2007 was certainly not lacking in health issues. The toy recalls alone were enough to have us reevaluating our lives, counting toxins and suspiciously eyeing Barbie as she lay demurely beneath the coffee table. The food scares added to the paranoia, keeping us from enjoying salad, meat, carrots, chili sauce, peanut butter and, perhaps most distressingly, frozen pizza. Then we had MRSA, the flu and airborne TB. Avandia caused heart disease; cough syrup killed. Weight loss drugs weren’t working. Autism was no where or everywhere or only in some places, and soda was, seriously this time, making us fat. And that was just 52 weeks of health-obsessed headlines. What will the next set bring?
Considering that 2007’s greatest stories weren’t foreseen (if anyone had known about the lead in toys, I would hope they wouldn’t have made it out of China), it’s impossible to know what will make waves in ’08. However, there are a few hot topics already causing a buzz that you may want to keep an eye on in the upcoming months. If you do, you’ll not only be on top of health but more aware than CNN:
1. Raw Milk and Corn – everyone wants them; nobody has them. Raw milk is the hot commodity that the government refuses to touch, making the consumer’s search all the more frenetic. And corn, which is used in just about everything we eat, is being sucked up to make fuel. As the months pass, you’ll hear more and more about the hunt for both.
2. Labeling – what’s organic; what’s not. What’s healthy; what’s poison. Reevaluations of the current labeling system for all foods will either cause easy, informed shopping or mass confusion.
3. Real Food or Supplementation – the release of Michael Pollan’s newest book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto will only further the debate between real food and supplements. Are we taking too many vitamins or not enough?
4. Fat Loss – obesity is an epidemic. We have to eliminate the fat, so naturally there should be numerous “not approved by the FDA” methods available to the average consumer. Whether or not they’ll be Okayed is something to be seen.
5. The Government – the FDA and USDA made a few mistakes this year, and the Farm Bill isn’t exactly turning frowns upside down. The next several months will be spent searching for ways to rectify previous missteps and prevent new ones.