About Publications

Publications from the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes We Treat You (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Released: March 04, 2013
    The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. The IOM hosted a workshop which examined contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention.
  • Released: February 21, 2013
    Limited oral health literacy is associated with inaccurate knowledge about preventive measures such as water fluoridation, dental care visits, and oral health-related quality of life. The public and health care providers are largely unaware of the basic risk factors and preventive regimens for many oral diseases. Oral disease is expensive in terms of teeth, time, and money and results in pain, disfigurement, loss of school and work days, and even death when left untreated. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to examine the field of oral health literacy.
  • Released: February 20, 2013
    Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States has provided an unprecedented level of health and development assistance and health diplomacy around the world. PEPFAR has saved and improved the lives of millions of people; supported HIV prevention, care, and treatment; strengthened systems; and engaged with partner countries to facilitate HIV policy and planning for sustainable responses to their epidemic. The IOM evaluation drew upon a variety of data sources, including quantitative data, extensive document review, and primary qualitative data collection through more than 400 interviews, including some site visits, with diverse stakeholders in 13 PEPFAR partner countries, at PEPFAR’s headquarters, and at other institutions and agencies involved in the global HIV response.
  • Released: February 13, 2013
    Falsified and substandard medicines provide little protection from disease and, worse, can expose consumers to major harm. Bad drugs pose potential threats around the world, but the nature of the risk varies by country, with higher risk in countries with minimal or non-existent regulatory oversight. It is difficult to measure the public health burden of falsified and substandard drugs, the number of deaths they cause, or the amount of time and money wasted using them. The FDA asked the IOM to assess the global public health implications of falsified, substandard, and counterfeit pharmaceuticals to help jumpstart international discourse about this problem.
  • Released: February 11, 2013
    Spending on health care currently accounts for 18 percent of the United States’ GDP. By 2037, that percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent of GDP. Spending on cancer care is expected to increase because of the rapid influx of new cancer diagnoses as the population ages. Also, as more expensive therapies and technologies become the standard of care, there are concerns that the costs of cancer treatment could begin to outpace health care inflation as a whole. The IOM held a workshop to examine the drivers of current and projected cancer care costs as well as potential ways to curb these costs while maintaining or improving the quality of care.
  • Released: February 08, 2013
    The EPA estimates the nature, magnitude, and likelihood of risks to human health and the environment; identifies the potential regulatory actions that will mitigate those risks and protect public health and the environment; and uses that information to decide on appropriate regulatory action. Uncertainties in the data and analyses on which these decisions are based enter into the process at each step. As a result, the informed identification and understanding of the uncertainties inherent in the process is an essential feature of environmental decision making. The EPA asked the IOM to provide guidance to its decision makers and their partners in states and localities on approaches to managing risk in different contexts when uncertainty is present as well as guidance on transparency in its communications with the public.
  • Released: February 08, 2013
    Animal models have provided significant information about the biology of nervous system disorders and have helped in the development of therapeutics; limitations, however, have also been identified. Effective treatment options that are also low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases. Many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to produce expected results when tested in humans. The IOM held a workshop to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of effective therapies from animal models to clinical practice.
  • Released: January 23, 2013
    About one-third of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffer from an array of long-term medically unexplained symptoms known as chronic multisymptom illness (CMI), a serious health condition that imposes a tremendous burden of suffering. CMI does not have a defined set of symptoms and can vary from person to person. This report, part of a series of congressionally mandated reports on health effects in veterans of the Gulf War, comprehensively reviews and evaluates treatments for CMI to determine how to best manage care for veterans. The report says that, in changing how it treats CMI, the VA can make a significant difference in the lives of veterans who have the condition by helping to ensure they receive more integrated, comprehensive and responsive health care.
  • Released: January 17, 2013
    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the USDA, serving more than 46 million low-income Americans per year, at a cost of more than $75 billion. The goals of SNAP are to improve participants’ food security and access to a healthy diet. The USDA asked the IOM and the National Research Council to consider whether it is feasible to objectively define the adequacy of SNAP allotments that meet the program goals and, if so, to outline the data and analyses needed to support and evidence-based assessment of SNAP adequacy. The committee outlines its findings, conclusions, and recommendations in this new report.
  • Released: January 16, 2013
    Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Health care providers who vaccinate young children follow a schedule prepared by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. New vaccines undergo rigorous testing prior to receiving FDA approval; however, like all medicines and medical interventions, vaccines carry some risk. Driven largely by concerns about potential side effects, there has been a shift in some parents’ attitudes toward the child immunization schedule. HHS asked the IOM to identify research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could address questions about the safety of the current schedule. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.
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