small handful of unsalted nuts seven or more times a week may reduce risk of death by 20%, according to a new study co-authored by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Even just a once-weekly serving of nuts reduced…

Pesticides tied to ADHD in children

July 2010 -- Marc Weisskopf, Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, discusses a study that finds children exposed to higher levels of pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity…

Aircraft noise linked with heart problems

For immediate release: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Boston, MA — Older people exposed to aircraft noise, especially at high levels, may face increased risk of being hospitalized for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)…

Lead in the environment: No safe dose

September 2010 -- Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, discusses the findings of a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concludes there is no known safe exposure to lead. (3:07) Abstract of Grandjean's commentary in The Lancet (Sept. 11, 2010)

Diet, lifestyle, and long-term weight gain

June 2012 -- Dariush Mozaffarian, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, reports findings from his recent study concerning different foods and beverages that possibly lead to long-term weight gain.

Bicycling, brisk walking help women control weight

Researchers Call for More Bike-Friendly Environments to Combat Obesity For immediate release: Monday, June 28, 2010 Boston, MA— Premenopausal women who make even small increases in the amount of time they spend bicycling or walking briskly every day decrease their risk of gaining…

Red meat linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Processed Red Meats Especially Boost Risk For immediate release: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 Boston, MA – A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers finds a strong association between the consumption of red meat—particularly when the meat is processed—and an…

Expanding access to clinical trial data responsibly

For immediate release: October 21, 2013 Boston, MA – A new report by researchers from Harvard University and others in a working group convened by the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center (MRCT) at Harvard proposes recommendations for addressing a problem that has vexed…

Component in common dairy foods may cut diabetes risk

For immediate release: Monday, December 20, 2010 Boston, MA – Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and collaborators from other institutions have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The…

Coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men

For immediate release: Monday, May 17, 2011 Boston, MA – Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)…

A muffin makeover: Dispelling the low-fat-is-healthy myth

Low-Fat Approach to Eating Hasn’t Reduced Obesity or Made People Healthier New Recipes for Healthier Muffins Using Whole Grains, Healthy Fats For immediate release: Thursday, January 12, 2012 Boston, MA — Dozens of studies, many from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)…

Secondhand smoke laws may reduce childhood ear infections

For immediate release: Thursday, January 27, 2011 Boston, MA -- Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues from the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society, Republic of Ireland, have found that a reduction in secondhand smoking in American homes…

Boston High School students drinking fewer sugary beverages

Following school district policy change, students drank fewer sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks For immediate release: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 Boston, MA –Two years after Boston schools prohibited the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and sports drinks, local high school…

HSPH awarded $10 million grant to study obesity-cancer link

For immediate release: August 4, 2011 Boston, MA – Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has been awarded a 5-year grant from The National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a new research center to study the relationship between obesity and cancer. The center…

Binge drinking tied to conditions in the college environment

For immediate release: July 11, 2008 Boston, MA -- Heavy alcohol use, or binge drinking, among college students in the United States is tied to conditions in the college environment. That is one of the key findings from research conducted by researchers…

Smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence, death

For immediate release: June 21, 2011 Boston, MA – A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of California, San Francisco, researchers suggests that men with prostate cancer who smoke increase their risk of prostate cancer recurrence and of dying…

Puffing in public housing poses serious health risks to tenants

Researchers examine risks and consequences of cigarette smoking to all inhabitants of multiple-unit housing; challenge status quo BOSTON, MA -- In an effort to protect children from harmful tobacco smoke exposure, health and medical professionals are pushing for a ban on smoking in public…

TV viewing, exercise habits may significantly affect sperm count

20 hours of TV weekly may nearly halve sperm count; 15 or more hours of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly may boost sperm count For immediate release: Monday, February 4, 2013 Boston, MA — Men’s sperm quality may be significantly affected by their…

Eating healthy vs. unhealthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day

Meta-analysis pinpoints the price difference of consuming a healthy diet, which could be burden for low-income families but is trivial compared with health costs of eating an unhealthy diet For immediate release: Thursday, December 5, 2013 Boston, MA – The healthiest diets…

Study finds years living with disease, injury increasing globally

For immediate release: Thursday, December 13, 2012 Boston, MA — No matter where they live, how much education they have, or what their incomes are, people have very similar perceptions on the impact of diseases and injuries. This finding – counter to…

Harvard School of Public Health launches obesity prevention website

The Obesity Prevention Source Aims to Help Policymakers and Public Reverse Growing Worldwide Epidemic For immediate release: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Boston, MA - What is causing the obesity epidemic—and how can we stop and reverse this worldwide weight problem? A new…

Change in cycle track policy needed to boost ridership, public health

For immediate release: May 17, 2013 Boston, MA – Bicycle engineering guidelines often used by state regulators to design bicycle facilities need to be overhauled to reflect current cyclists’ preferences and safety data, according to a new study from Harvard School of…

Some HDL, or "good" cholesterol, may not protect against heart disease

For immediate release: Monday, May 7, 2012 Boston, MA – A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers has found that a subclass of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the so-called “good” cholesterol, may not protect against coronary heart disease…

HSPH Unveils comprehensive, public online library of firearms research

New Database Provides Excellent Resource for Reporters, Law Enforcement, Public Health Officials and Policymakers Concerned With Issues of Gun Violence For immediate release: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Boston, MA – A new firearms research database launched by the Harvard School of Public…

Women's health: Rape of the Congo

In her role as gender-based violence research coordinator at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, 2008 HSPH graduate Jocelyn Kelly traveled to war-torn Eastern Congo in 2009 and early 2010 to conduct interviews with perpetrators of sexual violence and mass rape. She spoke with…

Combatting obesity with mindful eating

“You fold a tiny raisin into your hand, perhaps thinking about the journey it made to reach you, farmers planting seeds, nature providing water...” In a July 13, 2012 blog on the Huffington Post, writer Amy Spies tries out the mindful eating…

Blood type linked to heart disease risk

Heart disease risk may be linked to blood type, according to new Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) research. Senior author Lu Qi, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, and colleagues found that people with blood types A, B, or AB…

Landmark air pollution study turns 20

January 7, 2014 — Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harvard School of Public Health’s groundbreaking Six Cities study, which—by revealing a strong link between air pollution and mortality risk—paved the way for strengthened U.S. regulations on fine particulate matter.…

Environmental health news: PCBs in schools

Robert Herrick, senior lecturer on industrial hygiene in HSPH’s Department of Environmental Health, discussed the health risks of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in schools, homes, and other buildings in a Dec. 21, 2010, interview on the Leonard Lopate Show on public radio station…

Use anti-smoking tactics to combat obesity

While overall cancer death rates in the United States have decreased over the past two decades, increasing numbers of people are suffering from obesity-related cancers such as esophageal, pancreatic, liver, and kidney cancers, according to the American Cancer Society’s annual report. To…

Fighting malaria with spermless mosquitoes

December 8, 2011 Flaminia Catteruccia, a molecular entomologist and new associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard School of Public Health, wants to learn everything she can about the reproductive biology of mosquitoes. Her goal is to develop novel methods…

Infant lungs prone to nanoparticle deposits

April 2, 2012 Findings may have implications for how drugs are delivered to infants A new study led by a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researcher reveals for the first time how airflow patterns in infant lungs differ from those of adults.…

Seven tips for losing weight—without dieting

By slowing down our eating and being more mindful of where our food comes from, we can shed extra pounds without following a particular diet, Lilian Cheung, lecturer in nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), wrote September 25, 2012 in…

HSPH's Connolly fighting tobacco use worldwide

Gregory N. Connolly, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control and professor of the practice of public health at HSPH, was featured in the Harvard Gazette for his research into the health effects of tobacco and the effectiveness of interventions designed…

Greenhouse gases pose threat to public health

November 1, 2011 -- Critics who doubt dire predictions about global warming question how much difference, say, a 2-degree temperature increase could mean to the planet. According to Aaron Bernstein, quite a bit. Bernstein, a doctor at Children’s Hospital, instructor in pediatrics…

Heart disease: A little exercise goes a long way

Even a small amount of exercise may significantly lower your risk of getting heart disease, according to a new study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). A team led by Jacob Sattelmair, who did the research while a doctoral…

Nutrition news: The good and bad of carbohydrates

Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare professor of epidemiology and nutrition and chair, Department of Nutrition at HSPH, and Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology, are among nutrition experts interviewed by the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 20, 2010, on how to…

Nutrition news: Hold the salt, pass the potassium

Too much salt paired with too little potassium may increase people’s risk of mortality, according to a study co-authored by Harvard School of Public Health professor of nutrition and epidemiology Frank Hu. Hu and colleagues found that people with a diet high…

Painting the big picture on a Navajo reservation

November 1, 2012 -- Once upon a time, Anne Newland wanted to go to film school. But because life unfolds with its own logic, she instead became a doctor with the federal Indian Health Service (IHS). And shaped by her experience working…

Improved sanitation vital to safe drinking water

September 10, 2013 – To help ensure clean drinking water for future generations, it is important to understand the links between clean water and sanitation. Antiquated sanitation systems must be replaced in many parts of the world, particularly in developing nations. That…

Emissions from traffic congestion may shorten lives

Air pollution from traffic congestion in 83 of the nation’s largest urban areas contributes to more than 2,200 premature deaths annually, costing the health system at least $18 billion, according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers featured…

Working healthy snacks into after-school programs

February 22, 2012 Nutritious snacks don’t have to bust budgets, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers conclude in a new study that analyzed the cost of foods served in YMCA after-school programs in four U.S. cities. While the prices of individual…

New safety measures needed to reduce gun violence

July 18, 2013 — Among developed countries, rates of violence are roughly similar. But in the United States, the chance of dying from a violent act exceeds that of other countries by a wide margin. It’s because of guns, says [[David Hemenway]]. The…

Chef in school kitchens helps students eat healthier

With one in three U.S. children considered overweight or obese, food served in schools is being scrutinized closely. For many low-income students who eat free breakfasts and lunches at school, the cafeteria offerings may represent more than half of their daily calories.…

National public health week 2011: Live injury-free

April 5, 2011 -- Each year since 1995, National Public Health Week has been celebrated during the first week in April. Organized by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the national campaign aims to raise awareness about public health topics among the general public, health…

Risk to U.S. from Japan radiation low, expert says

March 29, 2011 -- A radiation expert at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), says that radiation leakage from the continuing nuclear disaster in Japan poses little risk to the U.S. Edward Maher, adjunct lecturer on environmental science, told AOL's DailyFinance.com on March 23, 2011, "These risks…

Ecosystem alteration linked to human health risks

November 25, 2013 — Across the globe, there are signs that human activity is causing changes to Earth’s natural systems that may result in risks to health—from Indonesia, where fires used to clear land have been linked to cardiopulmonary disease downwind in…

Energy-efficient buildings can be hazardous to health

Buildings that are being weatherized and made energy-efficient and air tight can be hazardous to one’s health, according to a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. The report, “Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health,” prepared by a committee chaired by Harvard…

William Foege awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

May 10, 2012 Former CDC Director and Global Health Champion Helped Eradicate Smallpox Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) alumnus William Foege, MPH ’65, legendary for his work in the late 1970s to eradicate smallpox, has been named one of 13 recipients…

HSPH center promotes health, safety in the workplace

November 28, 2011 -- Developing ways for nurses to minimize back strain when lifting patients and procedures to help construction workers avoid injury on the job site are two initiatives being conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Center for…

Stress plays key role in racial disparities in health

May 2, 2011 -- Despite the widespread belief that racial differences in stress exist and that stress is linked to poor health, relatively few studies have investigated the topic. A new study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers shows…

Women's height declining in many low-income countries

April 25, 2011 -- Over the last four decades the average height of women has declined in Africa, stalled in several South American countries, and varied considerably in other low- to middle-income countries, according to a new HSPH study. The declines or…

New strategies needed for preventing eating disorders

August 6, 2013 — The U.S. health care system needs more trained professionals and prevention specialists to take on the often overlooked―and sometimes deadly―issue of eating disorders. “Eating disorders need to be higher up on the public health agenda,” said S. Bryn Austin,…

Symposium honors 60-year legacy of HSPH's Melvin First

October 21, 2011 -- Family, colleagues, and former students traveled from across the world to celebrate the life and career of HSPH Prof. Emeritus Melvin W. First at a memorial symposium on September 30, 2011. First passed away on June 11 at age 96. A…

Questioning the safety and necessity of flame retardants

March 23, 2012 Did you know that your couch most likely contains up to a pound of flame retardants? And that these are toxic chemicals that may cause cancer, harm reproduction, or adversely impact brain development? In a March 6, 2012 talk…

Symposium explores cancer stem cells and tumor metabolism

November 16, 2012 -- An emerging area of science is looking at not just how low-dose radiation harms cells, but also how cells respond to deal with this stress—and how science might harness those same mechanisms to benefit human health. On October 26-27,…

SNAP program fails to boost consumption of healthy foods

November 25, 2013 — The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has failed to boost the nutritional value of food purchased and consumed by recipients or to improve food security (ensuring participants have food to meet household needs), according to a new…

Examining racial disparities in cancer and mortality rates

March 14, 2012 African Americans face higher cancer rates than whites for many types of cancer, but the reasons why are largely unknown. Epidemiologist Lisa Signorello hopes to help explain the disparities in her role as co-principal investigator on a long-term study…

HSPH researchers call new Florida gun law unconstitutional

September 20, 2011 -- Restrictions on physician-patient conversations could threaten public health A new Florida law aimed at preventing health care practitioners from asking patients whether guns are stored safely in their homes “sets a dangerous precedent” by limiting patient-physician discussions and could…

Measuring the effectiveness of public health interventions

February 11, 2013 -- If you’re examining the impact of air pollution control efforts in Denver, how do you statistically account for the fact that air pollution travels east—and that pollution reduction in the western United States could affect air quality in…

HSPH alum explores role of stress in heart health disparities

Harvard School of Public Health alum Dr. Michelle Albert conducts research on disparities in cardiovascular health across racial and ethnic groups—hypertension, for example, appears at a much younger age in black people than white people—and in particular the role stress might play…

Secondhand smoke may cause mental health problems in children

Living in a household with secondhand smoke may increase children’s odds of developing certain neurobehavioral disorders, such as learning disabilities and conduct and behavior disorders, by 50%, according to Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) research reported in The Huffington Post. Research…

Time to stop talking about low-fat, say HSPH nutrition experts

It is time to end the low-fat myth, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition experts told food industry leaders at the seventh annual World of Healthy Flavors Conference held in Napa, CA, from January 19 to 21, 2011. The conference, co-hosted…

Creating a healthy America doesn't end with insurance reform

September 9, 2010 -- For the first time in history, many children in the United States may be facing shorter, sicker lives than their parents. While improving access to health care is essential, insurance reform alone will not make America healthier and…

Skipping breakfast may increase coronary heart disease risk

July 23, 2013 — A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) adds to evidence that eating breakfast is important for good health. HSPH researchers found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or…

New computer model system shown effective in toxicology testing

Tests link DDT exposure to asthma, possibly autism A new environmental toxicity study by a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Danish researcher has found a link between DDT exposure and asthma–and possibly also a link between DDT and autism–using a…

HSPH paper on inflammation and metabolic disorders widely cited

An article published in Nature by Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, chair of HSPH’s Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases and James S. Simmons Professor Genetics and Metabolism, has been selected by Essential Science Indicators, a compilation of science performance statistics and science trends data…

Protecting children from adversity key to healthy development

August 16, 2011 -- For years, state and national policy regarding early childhood has focused primarily on educational enrichment. That’s all well and good, but it’s not enough, says Jack P. Shonkoff, Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development at…

Inflammatory dietary pattern linked to depression among women

November 7, 2013 – Women whose diet includes more foods that trigger inflammation—like sugar-sweetened or diet soft drinks, refined grains, red meat, and margarine—and fewer foods that restrain inflammation—like wine, coffee, olive oil, and green leafy and yellow vegetables—have up to a…

Depression in nursing home workers linked to work-family stress

December 5, 2011 Financial strain, insufficient food often to blame A study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, published November 17, 2011, in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that symptoms of depression are common among low-wage nursing home employees.…

Living near foreclosed homes may raise risk of being overweight

August 12, 2013 — People who live near foreclosed homes may be at greater risk of being overweight than those who don’t have such homes in their immediate neighborhoods, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers.…

New research explores role of genetics in smoking and lung cancer

May 15, 2012 In 2008, three different studies found that certain genetic variants associated with nicotine dependence and smoking were also associated with lung cancer. The findings raised a question: Were the variants linked with lung cancer only through their association with…

Student's interest in Taiwan food scandal leads to published paper

Spread of tainted food products highlights need to strengthen global food safety October 15, 2013 – In fall 2011, Chih Chao “Justin” Yang, MPH ’12, a physician pursuing a career in internal medicine, had an idea for his 1,000-word final project for [[Rose…

HSPH delegation visits Tanzania and Botswana nutrition, AIDS program

March 9, 2011 -- A delegation of Harvard School of Public Health friends and faculty – including HSPH Dean Julio Frenk and Dean for Academic Affairs David Hunter – visited HSPH programs in Tanzania and Botswana recently, meeting with government officials in both countries and learning more…

Salt consumption too high worldwide

People across the globe are consuming far more sodium than is healthy, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health and University of Cambridge researchers. In 181 of 187 countries (constituting 99.2% of the world adult population), national…

Crash course in healthy cooking

The annual “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives—Caring For Our Patients and Ourselves” conference, offered by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and The Culinary Institute of America, provides doctors and other health professionals with the latest in nutrition science as well as hands-on…

Fat in food: not necessarily a bad thing

It’s not a good idea to cut out all fat from the diet because some fats are “good,” says Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition expert [[Dariush Mozaffarian]]. What’s more, eating some fat can satisfy the appetite longer—which can actually lead…

Searching for causes of bee colony collapse

The efforts of environmental scientist Chensheng (Alex) Lu to study the effects of pesticide exposure on honeybees were chronicled in a Boston Globe Magazine cover story on June 23, 2013. The article described how Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in…

Teens who use smokeless tobacco often smoke

About one in 20 middle and high school students who chew tobacco and use other smokeless tobacco products also smoke cigarettes, a new Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study shows. The findings suggest smokeless tobacco products may increase – rather than…

Role of stress in health disparities explored

Twenty-five experts from around the world gathered in Boston recently to discuss the impact of chronic stress stemming from low socioeconomic status and discrimination on health disparities and premature death. The conference was organized by Michelle Williams, Stephen B. Kay Family Professor…

Preventing suicides by reducing access to guns

The national debate about gun violence has focused on mass shootings and assault weapons, but statistics show that most gun deaths are suicides. A number of recent articles and interviews featured Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts commenting on the topic.…

Avoiding pesticide residue on fruits and veggies

Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), discusses the problem of pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables in a new video on the website of Environmental Working Group (EWG), a leading environmental health…

Rate of smokeless tobacco use among youth has leveled off

More than 5% of U.S. teens and adolescents use snuff, chewing tobacco, or dipping tobacco—and that rate has been about the same for a decade, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Pretoria in…

Reducing distracted driving requires a dose of creativity

Distracted driving plays a role in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. And despite near-universal disapproval of texting and emailing behind the wheel, roughly one-third of all drivers do it anyway. Now [[Jay Winsten]], Frank Stanton Director…

Eating more red meat may increase risk of type 2 diabetes

People who increase their red meat consumption may also increase their risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Researchers found that people who started eating more red meat than usual—about 3.5 servings more…

Mediterranean diet boosts women's physical, mental health

A Mediterranean diet—rich in fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruits—appears to reduce the chances of developing chronic disease later in life, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health. Tracking the dietary habits of over 10,000 women beginning in late middle…

Boston teams with supermarkets to promote healthy beverages

A new partnership between the City of Boston and most of the city’s large supermarkets aims to help consumers choose healthier and less sugary beverages with a color-coded “Rethink Your Drink” campaign in stores and weekly circulars. Harvard School of Public Health’s…

Harvard-organized conference in New Delhi focuses on gender justice

Leading lawmakers, police officials, and social activists met on July 12-13, 2013 in New Delhi, India for a conference on “Gender Justice and Criminal Law Reform” organized by the Harvard Gender Violence Project (HGVP), a collaboration between Harvard School of Public Health’s…

New beehives planned to support environmental research, organic landscaping

Harvard’s Cambridge campus next spring will be home to a set of beehives aimed at supporting the university’s organic landscaping program and helping assess the program’s environmental health impact. Thanks to a $2,500 grant from Harvard’s Office of Sustainability, the Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers…