Healthify Blog

Scott Batchelder

Recent Posts by Scott Batchelder:

Public Health and the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars: Developing a Framework

One of the most persistent struggles in public health and safety in America over the past century has been the burden placed on the healthcare system by motor vehicle fatalities and injuries. While the numbers of deaths and injuries have been reduced since their peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when deaths averaged more than 50,000 people per year, motor vehicles are still responsible for more than 30,000 deaths and more than two million injuries per year in the United States.

Topics: Public Benefits Self driving cars public health ethics

The Link Between Walkability and Happiness: New Evidence

When it comes to the health benefits of walkable cities, in which the built environment is conducive to walking, the scientific and public health communities are broadly in agreement. Walkable cities reduce the risk of putting on excess body weight, increase general levels of physical activity, and can potentially reduce the amount of time adults spend on electronic devices. However, one of the more neglected aspects of walkability in public health literature has been walkability’s effect on individual happiness levels. While it is easy to assume that the health benefits associated with walkability would naturally increase happiness, these assumptions should not be taken for granted, which is why researchers in the Journal of Public Health released a new study considering the link between walkability and neighborhood satisfaction.

Topics: Community Resources Environmental Health walkable resources happiness

Testing the Effectiveness of Healthy School Lunchroom Interventions

In an effort to combat America’s obesity epidemic, school boards and state legislatures are increasingly turning to interventions in which less healthy food options are replaced with healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Topics: Childhood Development Food obesity Health care class room

Evaluating Public Health Interventions

One of the most important tools available to public health practitioners is the intervention. These interventions can take a variety of forms - from targeted ad campaigns to educational workshops designed to inform the public about steps they can take to improve their health.

Two recent articles in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine aim to evaluate the progress of public health interventions that utilize different tactics. The first article examines the use of targeted ad campaigns to increase public use of stairs rather than, for example, elevators or escalators. The second looks at the utility of text message reminders as an intervention tactic, as well as whether or not such messages have a lasting effect on public behavior.

Topics: Public Health interventions text messagining