Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is one city really "healthier" than another? After Burlington VT made news by being called the healthiest city in the US, I explored city rankings in general, and the basis for Burlington's honor specifically, for the LA Times . Another thing? All the cities in a top ten list are likely to be equivalent -- in other words, #10 (and maybe even #25) is not measurably different from #1.

Two weeks ago, I looked into the issue of drinking during pregnancy for the LA Times. No one disputes the damaging effects on the baby, called fetal alcohol syndrome, when a pregnant mom drinks a lot. What's not known is where the threshold lies between total abstinence and dangerous drunkenness. A recent study may help doctors reassure women who imbibe every once in a while, and have that reassurance be based on scientific evidence.