Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Patt Morrison for Thursday, April 19, 2012


Thursday, April 19, 2012

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:40 - OPEN


1:41:30 – 1:58:30

Food swamps, not deserts? Studies say more urban access to food than thought

There’s been ample coverage of reports on food deserts, those swaths of lower income, urban neighborhoods said to be barren of fresh fruits and vegetables, with Michelle Obama and others promoting grocery store access. Are these areas, however, actually store-filled food swamps? A few recent studies claim as much. One study is “The Role of Local Food Availability and Explaining Obesity Risk,” published in the March issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, authored by researcher Helen Lee of nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank the Public Policy Institute of California. Lee’s study found that not only are there nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores in lower income neighborhoods as wealthier ones, but these poor areas have more than three times as many corner stores per square mile, and nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile. Lee’s study, however, didn’t have access to the type and quality of food in those stores. The study used data from a federal survey of 8,000 children ranging in age from kindergarten to fifth grade, compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics, tracking the height and weight of the kids over time, as well as the neighborhoods they lived in and went to school. Lee also used data on the locations of food establishments, from restaurants to chain grocery stores, from a national database. Another study, published in February in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found no relationship between children’s weight, the kind of food they said they ate and the type of food near their homes. If you live in a low income, urban area, do you consider it a food desert, or a food swamp? Even if there are more stores in these areas, is the quality of food, such as produce, better or worse than in wealthier areas?



Helen Lee, researcher at nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank the Public Policy Institute of California, and author of the study “The Role of Local Food Availability and Explaining Obesity Risk” in the March issue of the journal “Social Science & Medicine”



Antronette Yancey, professor in the Department of Health Services and co-director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity


2:06 – 2:30

Elite colleges move online, give away the goods away for free

Princeton, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Michigan, and Stanford are now offering online courses…for free. The classes will open doors to people who wouldn’t have had them opened otherwise. Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson is pooling $25 million to start an online “Ivy League,” The Minerva Project. At a time when public education institutions are slashing funds, could these moves be the great equalizer? Could an online-only instruction ever really compete with a top American institution?





2:30 – 2:39

A new blood test may help the diagnosis of depression
The U.S. Center for Disease Control estimates that perhaps one in ten American adults suffers from some kind of depression. Causality for depression is murky and ranges from environmental factors to heredity, and doctors say that it is a debilitating, difficult to treat and costly mental illness. But there may be some clarity on the horizon - new evidence found in research with “biomarkers” - messenger molecules that carry genetic instructions - means that a simple blood test may someday be able to indicate depression in a patient, and those who treat depression believe that definitive diagnosis may lead to more effective treatment. How would more effective diagnosis of depression help those who suffer from it? What do you do to deal with depression?


Eva Redei,
professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and physiology at Northwestern University and leader of the new depression study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry


2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Rachel Dratch’s “midlife miracle”

Many cast members of the sketch comedy television show “Saturday Night Live” go on to headline prominent movies and series, but comedian Rachel Dratch, best known for her SNL character Debbie Downer, didn’t exactly follow in the footsteps of some of her predecessors after her seven-year run on the late night comedy show. In fact, after navigating through peculiar job offers and awkward dating experiences, Dratch surprised herself when she met a man at a bar and six months later became pregnant at the age of 43. Dratch candidly recounts her post-SNL misadventures and her path to motherhood in her new aptly titled book, “Girl Walks into a Bar… Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.”


Rachel will be at Barnes & Noble at the Grove starting at 7 pm tonight to discuss and sign “Girl Walks into a Bar.”



Rachel Dratch, actress, comedian, and author.








Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278 @Patt_Morrison


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