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March 23, 2013

Mortgage Fairness
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A woman and man apply for a mortgage. Does it matter whose name appears first on the document? The answer may surprise you. Then, the addiction treatment industry grabs headlines. But does it help people overcome their dependency on drugs and alcohol? We’ll talk to an expert for an insider’s view.
Episode Segments:
InfoTrak: Mortgage Fairness
Spencer Cowan, PhD is Vice President of Research at the Woodstock Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit research and policy organization that focuses on fair lending and financial reform. He led a study that examined fairness in the process of applying for a mortgage. He found that a home loan application listing a female applicant with a male co-applicant is less likely to be approved than one listing a male applicant with a female co-applicant. He discussed the possible reasons behind this issue and why it matters.
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InfoTrak: The Effectiveness of Rehab
Anne Fletcher is a health and medical writer, and author of Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment-and How to Get Help That Works. Shediscussed treatment options for people with substance abuse issues. She visited 15 addiction treatment centers—from outpatient programs for the indigent to Alcoholics Anonymous to famous celebrity rehabs—to determine what forms of rehab are effective. She said it’s common for people who struggle with addiction to require treatment multiple times, but she found that rehab centers often provide the same treatment over and over, rather than trying different approaches for repeat patients.
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InfoTrak: Kids, Obesity and Television
33% of American children are obese or overweight. Amanda E. Staiano, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Population Science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA was the lead author of a study that found that kids who have televisions in their bedrooms are twice as likely to be fat and nearly three times as likely to be at risk for heart disease and diabetes as those who don’t.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Spencer Cowan
Spencer leads Woodstock Institute’s applied research for economic security program. Spencer joined Woodstock Institute in December 2011 after serving as Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina. Before joining Woodstock, Spencer’s work included projects examining the impact of state laws promoting affordable housing in affluent suburbs, efforts to bring the middle class back to inner-city neighborhoods, the impact of regulation on the cost of new housing development, a program to securitize non-conforming mortgages, and the effectiveness of community-based mortgage foreclosure prevention programs. Spencer received a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and an A.B. in Political Science from Columbia University.

The Woodstock Institute

Anne M. Fletcher
Anne M. Fletcher, M.S., R.D. is a nationally known, award-winning health and medical writer, speaker, and consultant on the topics of weight management and lifestyle change, as well as treatment and recovery from addiction. She spent nearly five years writing her latest book, Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth about Addiction Treatment – And How to Get Help That Works, which will be published by Viking in February of 2013 along with accompanying especial titled Holistic Rehab Therapies: Are Alternative Approaches Helpful, Harmful, or Head Games? In advance of publication, Inside Rehab has received high acclaim from numerous experts in the field, as well as several starred reviews. Known for her ability to weave together her inspiring findings from real-life success stories with state-of-the-art information about health issues, Anne is the author of seven other books (Houghton/Harcourt), including the award-winning national bestsellers, Thin For Life: 10 Keys to Success From People Who Have Lost Weight & Kept It Off and the New York Times bestseller, Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems – Advice From Those Who Have Succeeded. Anne’s last book, Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lose Weight & Keep It Off – And What They Wish Parents Knew, was featured on the Today Show, on the CBS Early Show, and in The New York Times, USA Today, US News & World Report, and USA Weekend. She has been recognized with a dozen prestigious awards. A frequent guest of the national media, Anne has also appeared on The View, the Today Show, Donahue, Good Morning America, CNN, National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, and The Larry King Radio Show.

Ann's Website