Tag Archives: health

Yelp Helps Find Places to Eat and Avoid

“Oh, my friend said the last time she ate there she got sick.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, well, I’d have a few more dollars.

food poisoning

Hearsay is one way (if not the only way) I learn about potential food poisoning breakouts. It leaves me wondering if there’s a better way to get that information.

According to new research, there just might be.

It was found that restaurant review sites like Yelp can help health inspectors track down outbreaks of food poisoning that have not been reported. This means the problem can be solved faster, and you’ll likely know about it sooner.

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Have a Healthy Weekend! Make the Most of Your Last Saturday and Sunday of 2013!

Welcome to the weekend! Saturdays and Sundays may mean relaxed diet and fitness rules during much of the year, but the timing of this specific weekend—right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve—may inspire you to get in a few final acts of health in 2013. If you’re feeling like you could use a health reboot right now, here are 10 ways to have a healthy weekend.

weekend ahead

1. Limit your coffee intake. Inherently, coffee is full of all sorts of health-promoting properties. The beverage has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. However, regularly loading up on caffeinated coffee can make you moody and dependent on its energy boosting effects; what started as one cup can quickly turn into three or four if you don’t keep your habit in check. So, if you need extra pep have a single cup, then switch to decaf, which has many of the same health-protecting properties but isn’t addictive.

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Click and Connect: 3 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your M.D.

by Bob Greene for The Best Life.com

The routine goes something like this: You decide you need to see your doctor so you make an appointment. You show up at your scheduled time and wait in the waiting room. You get called into an exam room and wait some more. Someone—a nurse or PA—eventually stops in to do some routine checks. After some more waiting, you finally get to see your doctor. The visit lasts all of about 10 minutes, during which time you try your best to ask all the questions you have (hopefully you’ve remembered to write them down) and share information about whatever issue has brought you into the office.

Bob Greene Click and Connect

Doesn’t exactly seem like the best use of your time—but what other options do you have? Plenty—and many of them can be found online. Over half of Americans are interested in their doctors taking to Facebook and Twitter so they can interact with them via social media.

Facebook: Almost one-third of doctors have accepted friend requests from their patients on Facebook, says research from George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. It’s also possible that they have a professional “page” instead of a personal one that you can access.

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Study Up: 25 Healthiest Colleges List Released

Greatist.com has released their annual list of the 25 healthiest college campuses just in time for the end of the school year.

25 Healthiest Colleges

  • The ranking process started with nominations from readers, reader suggestions from last year’s list, surveys from the College Prowler and Princeton Review and examination of over 100 colleges’ websites.
  • Each school is scored for its dining services and awards, fitness facilities, health services, happiness rankings, and health and fitness initiatives.
  • The top five schools on this year’s list are Bowdoin College, Stanford University, Virginia Tech, Rice University and Washington University in St. Louis. (more…)

Overweight Doctors Less Likely to Talk about Weight Management

If you want to lose weight this year, you may want to consider consulting with a physician who’s BMI is within normal limits. According to a national cross-sectional survey of over 500 primary care physicians in the United States, those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight themselves are much less inclined to help others fight the battle of the bulge.

In most cases, it’s not that they don’t want to. Instead, it’s more likely that they either lack the confidence in themselves or feel that because of their own weight struggles, they assume that most patients won’t take them that seriously. Normal weight physicians feel similarly about their overweight colleagues and feel as though they themselves are better role models for patients. Whether this is truly the case or not, it really doesn’t matter. And although not all physicians are well-equipped to deal with weight management issues, it’s not fair or appropriate to assume that a doctor knows less because their weight isn’t ideal. It’s also not appropriate to assume that physicians who are at a healthy weight are better equipped to counsel their patients on nutrition and exercise-related matters.

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Exercise to Boost Your Mental Health

A new study shows that those who do even a small amount of exercise have better mental health than those who do not.

An article in the New York Times examined a National Institute of Mental Health study that now gives better insight as to why physical activity leads to happier, less anxious people. Although it is commonly known that exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins, many do not know why it occurs or the physical processes of the brain during a workout.

Researchers at the NIMH experimented on both aggressive and even-tempered male mice to find the answers. The dominant male mice got their own private cages, and when they were integrated with the others, they used several intimidation techniques against the defenseless mice. After two weeks of living with their aggressive neighbors, the skittish mice were severely nervous and stressed.

But another group of even-tempered mice were not as intimidated by the aggressive mice. This experimental group had been given an exercise wheel and an exploratory tube in their cage. Although the mice were submissive toward the more aggressive male rodents, they did not appear to be nervous.

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Tomatoland Opens the Curtain on the Dangers of American Agriculture

Something is not ripe with the tomato industry, according to Barry Estabrook’s book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Estabrook examines the corruption and hardships of the red and juicy fruit that is often seen atop  many salads.

The fruit best known for being fresh in the summertime finds its way to the produce section each winter thanks to warm, sunny Florida weather. Estabrook writes that approximately one-third of the U.S.’s tomato supply comes from a state where tomatoes do not naturally grow. Florida’s environment is often difficult with a lack of nitrogen in the soil, insect pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases that can threaten the life of a plant. To make up for these disadvantages, tomato growers often spray the tomato farms with chemicals and pesticides, according to Estabrook.

These chemicals are very harmful to the hard-working tomato pickers and their families, who can get sick or have children with several birth defects. Not to mention these chemicals are extremely harmful to consumers, who may be at risk when ingesting the tomatoes. In addition, tomato pickers work very long and taxing hours in the brutal sun. The workers get no paid vacation and no benefits, and some have even been forced into slavery.

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Ray Harding Avoids Jail Because He is Obese

What should the sentence be for a man who has stolen $800,000? You would think that it would be at least a few years in jail, but for former Liberal Party boss Ray Harding, there were no such consequences. In fact, the man got off completely scott free, supposedly because of his cooperation with the authorities and for the “family troubles” that caused him to make “a misguided grab for money.” Harding was accused of being involved in a pay-for-play scheme that involved the State of New York’s pension fund. He even admitted to being a fake intermediary between the the pension funds and the investment funds.

However, the real reason that Harding got such a light sentence is his poor health. Harding does not have a life-threatening illness like cancer or AIDS; instead, he is obese. And his obesity is a big factor in the very light sentence that he received after stealing $800,000. He will not spend even one day in jail, nor will he be required to pay back the money he stole.

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America’s Health Problems by State

Jeff Wyaski of Pleated Jeans created this map of the United States using information from the census and AmercasHealthRankings.org to illustrate what each state is infamous for in a funny, colorful manner. Here are some of the health-related statistics Wyaski chose to highlight:

Alabama’s Shame: Stroke
Oklahoma and Alabama are tied for the highest rates of stroke at 3.8 percent.

Arizona’s Shame: Highest Rate of Alcoholism

Connecticut’s Shame: Breast Cancer
On Average, 134.1 out 100,000 have breast cancer in Connecticut, according to StateHealthFacts.org.

Georgia’s Shame: Most Sickly
Based on the highest rate of influenza.

Kansas’ Shame: Poorest Health
Based on the highest number of sick days taken per month, at 3.5 per days.

Kentucky’s Shame: Most Cancer Deaths
It’s not surprising to find out that Kentucky also has the highest rate of tobacco smokers, at 25.6 percent of the population.

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Symptoms of Appendicitis: Not Just Food Poisoning

Symptoms of AppendicitisIt’s often easy to blame stomach pain or nausea on food poisoning, the non-medical term that usually refers to sickness caused by food-borne bacteria. Yet symptoms like these can also be triggers of a more serious problem.

Many people who have appendicitis say the pain is hard to describe. According to WebMD, the following symptoms in adults could be appendicitis:

– Pain in the belly, which may begin around the belly button
– Stomach pain may worsen when you move, stand or cough
– Nausea
– Vomiting
Back pain
– Low-grade fever
– Swollen abdomen
– Lack of appetite

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