Aug 5, 2019

Racism has long-term negative effects on children's health

There are a lot of terrible things about racism, as we were reminded this weekend. And one of them is that it can have long-term negative effects on children's health, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement.

"Although we have progressed toward greater racial equity, racism continues to undermine the health of children, adolescents and families. ... The stress generated by experiences of racism may start through maternal exposures while in utero and continue after birth with the potential to create toxic stress."
— The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • This can affect both mental and physical health and lead to issues like preterm births, low newborn birthweight and the development of heart disease, diabetes and depression later on in life.

Between the lines: Racism is constantly in news headlines, as the Washington Post points out, and white nationalism is on the rise.

  • “If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there’s so much kids are exposed to,” Jackie Douge, a pediatrician who co-wrote the statement, told the Post. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”

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Health of immigrants at risk in changes to public assistance policies

A patient visits a clinic in Solana Beach, Calif., that serves a large immigrant population. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

The Trump administration's recently finalized “public charge” rule — which would make use of certain public assistance programs by immigrants grounds for denying lawful permanent residence — extends a series of policy changes that could negatively affect the health of both legal and undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Why it matters: Health insurance, nutrition benefits and housing assistance are all linked to health outcomes, particularly in children. Although the 46 million immigrants in the U.S. are generally healthier and use fewer health resources than native-born residents, additional barriers to care could increase rates of obesity, malnutrition and transmission of communicable diseases.

Go deeperArrowAug 13, 2019

Pinterest takes on vaccine misinformation

Pinterest said yesterday that it will start showing only information from health organizations — like the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net — when people search for vaccine information, AP reports.

Why it matters: Vaccine misinformation has spread via social media, and experts worry that it's dissuading parents from vaccinating their children. The implications are clear: The measles outbreak recently broke a 27-year record.

Go deeper: Anti-vaccination content haunts Big Tech

Keep ReadingArrowAug 29, 2019

Biden: Racism in the U.S. is a white man’s problem

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on Aug. 21. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that racism in the U.S. is "overwhelmingly a white man’s problem visited on people of color" as he criticized President Trump over the racial divide, USA Today reports.

What presidents say matter … They can make markets rise and fall. They can send people to war. They can, in fact, also appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature."
— Biden's remarks to reporters, according to USA Today
Go deeperArrowAug 28, 2019