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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Photo Credit/The San Francisco Chronicle

Photo Credit/The San Francisco Chronicle

David M. Keepnews, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN is an Associate Professor in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. Dr. Keepnews, an expert on health care systems and health policy, currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, a quarterly journal.

Immigration policy remains a hot-button issue in the United States, with no apparent progress toward resolution, particularly on the status of undocumented immigrants. However, despite broadly divergent views on immigration policy, one might hope that a degree of national consensus could be achieved on the status of some undocumented immigrants. Common sense and a spirit of fairness should drive agreement that people who came to the U.S. as children—who generally had no say in their parents’ decisions on whether and how to come here—and who have led productive lives here should be entitled to a straightforward path to resolve their own legal status and achieve U.S. citizenship.

Unfortunately, common sense and fairness have not ruled the day on this issue so far. On December 18, the Senate failed to end a filibuster of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act would have provided conditional status and a path to citizenship to young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 16, who have been here for at least 5 years, and who completed at least two years of college or military service.

photo credit/

photo credit/

Meg Daley Olmert is a Senior Fellow at the Center and the author of, Made For Each Other, The Biology of the Human Animal Bond. This is the first book to explain the brain chemistry that flows through—and between—all mammals forging powerful social bonds between the species.

A couple of weeks ago the NIH launched a new public symposium series called OPPNET that will bring together NIH-funded researchers from a wide variety of disciplines to explore a new and long-overdue holistic perspective on basic scientific research.   It was highly appropriate that the first seminar would examine the subject of the mother-infant bond, because we now know what happens to mother affects her baby in ways that not only decide its fate, but can leave a genetic imprint that can last for generations to come.  This nature-nurture effect is called “epi-gentics” and it is a game-changer for science and public health policy too.

Sarah, a contestant on upcoming Season 11Wait a minute.

Sarah, a contestant on upcoming Season 11Wait a minute.

Read Part One of this post here:

Wait a minute.

People who are overweight and/or obese have a problem controlling how much they eat. That’s bad for their health.

However, the inability to exercise complete, rational control over your behavior at all times is the hallmark of being a living, sentient, human being.

Fat people are not more damaged than other people. They’re not less stable.

Fat people are just really, really unlucky. Everyone has issues, imperfections, foibles, big and small. Heavy people wear a personal shortcoming externally, for anyone to see and judge. And pay them less.

Lisa didn’t become a better mom when she became a thinner mom. The fact that Lisa was not able to stop overeating, and even her admission that, as a working, single mom she frequently fed her kids cheap, take-out, fatty pizza (shocking!) doesn’t mean that she ever failed to meet their emotional or material needs.

Weight is not a moral or character issue. It’s a health issue. But the Biggest Loser is relentless in characterizing contestants as initially weak, childlike, and even, in trainer Bob’s words, “broken” people.

This season's final four contestants, with winner Patrick on far left

This season’s final four contestants, with winner Patrick on far left

This week, 11 million Americans watched unemployed Mississippian Patrick walk away with the title of “The Biggest Loser” and $250,000 on the tenth season’s live finale.

Patrick’s win, like the $100,000 at-home prize for Mark, felt canned and dull.

The only spicy note in the unveiling of the victors was the tension between the two champs. Mark was one of two players this season, along with Jessie, who felt betrayed by Patrick’s cash-rules-everything-around-me vote to send them home. However, viewers were assured that they all love each other now. Phew!

Surprise! Both winning men were the final contestant weighed in their categories.