This Fall, Dr. Lia Fernald and Dr. Kris Madsen participated in two UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Speaker Series events. In August, Dr. Fernald moderated a discussion with Dr. Merson, director of the Duke Global Health Institute and Dr. Amie Batson, Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of PATH about their report to the federal government on the future role of the U.S. in global health. The discussion focused on highlights from the report, including several key priority areas for action. Dr. Fernald provided a conceptual model to frame these action areas, and noted the report’s recommendation to enable innovation by thinking about new ways of doing business globally.
In September, Dr. Kris Madsen participated on a panel, along with Janet King, senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute; Dr. Ronald M. Krauss, senior scientist and Dolores Jordan Endowed Chair at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, professor of medicine at UCSF, and adjunct professor of nutritional sciences at UC Berkeley; and Gary Taubes, cofounder and senior scientific advisor of the Nutrition Science Initiative to discuss the impact that sugar is having on our health. The panel discussed the mounting evidence around the role that sugar plays in chronic disease risk, and discussed what can be done to decrease the amount of added sugar in our diets. Dr. Madsen made a case for the soda tax as a public health tool, and discussed some of the promising early evidence from models already in existence. She pointed to the fact that Mexico is expected to save over a billion dollars on healthcare costs and prevent 200,000 cases of obesity over the next 10 years. She noted that soda taxes not only reduce added sugar consumption, but that they are “the one public health intervention that actually raises money.”
You can watch the video from both events here!