David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, is the Founding Director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and former President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He has published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 15 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both preventive medicine, and nutrition. He has made important contributions in the areas of lifestyle interventions for health promotion; nutrient profiling; behavior modification; holistic care; and evidence-based medicine. David earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). He completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two Honorary Doctorates.
First thing this morning, I hugged my son - a strong, stoic, steady young man - as he sobbed about the prospect of a ravaged planet, and a blighted future. I could think of little more constructive to do than join him. Later, when my daughter called, on her way to now seemingly pointless classes in “environmental studies” at her university, and cried into the phone - I joined her, too.
I rather doubt ignorance is genuine bliss. It’s just a holding pattern; the proverbial calm that anticipates a storm. While the arc of the moral universe is long and bends toward justice, the arc of understanding is long and bends toward truth. It finds us all, eventually. The most ignorant are simply the last to get the memo. Ignorance is delay.
The signature feature of Neverland, a hot commodity these days, is not, of course, the Hook. It’s not the crocodile, either, nor even Tinkerbell, pixie dust, or Peter. The signature feature is the one great law of the land: you can never grow up. But one needn’t go nearly so far as Neverland to honor that statute; just sign up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in America.
Paul Simon told us some time ago that we lived in an age of miracle and wonder. The rest of his lyrics for The Boy in the Bubble, however, made it clear he did not mean the kind bestowed upon us by supernatural forces. He meant the kind we devised ourselves. He meant technology, and he was right- for better or for worse.
In this season when we are meant to be thankful, but when so many of us have had so many reasons to be otherwise - we have received a timely, welcome bit of universally good news. Rates of dementia in the United States appear to be declining.