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Local governments take on medical debt; pollution hurting people; self-compassion as part of weight loss - Morning Medical Update

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The top news stories in medicine today.

physician in uniform holding morning coffee: © meeboonstudio - stock.adobe.com

© meeboonstudio - stock.adobe.com

Drowning in debt

This month, New York City pledged to pay down $2 billion of residents’ medical debt. It’s the latest move by local governments to join with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to buy and forgive patient debt. But that may not be “the solution to getting rid of medical debt, writ large,” according to a report by KFF and NPR.

Polluting the planet and patients

Fossil fuel and petrochemical pollution is bad for the planet. It’s also bad for people – so bad that “Cancer Alley” in Louisiana has been named a global “sacrifice zone,” where pollution violates residents’ human rights. There are plans to add more processing facilities there, Human Rights Watch and The Hill report.

Self-compassion against obesity

You and your patients know obesity increases risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. You and your patients know it can be difficult to lose weight. When patients eat more than they intended, self-compassion, not self-criticism, may be the better response, according to a new study and accompanying news release.

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