Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: centers for disease control

April
7th

NRA strategy: Squelch free speech and scientific research

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Hypocrisy, thy name is NRA.

The National Rifle Association fiercely defends the Second Amendment rights of some people – in part by trying to quash the First Amendment rights of others.

It’s one way the organization has worked to prevent information on guns from getting out – information badly needed in efforts to curb the nation’s epidemic of gun violence.

An example: In 2011, the NRA actually got encoded in Florida law a gag order barring doctors from talking to their patients about guns in the home. Not only did this infringe on medical providers’ freedom of speech, it interfered with the doctor-patient relationship. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors counsel patients on firearm-injury prevention.) Read more »

March
31st

Driver’s hands belong on the wheel, not texting

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

When it comes to distracted driving, texting-obsessed teens are the problem, right?

That’s only partially correct. It turns out, they’re just modeling their elders’ behavior. Almost half of adults say they text and drive, even though they’re well aware that it’s considered dangerous. A slightly lower percentage of teens, 43 percent, admit to driving while texting.

But that actually may be a bigger problem because teens aren’t as experienced behind the wheel as older drivers; the under-20 age group has the highest proportion of distracted-driving fatal crashes, says the Centers for Disease Control. And while a slightly lower percentage of teens than adults might text, those who do tend to text a lot. Teens are more likely than adults to expect immediate responses – and to immediately respond to text messages they receive, even if they’re driving.

How dangerous is texting while driving? Read more »

Sep.
30th

Put down that sugary drink – or put on the pounds


Studies have linked sugary drinks to obesity. (The Associated Press)

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

The nation’s obesity rate has nearly tripled in the last 40 years, and scientists say new research has solidly pinpointed the No. 1 culprit.

It’s all those liquid sugar bombs Americans have been consuming – soda pop, sports drinks, juices, blended coffees and other sweetened drinks – most of which have little or no nutritional value.

During the last four decades, we’ve doubled our caloric intake of beverages sweetened with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup – but we haven’t been cutting back calories at mealtime. If anything, we’ve been supersizing our meals.

That net caloric gain is why more than a third of American adults are considered obese. And it’s why you can put school photos of today’s kids next to ones from 40 years ago and see a glaring difference in the number of overweight children. Doctors are seeing such an alarming increase in the number of young people with Type 2 diabetes – a condition directly linked to weight – that it can hardly be called adult-onset diabetes anymore. Read more »

Sep.
8th

West Nile virus is back in Washington

The West Nile virus – which has claimed at least 87 lives nationwide this year – is making inroads in this state. Health officials have confirmed that two Washington residents have contracted the disease, the first cases here since 2010.

So far, only one Washington resident has died from the mosquito-borne illness, back in 2009.

One of the two Washington cases this year is believed to have been contracted in another state, but the other is not; the patient has not been out of Washington. He is a Yakima man in his 30s.

Hearing that made me remember a camping

Read more »