Training doctors in nutrition, the human cost of fashion, new budget cuts for Illinois | WBEZ
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Afternoon Shift

Afternoon Shift: Training doctors in nutrition, the human cost of fashion, new budget cuts for Illinois

(Photo: WBEZ/Monica Eng)

What do doctors know about nutrition?

When it comes to premature death and disability, what we eat is the number one risk factor. That’s according to a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. So you might be surprised to learn that primary care physicians and even cardiologists can earn a license without a single class in nutrition.  Health advocates have been pushing for doctors to become better trained in what’s called “culinary medicine” for years but with little success. WBEZ’s Monica Eng recently visited a group of students and doctors who are trying to change that locally and she joins us with Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark and Dr. Stephen Devries to talk about the effort to train med students in basic nutrition.    


  • Monica Eng is a WBEZ reporter.
  • Dr.Geeta Maker-Clark is is an integrative physician at Northshore University Health systems  and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago’s  Pritzker School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Stephen Devries is executive director at the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology.

Documentary examines human cost of fashion

On Monday, police in Bangladesh filed murder charges against 41 people involved in the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory two years ago. At least 1,137 people were killed in that accident. That’s more than 1 in 3 of the workers who were there that day. That accident reignited this question: who really pays the price for our clothing? That’s the main question director Andrew Morgan asks us to consider in his documentary “The True Cost.” Joining us to discuss this aspect of the industry is Andrew Morgan along with Katherine Bissell Cordova of Chicago Fair Trade, Beth Shorrock, Fashion Studies professor at Columbia College Chicago, and Emily Frank, a fashion student at Columbia College Chicago.


Gov. Rauner proposes more budget cuts

Governor Bruce Rauner has issued his first salvo in the prickly budget negotiations with the Democratic legislature in Springfield. The governor says he wants $400 million in spending cuts, and more are on the way. His proposals include a variety of social services cuts, reducing tax credits for heating for low-income Illinois residents, as well as closing five state-run museums. The governor also wants to suspend EDGE tax credits, which allow companies to reduce the cost of doing business in the state. Joining us to discuss what that could mean for Illinois is Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Guest: Ralph Martire is Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.


NASA to launch a flying saucer in Hawaii

Thursday morning, the island of Kauai may resemble Roswell, New Mexico. That’s when NASA is set to launch a flying saucer. The vehicle is actually known as a low-density supersonic decelerator, and it’s set to launch in the skies over Hawaii to test parachutes used to slow down spacecrafts. Michelle Nichols from the Adler Planetarium joins us to talk all about the flying saucer.

Guest: Michelle Nichols is Master Educator of NASA Forum Programs at the Adler Planetarium.

Giant telescope may be able to see first light in the universe

With today’s technology, astronomers can see billions of years into the past, but they’ve never been able to see the first light emitted in the universe after the Big Bang. That could be about to change thanks to a new high-powered telescope being developed by the University of Chicago and ten partner organizations. The billion dollar Giant Magellan Telescope is one of the first in a new generation of extremely large, earth-based telescopes, which may spur a new era for astronomy. Wendy Freedman is the board chair for the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the U of C. She joins us with more.

Guest: Wendy Freedman is the board chair for the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

Tech Shift: Unlocking the secrets of the bombardier beetle

The tiny bombardier beetle is explosive. Literally. To fight off predators, it creates explosions inside its abdomen that allows it spray a stream of chemicals at its foes. Now scientists are studying this phenomenon in more detail to see if the bug’s defense mechanism might have practical applications for things like body armor and crash helmets. Dr. Wah-Keat Lee worked on this at Argonne National Laboratory in the south suburbs. He’s now a scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

Guest: Dr. Wah-Keat Lee is a scientist specializing in x-ray imaging at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Cooking up change in American medical schools

Americans have been told for years that their diets are making them sick.  Yet just a fraction of this country’s medical schools teach nutrition in any significant way. WBEZ’s Monica Eng found some Chicago medical students going after those lessons on their own.

Guest: Monica Eng is a WBEZ reporter.

Gov. Rauner ditches Illiana Expressway

One of the big budget cuts announced Tuesday by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was scratching the $1 billion Illiana Expressway. The proposed east-west route would have connected I-57 near Wilmington in Will County to I-65 near Lowell in Indiana. While the State of Indiana was fully on board, Gov. Rauner never supported the roadway as much as his predecessor. WBEZ’s Michael Puente joins us to talk about the Illiana’s demise and what it could mean for the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana.

Guest: Michael Puente is a WBEZ reporter.

Tampa Bay tries to keep Blackhawks fans away

The Blackhawks begin the battle for their third Stanley Cup in five years on Wednesday night in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t been exactly welcoming to Chicago fans, banning Blackhawks jerseys and blocking ticket purchases for out-of-state credit cards. WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye-Stout has infiltrated Tampa and she joins us with an update.

Guest: Cheryl Raye-Stout is WBEZ’s sports contributor.

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