public health

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Soda Giants: You Drink Too Many Calories—From Soda

Big 3 promise 20% cut by 2025

(Newser) - Even America's soda-makers agree that people are getting too many calories from their products, and the biggest three have now pledged to cut calorie consumption by a fifth by 2025. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group won't actually be reducing the number of calories their products contain,... More »

Artificial Sweeteners May Raise Your Blood Sugar

Study suggests that it's true for at least some people, thanks to gut bacteria

(Newser) - If you're drinking diet soda or consuming other products with artificial sweeteners to cut your risk of obesity and diabetes, a new study published in Nature has some bad news: You might be doing more harm than good. Researchers found that sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame can... More »

US Bellies Get Bigger: Worst Kind of Obesity

American waistlines expand in a big way over last decade

(Newser) - The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures—the most dangerous kind of obesity—has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, according to a government study. People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks, or all... More »

Use More Female Lab Rats, Feds Tell Scientists

NIH says gender bias in research hurts women's health

(Newser) - If medical researchers want money from the National Institutes of Health, they'll have to put an end to the boys' club in the lab. The new NIH rules aren't talking about a gender bias among the scientists themselves, however, but among their test subjects—specifically animals and cells,... More »

1B Around World Defecate in Public, Warns UN

It's a huge health risk, says new study

(Newser) - A new UN report warns of an under-the-radar health risk: It estimates that 1 billion impoverished people around the world still have no access to toilets, reports Reuters . While that number is down from 1.3 billion in 1990, it still leaves far too many who "defecate in gutters,... More »

US Gets First Case of Deadly MERS Virus

Traveler from Saudi Arabia is infected in Indiana hospital

(Newser) - The CDC today is reporting an unwanted milestone—the first known case of a deadly virus known as MERS has shown up in the US, reports NBC News . The patient is an unidentified health care worker who traveled to the US from Saudi Arabia and is now being treated at... More »

Let's Make It Harder to Opt Out of Vaccinations

Michael Gerson: Parents are putting not just their kids at risk, but the rest of us

(Newser) - We need to make it a lot harder for parents to refuse vaccinations for their kids, writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post . It's bad enough that those who wrongly believe vaccines cause autism or brain damage are endangering their own children, but they're also putting the general... More »

An AIDS Shot? Tests Raise Hope of Easier Prevention

Monkeys who got injection were protected from disease

(Newser) - Successful tests on monkeys suggest that people at risk of AIDS might be able to get a shot every three months or so to keep them healthy, reports AP . In two separate tests, each monkey that got an injection of anti-AIDS drugs remained protected for weeks after exposure, unlike those... More »

Puzzling Polio-Like Illness Hits Kids in California

Doctors mystified by at least 25 cases

(Newser) - Public health officials are mystified by an outbreak of a polio-like illness that has left at least 25 children in California with paralyzed limbs. The affected children are hit quickly with severe weakness or paralysis, sometimes after a respiratory illness, the Los Angeles Times reports. The first case surfaced in... More »

Obesity in Kids Plummets

Rate falls 43% among those age 2 to 5

(Newser) - Here's something we don't hear much: good news on the nation's childhood obesity rate. The CDC says it's down among kids ages 2 to 5 by 43% over the last decade, reports Time . That's not just a mild surprise, it's "stunning," declares... More »

Food Poisoning May Trigger Multiple Sclerosis

Study suggests that a toxin plays a role

(Newser) - Scientists still don't know what causes multiple sclerosis, but new research suggests that a particular strain of food poisoning may play a role, reports the BBC . The food bacterium in question is called Clostridium perfringens, which NBC News notes is responsible for millions of cases of foodborne illnesses per... More »

2 Ways Diet Soda May Not Be Helping

People tend to eat more, and diet mixers may make you drunker: studies

(Newser) - It's not that researchers think switching from sugary sodas to diet versions is a bad thing, it's just that those who do make the switch should bear in mind a few things:
  • They may eat more: A Johns Hopkins study finds that heavy people who drink diet soda
... More »

97% of Chicken Covered in Bacteria: Consumer Reports

Study finds half of store-bought chicken contains fecal matter

(Newser) - Consumer Reports' latest report isn't for the weak of stomach: Some 97% of the 316 raw chicken breasts it purchased at US stores in July contained "worrisome amounts of bacteria." While it admits it's "unrealistic to expect uncooked chicken won't contain any potentially... More »

Don't Believe Dire Warnings of Doctor Shortage

Technology, more help from support teams should solve the problem: 'NYT' op-ed

(Newser) - Headlines about a looming doctor shortage for the US have been kicking around for a while, with the Association of American Medical Colleges forecasting a gap of 130,000 by 2025. Don't believe it, write Drs. Scott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel in the New York Times . The doomsayers generally... More »

Today's Kids Can't Run as Fast as Parents Did

Children getting slower, fatter by the year

(Newser) - Today's children are the most sedentary generation in history and they would be easily trounced in a race with younger versions of their parents, a new study finds. Researchers—who looked at data involving millions of children in 20 countries over more than 40 years—found that today's... More »

Crushed by Existential Angst? Find a Teddy Bear

Study finds a simple touch can ease feelings of worthlessness

(Newser) - World got you down? Can't find the point of it all in your meaningless existence? You are a person in dire need of a teddy bear, say researchers in Amsterdam. Through a series of studies, they found that people with low self-esteem see the world in a much better... More »

New Guidelines Tell Doctors to Harangue Patients About Weight

It's time to get aggressive, say medical groups

(Newser) - Next time you go for a checkup, don't be surprised if your doctor gets on your case about your weight. The medical profession has issued new guidelines for fighting the nation's obesity epidemic, and they urge physicians to be a lot more aggressive about helping patients drop those... More »

Big Shift: Forget Focus on Bad Cholesterol Levels

Two heart groups offer sweeping changes on use of statins

(Newser) - Two leading heart groups have announced changes being described as "tectonic" and "profound" in the way doctors prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins. The shift from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology means that doctors will no longer focus on a patent's level of "bad... More »

Flu Shot May Help Your Heart, Too

Study sees reduced risk of cardiovascular trouble

(Newser) - This year's public service announcements urging people to get a flu shot might have just gotten some extra ammo: New research suggests the shots not only help ward off the flu but protect the heart as well, reports the LA Times . An analysis of previous studies found that 3%... More »

Cats Might Help Us Make HIV Vaccine

Researchers find link with feline version of virus

(Newser) - The quest for an HIV vaccine might get a boost from cats, reports Medical News Today . Researchers studying the feline version of AIDS came across a tantalizing discovery: When they exposed a protein from the cat virus to the blood of HIV-positive humans, it triggered an immune response in the... More »

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