September 6, 2012 |
As a parent, I never wished popularity on my children; it takes a lot of work to stay on top. And researchers have come up with a reason I hadn't thought of: Popular kids are more likely to smoke cigarettes, they say. The conclusion, published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys among teenagers in ninth and 10 th grades at seven predominantly Latino high schools in the Los Angeles area. It confirms previous studies about high school students in the U.S. and Mexico.
May 14, 2012 |
Americans eat too damn much. And we all pay a rising cost for this gluttony in the form of higher insurance premiums and lost productivity. A study last year by the Society of Actuaries calculated the total economic cost of an overweight and obese population in the United States and Canada at about $300 billion a year (with 90% of that figure attributable to America's dietary issues). Now comes word from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that, if current trends continue, about 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.
January 22, 2012
The Obama administration's willingness to defend insurance coverage for family planning services against attacks from conservatives and religious groups is good news for women and for the health of the nation. Last year, the administration first proposed that, like other preventive medical goods and services, contraception and general family planning coverage should be available under the healthcare reform law without a co-payment or deductible. Not just churches but many of their affiliated organizations protested — with the backing of conservative Republicans — that they should not have to pay to provide insurance coverage for medical services that run counter to their beliefs.
October 4, 2010
Going to see the doctor for a checkup usually includes a chat about diet and exercise, especially if the patient is overweight. But those talks may not have any influence on shedding pounds, says a new study -- unless the doctor was motivating and empathetic. Conversations between 40 primary care physicians and 461 of their overweight or obese patients were recorded by researchers who wanted to see if weight was mentioned by the doctor and, if so, in what manner. Overall, doctors talked about weight in 69% of appointments, and that conversation took up an average 3.5 minutes, or 15% of a typical 20-minute visit.
July 12, 2010 |
"Is there an app for that?" When it comes to consumer healthcare applications for smart phones, the answer, increasingly, is yes. There are now close to 6,000 consumer health apps, according to a review published in March by mobihealthnews, which reports on the mobile health industry, and more are being added every day. Many are free, or cost $1 to $10 to download. Some physicians are concerned about the reliability of the medical information provided by many of these apps, which offer advice and information on a wide array of health topics, including how to find a doctor, first aid for an emergency and exercise instructions.
January 11, 2010
Setting the pace Getting 10,000 steps per day roughly coincides with the latest U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommendation that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. The key word here is "moderate" -- not all steps meet that requirement. Shuffling around the kitchen making dinner is hardly equivalent to racing to catch a bus or walking an energetic dog. Any movement is good, of course, but to make the steps count as beneficial as possible, they should be fairly sustained.