Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Wine Researcher Accused Of Fraud

A researcher at the University of Connecticut may have committed scientific fraud with his studies of red wine. His work stating that the wine is healthy was published in 26 articles, in over 11 scientific journals. Dipak K. Das was the researcher at the university that supposedly found that red wine is healthy for humans. Dr. Das was granted money from the United States Government for his research, but he did not use all of the funds for his small-scale experiments. The University of Connecticut is returning two grants to the U.S. Government worth a combined total of $890,000. Dr. Das did not answer any of his emails or phone calls to the university when the fraud case was opened.
I believe that he should be charged and sued according to the amount of money he stole from the government. No scientists that work at universities should be allowed to handle the $890,000 on their own… They should have the university’s financial officers deal with the money in a closed account. Dr. Das was given the money directly instead of going through the university, which is why he was able to get his hands on it. I personally don’t want to be paying taxes to the government so they can pay people who steal the money. This is very serious (and a serious amount of money), so I am hoping this man receives either jail time or hefty fines.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Receiving Criticism About Their Obesity Ads

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is hearing strong criticism for their in-your-face advertisements concerning child obesity. The ads feature headlines such as “It’s hard to be a little girl if you're not.” The company will start to display ads on billboards with overweight children and uncomfortable messages. Later in the year, they will also start to release television advertisements. One of the TV ads shows a boy asking his overweight mother, “Mommy, why am I fat?” She simply sighs heavily while the commercial fades out.

The reason Children’s Healthcare decided to release these ads was a survey that they conducted in Atlanta, Georgia. They surveyed families with overweight children and 75 percent of parents did not see their children’s weight a problem. According to the data from the survey, over one-million children are considered obese in Georgia alone.

The campaign is called Strong4Life and is planned to cost $50 million over five years. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation recently donated $95,000 to help the cause, but Children’s Healthcare is expected to pay for at least $25,000,000 leaving the remainder for donations.

There are more advertisements upcoming and will feature different children from around Georgia. It’s sad that the country has to start a campaign to stop childhood obesity, but if that is what it takes, I am a supporter. Childhood obesity starts at home with what parents feed their kids, the amount of exercise children get, and if they have caring parents. Also, schools are removing physical education and recess time due to the costs. It is sad that the United States has to come to this, but I’m hoping organizations such as Strong4Life can turn this around.