This is the first in what I hope will become a weekly write-up for my VIP friends about the interesting, important, and quirky things I’m finding in our data. I hope you enjoy it. And please, feel free to share it. If anyone would like to be added to my distribution list, please forward their email address. I’d love to hear your feedback.

It has been a busy week of research at CivicScience. Significant growth in our poll response numbers allowed us to cover a litany of new topics – which is a good thing because there’s no shortage of major news in the worlds of business, media, and, yes, politics.

Here are a few things we’re seeing right now:

Consumers are NOT fans of a potential merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Fortunately for the companies, the majority of Americans don’t have a strong opinion on the matter. But, among those who do, 60% strongly oppose the merger. See for yourself:Our poll results show that consumers are not happy about the potential AT&T and Time Warner potential merger.

Local TV news is America’s most trusted source – but the bar is pretty low. Our media guru Annette Brady wrote an insightful article about the decaying levels of consumer trust in the U.S. media. She found that a whopping 58% of Americans do not trust any form of news media. Among those who trust some media, local TV news earned the highest marks. But, considering no other news source garnered more than single digit percentage levels of support, that isn’t saying very much. See the details here.

Healthcare costs continue to be a major drag on restaurant spending and it’s likely to get worse. One of the bigger news stories this week was confirmation from the White House that insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act enrollees will see a big spike next year. While this is bad news for consumers, restaurant industry executives can’t be thrilled either. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, rising healthcare costs are the primary culprit behind the recent unexpected downturn in restaurant traffic. Things may not improve anytime soon.

It’s not cheap to get a mammogram either, and that’s a problem. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’ve done a series of studies on the deadly disease, medical care, and related charitable activities. Despite all of the pink ribbons and other awareness efforts, an alarming number of women still don’t see their doctor for regular mammograms. The number one reason? Cost. See the other deterrents here.

Sugar is fast becoming public enemy number one. We noticed an interesting trend in one of our tracking questions, which gauges the factors consumers believe are most harmful to their nutritional health. Although “preservatives and chemicals” have remained the number one taboo for two straight years, “sugar” is fast approaching the top spot. Carbs and GMOs occupy the bottom of the list. Take a look.

But Halloween is still for chocolate lovers. Despite the anti-sugar trend, people aren’t afraid to push sweets on our kids on Halloween. The most popular treat to give this year? It’s not even close:Our poll results show that chocolate is the main candy that people give out on Halloween.

Before you get angry – like I did – at the 38% of Scrooges who don’t pass out any treats on Halloween, give them a break. Our data suggests that most of them live in remote rural areas or apartments buildings, where a lot of little kids don’t come knocking.

To go along with racism, sexism, and religious intolerance, the Presidential election is exposing yet another fissure in America – ageism. Dana Millbank from the Washington Post wrote a brilliant but pointed article about Baby Boomers – the very group most likely to support Donald Trump – and their role in making America “not great” in the first place. Millbank pointed out that GenXers were the least likely of all generational cohorts, even more than Millennials, to reject the idea of a Trump candidacy. Our numbers show the same thing. GenXers aren’t thrilled about our country today, but they don’t think Trump is the answer.

The polling industry is a hot mess. The Wall St. Journal published a thorough piece about the troubles facing the polling industry (if you don’t have a WSJ subscription, just paste the URL into a Google search box). The author could have gone further, highlighting the fact that people who belong to online survey panels look nothing like the real world, either demographically or psychographically. Or they could have shown how approximately 1 in 4 respondents to Google Surveys give erroneous answers just to reach the content they’re being blocked from. My favorite part of the article? The Pew Foundation tested 9 online survey providers to see if any could match the “real” number of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes every day. None of them got the answer – 13% – correct. So I checked our numbers:Our poll results show that 13% of adults smoke cigarettes everyday.

Have an awesome weekend.