Category Archives: Health

Infographic: Sugar Consumption in America


Sugar Consumption

Infographic: Pregnancy Rates & Age of Consent Across the Globe [via Daily Infographic]

Source: Tim ____, Pregnancy Rates & Age of Consent Across the Globe [Infographic], Daily Infographic, December 26, 2014,

At a quick glance, a lower age of consent for sex seems to correlates somewhat with lower teen pregnancy rates. A close look at the developed parts of the world will show that it is actually sex education and access to contraception which attributes to lowered pregnancy rates. The first-world-countries with lower ages of consent usually have a more rigorous standard for healthy sex education and contraception access.

Looking at countries like China and India throws us for a loop though. With similar populations and geographic placement their pregnancy rates couldn’t be more different. China has had stringent one-child-policies for a while now. This lead to the unfortunate increase in abortions of female fetuses. China’s policies and attitudes are changing for the better now – and they’re able to keep teen pregnancy at bay as well. India on the other-hand has had extreme population booms the last few decades much attributed to the lack of sex education and contraception for small village populations.

The USA isn’t much better – our age of consent varies state by state. Sometimes as low as 14 years of age, other 18. Our sex education and contraception access also varies drastically across state lines. Some states have almost outright abandoned abortion access, and supply no help for young women on contraception costs.

What today’s infographic does tell us is that teen pregnancy is a health hazard for both mother and child. Access to education and medicine are crucial to keep women healthy no matter their county’s poverty level.

Infographic: Vitamins Cheat Sheet – What They Do and Good Food Sources


This infographic is from Lifehack and provides us a Vitamins Cheat Sheet.

Hoi Wan from Lifehack states:

When it comes down to healthy eating and balanced diets, we need to make sure we get our fair share of vitamins. But what do they actually do? What are the benefits and what food sources are they available in? Here’s a handy infographic we prepared for you to share, print out, re-use as a handy reference sheet. The next time you are preparing a meal, or shopping, you’ll have a good idea which food contains which vitamins, and remember, when you’re cooking the food, it’s a myth that the vitamins will be ‘cooked out’.

Stay healthy.



Infographic: The Ebola Virus: Are You at Risk?

Zaire Ebola Virus is a great threat to the people living in West Africa. Since this past winter (2014), 1,323 people have been infected. The death rates are ongoing in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and most recently Nigeria. Originally spreading through contaminated bush meat, this deadly virus has caused alarm worldwide. Should you worry about Ebola?

View the HelloMD infographic below to find out and learn more about Ebola.


Infographic: 28 Odd Facts About the Human Body


Source: Carlos Pimentel, 28 Odd Facts About the Human Body (Infographic), Karma Jello,

Infographic: Is History Repeating Itself with Obamacare?

Source: Best Master’s In Healthcare Administration and MS in Healthcare Management, Is History Repeating Itself with Obamacare?,

Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)

Since it was passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been decried by opponents as an attack on democracy itself. For those who study history, the cries of socialism are all too familiar. But if the past is any indication, Americans may grow to love healthcare reform as they have Social Security and Medicare benefits.

It’s All Been Done Before … Sorta

Social Security and Medicare were enacted despite similar opposition; both entitlement programs have become immensely popular. But first came the rocky starts.

Guess the program: Which quote was said about which program? A: “Isn’t this socialism? Isn’t this a teeny-weeny bit of socialism?” B: “The beginning of socialized medicine.” C: “American freedom and liberty have taken a hard blow.”

Answers A: Social Security: An Oklahoma senator questioning then-Labor Secretary Frances Perkins in a Senate Finance Committee hearing before the passage of Social Security B: Medicare: Statement by the American Medical Association two months before Medicare was signed into law C: Affordable Care Act: U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in June 2012 after the Supreme Court refused to strike down the Affordable Care Act

Day One Problems

Each program had its share of major and minor complaints at the outset.

Social Security

  • Many minorities and women excluded from benefits
  • Arguments that it would cost jobs
  • Many employers reported earnings without providing a worker’s name or Social Security Number


  • Lack of signups despite massive public awareness campaign
  • Monthly premium complaints
  • Campaigns by doctors to boycott the program
  • Southern segregated hospitals refused to comply with the law – didn’t want shared rooms between the two races

Affordable Care Act

  • Disastrous launch of signup website
  • Arguments of job-killing
  • States refusing to participate

How Times Have Changed

Now that they’re part of everyday life, Social Security and Medicare are hugely popular. Will Obamacare have the same fate?

Social Security Nearly 1 in 5 Americans who collect Social Security or related income Number of Americans receiving Social Security income (November 2013) 65 and older 41.6 million Disabled (under 65) 14.3 million Other 7.2 million Medicare 53.5 million Americans expected to be on Medicare in 2014 Average benefit per enrollee (2012) $12,103 Affordable Care Act 10 million+ Americans who signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, though not all signed up for private insurance 48% Americans polled who say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act, though many say it doesn’t go far enough.

ACA Infographic

Infographic: 50 Incredible Facts About Skin

Infographic: 50 Incredible Facts About Your Skin

Data Visualization: Obamacare Web Site Traffic

Traffic to, the federal health insurance exchange, has dropped off significantly since consumers began encountering problems with the site after it launched on Oct. 1.  The Chicago Tribune Graphics Department created this data visualization to show the effects of the slowdown through Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013.

ObamaCare Web Site Traffic

Developers of the troubled Obamacare website confirmed Thursday, October 24, 2013 that a last-minute decision requiring users to sign up before shopping for insurance caused the system to bottleneck and acknowledged they did not conduct an “end to end” test until just before this month’s botched rollout.

The federal contractors sought to shift responsibility for the more than $400-million project to the Obama administration, providing fuel for Republicans who want to kill the Affordable Care Act. The White House‘s Democratic allies have expressed growing anxiety over what went wrong with President Obama’s signature achievement — and when it will be fixed.

After withholding basic information about the program’s progress so far, the administration announced Thursday that 700,000 applications had been completed for insurance coverage. The administration conceded that testing was not done earlier because of the tight deadline to launch by Oct. 1.

“This system just wasn’t tested enough, especially for high volumes,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during a call with reporters. The government agency administered the project for the Department of Health and Human Services.

On Capitol Hill, Republican leaders have made no secret that the House hearing rooms would become the next venue for the battle over Obamacare, and the grueling session before the House Energy and Commerce Committee opened a new front in that campaign as officials were hauled before the panel.

“Why did they assure us the website would work? Did they not know?” said Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), noting that Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify soon. “That’s what we are looking to find out, with the contractors today and with Secretary Sebelius next week.”

Some of the most prominent Democratic supporters of the healthcare law have grown increasingly exasperated over the website’s performance. The site was supposed to be an easy way for uninsured Americans to buy affordable health insurance, but users have had trouble signing on, getting accurate cost estimates and completing enrollment.

“How soon will it take to repair these glitches?” asked Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

“I have a team of people working around the clock trying to get this quickly resolved,” said Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president at CGI Federal Inc., the lead federal contractor.

Campbell acknowledged that the end-to-end test was not done until the last two weeks before the website’s debut. But the contractor suggested in written testimony that was the responsibility of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which “serves the important role of systems integrator or ‘quarterback’ on this project and is the ultimate responsible party for the end-to-end performance.”

Many of the problems appeared to stem from a last-minute change to the site’s operation that required visitors to sign up rather than simply browse through the various health insurance policies.

The extra step created a bottleneck, according to Andrew Slavitt, group executive vice president at Optum, a business unit of giant United Health Group, whose Quality Software Services Inc. handled that aspect of the system as a subcontractor.

“We don’t know why the decision was made,” Slavitt said. He testified that the change came within 10 days of the rollout, and that his group suggested at the time that more testing would be needed.

A top House Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has suggested that the late switch was initiated by the White House to prevent Americans from experiencing “sticker shock” over the costs of the insurance policies.

Bataille, the administration spokeswoman, said the intent was to focus resources on the online application and other aspects of the site.

“We made a business decision to prioritize resources,” she said.

The White House is scrambling to prevent further fallout from the healthcare law, especially a suggestion from some lawmakers to postpone the law’s requirement that all Americans carry insurance in 2014, or face a fine, unless the website is improved.

This week, the administration clarified that the deadline for signing up is March 31, the end of open enrollment. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is up for reelection next year in North Carolina, suggested Thursday the enrollment period should be extended. Under the law, people who go without insurance for three consecutive months can face the tax penalty.

In the hearing room, the soaring rhetoric was a reminder that the heated debate over Obamacare is far from over.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) suggested visitors to the website could not be guaranteed their personal privacy, prompting Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) to declare the hearing a “monkey court.”

Republicans formed an unusual alliance with Democrats on the committee who expressed disbelief that the website’s high traffic volumes were to blame for its shortcomings.

“That’s really kind of a lame excuse,” said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park). “Amazon and Ebay don’t crash the week before Christmas.”

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) called the website’s debut “one of the biggest IT disasters in government history.”

Separately on Thursday, nearly three dozen Republican House members sent Obama a letter asking for Sebelius to be fired.


Text Source: Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Kennessey, Health website contractors acknowledge late changes, limited tests, Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2013.

Infographic: New Path to Health Insurance (Chicago Tribune)

New Path to Health Insurance

Obesity Slopegraph

Source: Jeff Clark, Neoformix, February 26, 2013

Back in February of this year, the Guardian Datablog published an interesting post called Obesity worldwide: the map of the world’s weight. It contains a map that shows with color the rates of obesity around the world.  If you click on a country (for example, I clicked randomly on Denmark), it triggers a pop-up window which gives you more detailed statistics for that country for different time frames and for both male and female (see screenshot below).

Obesity Map - Denmark

As you review the chart, several other interesting questions come to mind that could not be easily answered with the map or chart.

  1. What is the trend over time?
  2. Do these trends exist worldwide?
  3. Which countries are exceptions to the trend?
  4. Which countries have the highest or lowest rates of obesity?
  5. Are there large gender-based differences in obesity rates in various countries?

Mr. Clark has a background in science, He decided to try to build an interactive visualization that helped answer the questions above. He wanted to try to build something that explicitly highlighted some of the more interesting aspects of the data without sacrificing freeform exploration. Ultimately, he settled on using a Slopegraph which was first described by Edward Tufte and is featured on the cover of Cairo’s excellent book The Functional Art.

This first image below shows the trend for male obesity organized by continent. It’s a difficult problem to show labels for so many countries along one axis so Mr. Clark tried to alleviate it by letting the user expand or hide countries by continent group. In this case ‘North America’ is expanded to show its’ individual countries. Labels are only shown if they don’t overlap with others. The largest countries by population are placed first.


Individual country lines can be clicked on to emphasize them with color.


The third example shown below charts female values on the left against male values on the right in order to emphasize gender differences.


The interactive visualization includes a ‘stepper’ that takes the user through four different views. This helps introduce functionality gradually as well as serving to emphasize important patterns in the data.

Mr. Clark used Processing and Processing JS to build the application. The code for the dashed lines comes from J David Eisenberg.


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