In a sample fraught with selection bias, 99.9% of autopsied NFL brains had chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
This bothers me less than I might have thought it would. NFL players are small in number, they have a job that they know is risky, and they're pretty well paid for the work. The fact that they have a now well-documented complication of their employment is only mildly interesting. Where this research needs to go now is into lower levels of play. If evidence begins to accumulate that college, high school, or younger players are at risk for CTE, then wholesale changes are going to be needed in football or the sport is in real danger.
People with a BMI under 40 are happier and healthier after their surgeries.
I'm a big, big fan of bariatric surgery for people with morbid obesity. We simply have access to no other treatment that improves quality of life and prolongs life to the extent that surgery can. But now there's some evidence (albeit weak) that people should have surgery earlier, not later. In a study published in JAMA Surgery, investigators found that people who had surgery before their body mass index, or BMI, hit 40 were about 12 times as likely as people with higher BMIs to get to a non-obese BMI (that is, less than 30) after surgery. A couple things to consider here: first, surgeons want to operate, so we should acknowledge their bias in this study; of course they want people with lower BMIs to qualify for surgery. It opens up more patients for them and they get to operate on a less sick, less complicated population of patients. But second, weight isn't the only thing we worry about post-surgery, so why does this matter? Because people who got to a BMI of less than 30 were much more likely to be able to stop medications for cholesterol, diabetes (especially insulin), and blood pressure. They were also much more likely to see a remission in their sleep apnea. Finally, the people who got to a lower BMI were just happier, with a satisfaction rate of 92.8% vs 78.0% for folks who didn't get to a non-obese BMI. The study can be tossed into the growing pile of studies showing that gastric banding sucks. Patients who had any other surgery--sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, or duodenal switch--were 8 times, 21 times, and 82 times more likely, respectively, to get to a BMI less than 30 compared with those who got gastric banding. And that doesn't even take into account the disturbingly high complication rate of gastric banding. Take-home points? If you're considering bariatric surgery, get it sooner rather than later, and don't get a gastric band.
I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it seems a little absurd that we so misallocate food subsidies that dairy farmers are literally pouring milk into holes in the ground:
Farmers poured out almost 50 million gallons of unsold milk last year—actually poured it out, into holes in the ground—according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. In an August 2016 letter, the National Milk Producers Federation begged the USDA for a $150 million bailout.
On the other hand, given the growing evidence that excess meat intake is shortening American lives, diverting some of that desire for meat toward cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products isn't the worst thing in the world.