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In the past few years, in fact, school lunch reform has become a cause célèbre in many school districts in the Bay Area as concerns mount about children’s health. And the Oakland school district, along with the West Contra Costa County Unified School District, is among the pioneers in injecting healthier food choices into their menus despite a paucity of resources and the challenges of re-educating taste buds.

Picture of Joe Goldeen

People living with diabetes in San Joaquin County may have cause for concern: The county ranks worst in the state for deaths caused by diabetes. Medical officials say the lack of education and resources are to blame.

Picture of Christina Elston

What is air pollution doing to our kids? If you live in L.A. County, and especially if you’ve driven back to the Los Angeles basin from somewhere else, you’ve seen it. A steely brown haze hangs over us for much of the year. We live in the smoggiest region in the United States (according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District), but for those raising children here it may not be top of mind. In some parts of the county, moms claw their way onto waiting lists for the “right” preschool while they are still pregnant. Concerns about finding the right neighborhood, the right school, about keeping kids away from gangs and drugs or getting them to turn off the Xbox and do some homework tend to take center stage. The air we breathe gets plenty of media coverage, but we tend to consider it more of an inconvenience than an emergency.

Yet at every stage of children’s lives – from their time in the womb until they’re ready to leave the nest – the pollution in the air impacts their health. 2010 California Health Journalism Fellow Christina Elston reports.

Picture of Emily Hagedorn

Treatment centers such as Chad's Hope in Clay County aim to help get prescription drug addicts back on track. This story is part of a series that examines prescription drug abuse in Kentucky.

Picture of Sarah Arnquist

The declining quality of residential care facilities in San Luis Obispo county has led some local families to question whether they can be trusted with the care of their loved ones.

Picture of Stephan  Faris

When it comes to climate change, the most important impacts of the emissions from our cars, power plants and factories are likely to be broad and indirect. Global warming needs to be examined not just from the perspective of medicine, but from public health.

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