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Last month, as millions watched a Monday Night Football game, Damar Hamlin, a safety on the Buffalo Bills football team, suffered a rare and potentially deadly injury while making a routine tackle. Abdul reflects on his complicated relationship with football. Then he interviews Garrett Bush, sports commentator and former college football player, who recently went viral over a rant about America’s sordid love affair with football.
The rightwing ecosystem went up in flames a couple of weeks ago over gas stoves. Beyond the fact that burning stuff into our lungs is probably bad for us, this opposition to government action in the name of health may signal something broader–that emerging out of pandemic-era opposition to lockdowns, masks, and vaccines, the rightwing culture war is taking aim at public health more broadly. Abdul sits down with Vox journalist Rebecca Leber to understand what all the hot air is about, and what it means for the broader effort to protect folks in America.
Obesity has tripled since 1970. And since, it’s spawned all sorts of trends, ostensibly to help folks eat less, exercise more, and lose weight. But what is obesity, exactly? And is all this advice actually helping — or could it be doing more harm than good? Abdul reflects on weight, weight stigma, and the weightloss industrial complex. He sits down with Prof. Harriett Brown, author of “Body of Truth,” which digs deep into the evidence about weight and health and explores the consequences of weight stigma.
People of color, and particularly Black folks, suffer higher rates of disease in America. That has less to do with anything about personal characteristics — like genetics or behaviors — and more to do with the way society treats people because of the color of their skin. In her new book “Under the Skin,” health journalist Linda Villarosa explores how racism gets under the skin. She sat down with Abdul to talk about that — and what we do about it.
Imagine setting a New Year’s Resolution — and actually achieving it! Living healthier and losing weight accounts for more than 40% of all New Year’s resolutions. But actually achieving them? That’s a different story. To be sure, “personal fortitude” and “effort” pale in comparison to the role of place and resources when it comes to our health. But for so many of us, even when all the other variables line up, our goals feel a bit too daunting. Abdul reflects on what makes setting big goals so challenging — and why so many of us struggle with our health goals. Then he sits down with Professor Katy Milkman, a behavioral science professor at Penn’s Wharton School, and author of “How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” to talk about the science of sticking to those New Year’s resolutions.
Holiday Mailbag!

Holiday Mailbag!

2022-12-2001:04:52

The weather outside is frightful! But the fire is so delightful! Since we’ve no place to go … Abdul’s about to nerd out on all of your health & medicine questions. Here we go, here we go, here we go.
Health insurance in America is anything but “sure.” Most Americans under Medicare age rely on their employment for their insurance — but that leaves millions of people struggling to get basic insurance, or worse, uninsured. Ellen Haun is an actor who was $804 short of what she needed to earn to be eligible for health insurance through her union. So to do just that, she decided to make a movie about … an actor trying to earn enough money to get health insurance. She sat down with Abdul to talk about her experience and what it says about America’s healthcare system. 
What would happen if you just … stopped showering? After all, we spend way more time washing than our ancestors ever did. Abdul reflects on the way the soap industry has created demand for its products by playing on our insecurities. Then he interviews Dr. James Hamblin, a preventive medicine doctor and author of the book “Clean: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less” about what he learned by not showering. You can find a full transcript of this episode at https://crooked.com/podcast/america-dissected
Did you know that modern emergency medical services owe their origins to an all-Black paramedic team in Pittsburgh in the ‘60s? Author and former paramedic Kevin Hazzard tells the story in his new book “American Sirens.” Abdul reflects on the stories we tell — and the ones we don’t — about American healthcare. He sits down with Hazzard to learn more about the Freedom House Emergency Medical Services.To hear more about Freedom House Emergency Medical Services, check out the recent episode of Pod Save the People "Find a Book."
Public Health was on the ballot in the 2022 midterm elections — and public health won! Abdul reflects on the politics of public health. He sits down with de Beaumont Foundation President & CEO and former Georgia State Health Director Dr. Brian Castrucci to break down the biggest public health victories — and challenges — coming out of the midterms.
RSV! Flu! COVID! It’s fall, and respiratory illnesses are raging. RSV, in particular, is filling up pediatric hospitals as it infects our society’s youngest and most vulnerable. Abdul dissects why we’re facing a “tripledemic” this fall  sits down with epidemiology professor and author of the Your Local Epidemiologist substack Dr. Katelyn Jetelina to dig into what we can do to protect ourselves.
America Dissected comes to you LIVE from Boston at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Abdul reflects on what brought him to public health. Then he sits down with Jane Coaston, host of the New York Times Podcast “The Argument” to talk about what public health gets right (and wrong) about racial justice, public communication, and politics.  You can find a full transcript of this episode at: crooked.com/podcast/america-dissected
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 wasn’t the only thing going viral. In fact, mis- and disinformation ultimately framed so much of society’s response to the virus itself. In her new book, “What the Fact?,” physician and author Dr. Seema Yasmin traces the evolution of information disorder — and what we can do to protect ourselves and society. Abdul sat down with her to talk about it, and what it means for the future of health communication and beyond.
Dissecting Dr. Oz

Dissecting Dr. Oz

2022-10-2501:04:03

Nobody quite represents the seedy underbelly of American medicine like Dr. Oz. His career is a living description of what happens when ego and greed get an “MD,” and then use it to pump quack treatments in search of fame and fortune. Now he’s running for Senate in Pennsylvania — despite being from New Jersey. Abdul breaks down the cautionary tale that is Mehmet Oz. Then he speaks with Trip Gabriel of the New York Times as well as Gisele Fetterman.
So much of public health revolves around collective action — that is government working on our behalf to do things like fund biomedical research, regulate polluting factories, or clean our water. But what happens when we lose trust in government? Adam Conover is a comedian and host of the podcast Factually, as well as the new Netflix series “The G Word.” He joined Abdul to talk about how he uses comedy as a tool for truthtelling, what he learned about our public health system, and what it’ll take to fix it.
Following the murder of George Floyd in the context of the pandemic, communities across the country rushed to recognize the public health scourge of racism — a clear, but long ignored public health crisis. But if we declare racism a public health crisis, what do we do about it? Abdul reflects on the consequences of hollow words and speaks to Dr. Matías Valenzuela, Director of the Office of Equity and Community Partnership at the Seattle & King County Public Health Department about their work tackling the public health crisis of racism.
More than 50% of the thinking part of the human brain is dedicated to processing visual information. We are, in a word, visual beings. And yet around the world, our vision is getting worse — and we’re not quite sure why. Abdul talks about the life-changing impact of correcting vision. Then he speaks with Sarah Zhang, staff writer at The Atlantic, about what we know about the growing burden of nearsightedness.
Green juices, skincare, yoga. We all want to keep up with our health. But what happens when corporations, influencers, and snake oil salesmen prey on our insecurities to sell us something we don't need, or worse soemthing, that could harm us? Abdul sits down with Rina Raphael, author of the newly released "The Gospel of Wellness," to break down the people, the systems, and the failures that have allowed the "Wellness Industrial Complex" to thrive in the United States.
What would have happened if, like flouride, the COVID vaccine would have just been in the water? That’s one of the questions Malcolm Gladwell asks in his latest season of Revisionist History — a season about how we know what we know, and how we implement that knowledge to help people. He joins Abdul to talk about the science and practice of public health, how the way we talk about it gets in the way, and how to fix it.
Organ transplantation is one of the miracles of modern medicine. And yet the system that we use to manage is anything but miraculous. Organs are damaged or lost, and people die because of it. Abdul talks about the logistics underneath so much of what we do in healthcare, and then he interviews Greg Segal, co-founder of Organize, an advocacy organization focused on reforming the broken organ donation system.
Comments (23)

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Oct 9th
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Nuage Laboratoire

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Oct 9th
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Mindy Vest

it is so out of control.

May 13th
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Mindy Vest

this is so true. I'm a type 1 and big pharma has always been my biggest fear. my pharmacy costs every month are more than my gross wages. if my insurance is lost, without insulin, I will be dead inside of 72 hours. that is the grim truth we type 1 diabetics face daily, in addition to all of constant work and worrying about keeping blood sugar in a normal range.

May 13th
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Cody Buttron

I'm having trouble understanding my own psychology on the structural racism. I know that all people are asking for is support and understanding to help reform system, but I can't help but feel attacked and acused of being racist for being born into a system I had no part in creating. I think that in my mind I am being asked to be ashamed and bear the burden for the terrible people that came before I was even born and the terrible people who still exist and I have no control over. I feel like we are not painting a picture of the future we all want. We are making snap decisions in pain, anger because we need solutions immediately before more people die or have their lives destroyed by a broken system. This change in society will take so many more generations to reach a true level of equality but I belive we are at a tipping point but people are like Ubleck (non-Newtonian fluid) if you push them to change quick they resist even harder and if you change slowly eventually you will get there but how much suffering can you continue to ask people to take while you have figure thing out. Uughh, there is just no way out of this and I'm lost on how to make it right so I just do nothing. All can do is try to not be a person who rejects hate in all its forms to the best of my ability while trying to live in a country and a world that can't get enough of it.

May 25th
Reply (2)

Alex Mercedes

13:31 ...you can't see your audience during a podcast...

Sep 17th
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Alex Mercedes

one positive byproduct of COVID is the stark exposure of the flaws of the US style of capitalism where corporations own run exploit oppress dominate every aspect of living. the artist discusses it plainly here.

Sep 17th
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Alex Mercedes

gosh I love this podcast. so glad it exists. if only Dr. El-Sayed's questions were more succinct... I wonder if he would consider asking only one or two questions at a time -- rather than 4 or 5 questions connected by commentary? the guests end up answering only 1 or 2 of the bundle of questions posed -- maybe because who can remember so many questions asked at the same time? it's not a huge deal -- like I said, I love this pod -- but now and then a great question goes unanswered because it gets lost in the lengthy lead-in.

Sep 9th
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KrysLouise36

the last episode cut off at 100% before it was over can you please upload the full content

Apr 17th
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Eddie Ronayne

Stop the political stuff. Very transparent in last couple of podcasts. Stick to science, not left wing idealogy. You think the China figures are accurate? Come on

Mar 21st
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Meidi

I just can't stand the way he says "anabotics." Is it really that difficult to enunciate the word antibiotics?

Feb 20th
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Andrew Permafide Greaves

the other side of the coin is the OH SO OBVIOUS suppression by the sick care community that health and nutrition is extremely dependent on your diet, but this podcast really doesnt cover that, and also doesnt do a good job of covering alternative modalities that do work "yoga and acupuncture" mentioned at the beginning, also the suppression of cannabis research is huge!!

Nov 13th
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Samantha Jayne

never stop making episodes. I'm loving your podcast. thank you

Nov 8th
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Mark Abersold

Fascinating and illuminating. And further evidence that the way we are building our cities, particularly the suburbs, is bad for human health.

Oct 30th
Reply (1)

Em

While Dr. El Sayed’s bright input into the podsphere and general media is a great thing, each episode of this podcast feels like a race to state the obvious. Is it just me, or does it seem as though the show’s producers consider the audience to be unschooled, daft, provincial?

Oct 22nd
Reply (2)

Alex Penney

Great podcast, and a great addition to the Crooked Media suite of tools😄

Oct 10th
Reply

Ricardo Mota

if there was ever an argument on why capitalism doesn't work. here it is.

Oct 10th
Reply

Sage Dalrymple

idk why if Carolyn believes in science, she chooses to support a company that spreads lies and misinformation. there are so many reputable beauty products out there from better companies. also there's so many great naturopaths out there who like, go to school and take continuing Ed classes on this stuff. there's just no excuse to buy from goop if you think you're a smart person lol

Oct 3rd
Reply
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