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Annual Editions: Health, 35/e
Crimes of the Heart, Walter C. Willett and Anne Underwood, Newsweek, February 15, 2010
Major improvements in public health that were seen in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 2009 as a result of the city's decision to become involved in the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project, which promotes healthy behavior. The town helped to support healthy behavior change by changing the town's environment to include ways that encouraged a healthier lifestyle.
The Perils of Higher Education, Steven Kotler, Psychology Today, March/April 2005
While college is a place to learn and grow, for many students it becomes four years of sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, and excessive use of alcohol. While the negative health behaviors of college students are detrimental to their overall health, there is evidence that engaging in these poor health habits can be devastating to learning and memory.
Carrots, Sticks, and Health Care Reform—Problems with Wellness Incentives, Harald Schmidt, Kristin Voigt, and Daniel Wikler, New England Journal of Medicine, January 14, 2010
Chronic medical conditions, particularly those linked to obesity, are increasing in the United States. Employers have used incentives as well as penalties to support healthier behaviors. The authors support incentives to increase health-supporting behaviors but caution that there can be negative effects as well.
Social Withdrawal and Violence—Newtown, Connecticut, John T. Walkup and David H. Rubin, New England Journal of Medicine, January 31, 2013
Physicians John T. Walkup and David H. Rubin believe it's important to recognize that mental illness is an insufficient explanation for mass murder and that the vast majority of mentally ill individuals are not violent.
The Boom and Bust Ego, Harriet Brown, Psychology Today, January/February 2012
Assistant Professor of Journalism Harriet Brown focuses on how to build self-esteem even though many psychologists believe that direct attempts to build self-esteem tend to fail. She notes that people with weak self-esteem are likely to experience more impact from failure. It is said that the safety net of solid self-esteem arises from a secure attachment to a parent and that self-esteem formation can fail if parents are inconsistent in support and who lack concern for their children.
Internet Addiction, Greg Beato, Reason, August/September 2010
Greg Beato discusses the addiction of Americans to the Internet, which impacts their normally balanced ways of living. He notes the operation of reSTART, a residential treatment center in the United States for individuals who try to get themselves clean from iPhones and other digital devices that negatively affect their lives.
Fat Facts and Fat Fiction, Consumer Reports on Health, February 2013.
While many consumers believe fats in the diet are harmful and should be reduced, there appears to be considerable confusion about which fats are healthy and which should be minimized.
Yes, Healthful Fast Food Is Possble. But Edible?, Mark Bittman, New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2013
Journalist Mark Bittman believes there is a market for fast food that's not only healthy but has menu options that are sustainably produced, reasonably priced, and meat-free.
Vitamin D: Dandy? Dastardly? Or Debatable? Allen C. Bowling, Momentum, Summer 2011
Dr. Bowling discusses studies conducted on Vitamin D in relation to health and risks of diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS). The most rigorous research on Vitamin D has been in relation to bone health, showing that low intake leads to decreased bone density. Vitamin D influences nerve, muscle, and immune cells that could potentially affect the disease process of MS. People with MS are known to have osteoporosis, and clearly Vitamin D deficiency could increase risk or even worsen the condition.
F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings, Gardiner Harris, The New York Times, March 29, 2011
While researchers have not found a specific link between artificial food colors and behavioral changes in children, the F.D.A. is reopening the issue. A panel of experts will begin a process to review of the evidence and possibly make changes that will affect food safety regulations.
Defeating Childhood Obesity, Tina Schwager, American Fitness, November/December 2010
Tina Schwager offers suggestions to fitness professionals on addressing the problem of childhood obesity. The risk for obesity and overweight increases due to poor nutritional habits and lack of physical activity. She recommends fitness professionals develop a basic level or specialty program just for children and teenagers and create a newsletter for clients to market the program.
Eat Like a Greek, Consumer Reports on Health, August 2009
The Mediterranean diet has been positively linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. This diet isn't about foods you should not eat, it's more of a style of eating that can easily be adopted with a little planning. This easy-to-read article leads the reader through practical steps of how to incorporate principles of the Mediterranean lifestyle into daily life.
Dieting on a Budget, Consumer Reports, February 2009
With the economy in a downturn, the editors of Consumer Reports offer advice on how to lose weight without spending a fortune.
The New Phys Ed. Ron Schachter, Instructor, Summer 2011
Ron Schachter focuses on various activities being introduced to elementary and middle school students in physical education (P.E.) classes including step aerobics, yoga, online skating, Wii sports and fitness, and mountain biking. These new activities are replacing some of the traditional team sports to help students develop skills to maintain lifelong fitness, to make exercise more engaging, and to help reduce the growing obesity epidemic.
The Hungry Brain, Dan Hurley, Discover, June 2011
Dan Hurley addresses the neurological basis for people's desire to overeat in order to maximize calorie intake. Findings indicate that disrupted sleep patterns and stress compound the desire to eat. Failed efforts to control weight through drugs that affect the hypothalamus, involving the hormones leptin and ghrelin, are discussed. The effect of sleep and the circadian rhythm on obesity is also addressed. The idea that some obese people get more pleasure from eating than others is also explored.
Caffeinated Alcohol in a Can, Four Loko Does the Job, Students Agree, Don Troop, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2010
A multitude of caffeinated alcoholic drinks are marketed to college students and young people. The Four Loko brand symbolizes the risks of this type of product because of its role in incidents involving binge drinking on college campuses.
Rethinking Drug Policy Assumptions, Jefferson M. Fish, The Humanist, April 2013
The author presents his thoughts on U.S. drug control policies and the possibilities of legalizing some drugs. He states that drug prohibition, or the war on drugs, leads to an illegal market for the substances that ultimately results in higher rates of crime, corruption, and disease. In response, he suggests that rather than decriminalizing drugs the U.S. government should institute a policy of legalization for adults that differentiates between drug abusers and non-problem users..
“This Drug Shouldn't Be Out There”, John DiConsiglio, Scholastic Choices, February 2011
Synthetic cannabis sold under the brands K2 and Spice is a dangerous drug that many teenagers are abusing. The drug's characteristics are similar to LSD, cocaine, and non-synthetic marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of dried spices and herbs sprayed with a chemical similar to THC, the active ingredient in non-synthetic marijuana.
Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions, Alan Schwarz, New York Times, February 3, 2013
Increasing numbers of college students use and abuse prescription drugs they don't need and were not prescribed for them including Ritalin and Adderall. Students claim these drugs enhance their mental abilities while ignoring the dangers of addiction, dependence, and overdose.
So Long, Lance. Next, 21st-Century Doping, David Ewing Duncan, New York Times, January 19, 2013
Journalist David Ewing Duncan addresses bio-enhancers in sports, drugs that include anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines, beta-2 agonists, and erythropoietin.
The Mixed Bag Buddy [And Other Friendship Conundrums, Carlin Flora, Psychology Today, January/February, 2013
Relationships that have the power to prop us up may also have the power to harm us. Friendships can have both positive and negative influences on our health and well-being.
Are You With the Right Mate?, Rebecca Webber, Psychology Today, January/February 2012
Rebecca Webber focuses on marriage and choosing the right partner. She quotes a family therapist who states that real marriage begins when initial physical attraction has diminished, marking the need to start growing as an individual. Webber recommends fundamental acceptance of one's partner in a marriage as no one will meet all their needs in a relationship. It describes a wrong partner as one who is not interested in or capable of supporting the needs of the partner.
This Man Is Addicted to Sex, Chris Lee, Newsweek, December 5, 2011
Chris Lee discusses the increase in cases of sex addiction in the United States. It appears that the availability of online pornography has contributed to the increase in sexaddiction and how those affected, known as sexaholics, often use a program similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program to help deal with their addictions. Sexaddiction has a detrimental effect on a person's career, relationships, and self-esteem leading to depression, job loss, and high risk sexual behavior.
There's No Evidence Online Dating Is Threatening Commitment or Marriage, Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, January 3, 2013
Even though Internet has made it possible for people to communicate and connect in ways that have never before been seen, Alexis Madrigal believes that monogamy is here to say for most couples.
Save Your Life: Cancer Screening is oversold. Know the tests to get—and those to skip, Consumer Reports, March 2013
According to the editors of Consumer Reports, the medical and public-health community has basically exaggerated the advantages of screening for cancer and downplayed the risks. When it comes to cancer screening, most people see only the positives and don't see the disadvantages such as unnecessary biopsies or surgery.
The High Cost of “Hooking Up”, Kurt Williamsen, The New American, January 7, 2013
According to Kurt Williamsen, promiscuity can lead to the 47,000 new diagnoses of HIV each year in the United States as well as the risk of transmitting the more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause disease.
The Human Vector, Wendy Orent, Discover, March 2012
Pandemics, infectious diseases that spread across large regions, as social phenomena that are created by human beings is the focus of this article. Topics include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Zombie Apocalypse disaster preparedness campaign, the origins of new diseases, such as animal farms, and humans as vectors in the spread of diseases. Hospitals can be disease factories by enabling the proliferation and spread of germs. Also mentioned are the evolution and mutations associated with turning an animal disease into a human one.
Ten Great Public Health Achievements—United States, 2001–2010, Ram Koppaka, MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, May 20, 2011
Ram Koppake reports on the tenpublichealthachievements that helped improve the health status of Americans from 2001 to 2010. The introduction of new vaccines brought the number of diseases aimed by the U.S. immunization policy to 17 including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, and herpes zoster vaccine. Tobacco use was reduced from 23.5% to 20.6% of adult smokers and from 34.8% to 19.5% of youth smokers. Likewise, there was a 36% reduction of infants born with neural tube defects (NTD) from 1996 to 2006.
The Broken Vaccine, Melinda Wenner Moyer, Discover, March 2013
Melinda Wenner Moyer discusses the increase in cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the United States since the 1990s and why the currently used acellulartenanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine (Tdap) vaccine is losing effectiveness. Information is presented on efforts of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to track pertussis outbreaks and epidemics, as well as infection and immunization rates.
Deviated: A Memoir, Jesse Kellerman, Commentary, May 2012
Author Jesse Kellerman presents a personal narrative describing his experiences dealing with having a deviated septum and as a result, having his health insurance coverage denied.
How Government Killed the Medical Profession, Jeffrey A. Singer, Reason, May 2013
Physician Jeffrey A. Singer states that Medicare has been using its price-setting systems to maintain its price control system for over 20 years. He believes that the coding system introduced to improve accuracy of medical claims submitted by doctors has further eroded health care and doctor–patient relationships.
In Dire Health, Arnold S. Relman, American Prospect, January/February 2012
Many believe that medical insurance is needed to help pay medical costs. According to Arnold Relman, a tax-supported universal access to comprehensive care without bills for specific services or insurance to pay the bills is a more affordable health care option. He says that the alternative to achieving affordable health care is a tax-supported system that involves physicians in a group practice.
Medicare Whac-A-Mole, Peter Suderman, Reason, January 2012
Peter Suderman discusses the failure of health care price controls in the United States. He believes The American Enterprise Institute health policy transforming the system is the only way to escape the flaws of sustainable growth rate (SGR) and other price controls. Abolishing the SGR entirely, as many doctors would like, could cost up to $370 billion over a decade.
Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Saad B. Omer et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, May 7, 2009
There are a growing number of children in the United States who are not vaccinated against childhood diseases. Their parents have opted to forgo immunization due to their belief that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they prevent. This has caused an increase in outbreaks of measles and whooping cough among non-immunized children.
Medical Tourism: What You Should Know, Lorene Burkhart and Lorna Gentry, The Saturday Evening Post, January/February 2008
More and more Americans are traveling overseas to combine surgery with sightseeing. The benefits include greatly reduced costs of many medical procedures as well as the opportunity to seek treatments not yet available or practiced in the United States. In 2006, an estimated half million Americans went abroad for medical treatment, a trend that's expected to increase in the next few years.
Bed Bugs: The Pesticide Dilemma, Rebecca Berg, Journal of Environmental Health, June 2010
Pesticide-resistant bed bugs are back, and the good news is they don't appear to transmit disease with their bites. However, they invade beds, interfere with sleep, and can impact people emotionally.
Antibiotics and the Meat We Eat, David A. Kessler, New York Times, March 28, 2013
In the United States, meat and poultry are monitored by the Food and Drug Administration for the presence antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This monitoring has shown that the numbers of resistant bacteria are growing and the problem is getting worse.
Cybermedicine: What You Need to Know, Regina A. Bailey, Health Lawyer, August 2011
Attorney Regina Bailey offers information on cybermedicine in the United States. She notes that physicians are increasingly using the Internet to communicate with patients through online medical consultations. Bailey mentions that cybermedicinehas drawbacks due to the practice regulation governed by each state since there is no uniform law regarding online medical consultations.
The Surprising Reason Why Heavy Isn't Healthy, Ginny Graves, Health, January/February 2010
While being overweight or obese may increase the risk for certain health problems, how much a person weighs may also keep him or her from getting the same health care as non-overweight individuals. Overweight men and women may have difficulty getting health insurance, are less likely to get cancer detected early, and are at higher risk of being misdiagnosed.
Is PTSD Contagious?, Mac McClelland, Mother Jones, January/February 2013
Post —Traumatic Stress syndrome is currently at epidemic levels among returning veterans that impacts their friends, families, and co-workers.
Suicide, Guns, and Public Policy, E. Michael Lewiecki and Sara A. Miller, American Journal of Public Health, January 2013
Over one million deaths by suicide occur each year worldwide. In the United States, handguns are the most common means of suicide. Though there is strong evidence that restricting access to firearms reduces suicide, current gun control laws are controversial and according to the authors, do not effectively restrict access.
The New Sex Cancer, Alyssa Giacobbe, Men's Health, September 2011
Alyssa Giacobbe offers information on oral cancer, which can be caused by the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV) via oral sex. She states that men are at increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer, which is just not caused by smoking or drinking but by HPV. She also mentions that oropharyngealcancer is a form of oral cancer found in the tonsils and in the base of the tongue.
Drilling into the Unknown, Peter Aldhouse, New Scientist, January 28, 2012
Peter Aldhous explores the health and environmental concerns over the liquid fracturing (fracking) process of natural gas extraction. The potential exploitation of the Marcellus Shale gas field in the northeastern United States has prompted fears of drinking water pollution, the toxicity of the chemical additives in fracking fluids, and methane contamination of groundwater, but studies of these issues have so far been inconclusive. The 2010 moratorium on fracking by New York State is also discussed.