Recent Newspaper & Online Columns by Kate Scannell MD

Dr. Kate Scannell: New York's soda tax battle pits government role against personal liberty

March 20, 2013

Tags: ethics, new york soda ban, government, personal liberty, obesity, Bloomberg, soda

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist
First published in Print: 03/17/2013

Last Monday, a judge canned New York City's revolutionary plan to prohibit the sale of large, high-caloric, sugar-sweetened drinks in restaurants, movie theaters, and other food venues -- just one day before the ban was supposed to take effect. The ruling dealt a blow to the city's Board of Health and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who were promoting the ban as a means to address the obesity epidemic.

Had the deliciously-named judge -- Milton Tingling -- not overturned the so-called "soda ban," today it would be permissible in establishments under the health department's purview to celebrate St. Pat's in Manhattan with pitchers of manhattans, but nothing larger than 16-ounce servings of sugary beverages.

This has stirred much debate about the proper reach of government into our private lives. Can -- and should -- the government regulate the sipping point of our thirst for sugar, the critical ounce beyond which our intake tips toward transgression? (more…)

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Study on weight-loss surgery for Type 2 diabetes has serious problems

April 1, 2012

Tags: bariatric surgery, type 2 diabetes, obesity, new england journal of medicine, weight-loss surgery, conflicts of interest

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist; First Published in Print: 03/31/2012

Two studies published in last week's New England Journal of Medicine generated much media attention and hope that maybe, just maybe, a swift surgical fix could cure two notoriously chronic and intertwined medical conditions that affect millions of people worldwide: obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But it would be wise -- and healthy -- to scale back any unbridled enthusiasm about that until many more facts weigh in. (more…)

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