Health

Series: Shifting the Balance
11:16 am
Tue April 10, 2012

When Things go KaBOOM!

Photo by S e e n e, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our series, Shifting the Balance, is focused on exploring the positive impact environmental and policy changes can make on the fight against obesity. For those of us who struggle to carve out an a few hours a week for the gym, healthy living can seem out of reach– but for kids, it’s often less about finding time to play than finding a place to play.

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The Salt
5:11 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Now On The Menu For Hungry Kids: Supper At School

Students at Garfield Elementary School eat dinner as part of an after-school program in Kansas City, Mo. In the past few years, a federally subsidized school dinner program has spread from six to all 50 states.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.

"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:09 am
Mon April 9, 2012

At Google, well-fed employees are a solid investment

(Photo by Kenn Wilson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Think about the workplace perks that keep you a contented employee. Maybe there's free coffee in the kitchen, or, perhaps, your pooch is allowed to wander among the cubicles. 

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Health
7:20 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Senate Begins Battle Over Abortion Funding

Thursday, members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered a bill that would ban public funding of facilities that provide abortion. Opponents of the bill, which has already been approved by the House, say it could jeopardize $700 million in federal Medicaid funds. The bill's sponsor, Republican of Rochester Warren Groen, says preventing the state from funding abortion is a smarter way to use scare with public dollars.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:01 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Calories, Consumption, and the Key to Capitalism

Any idea how many calories are in a 64-ounce double gulp soda from a convenience store? 800, how about one of those big cookies? For a society fixated on weight-loss, very few of us know how many calories we’re taking in and what is a calorie, after all? You can’t see taste, or smell them, but they are everywhere. Your brain knows if you’re getting too much or too little. And the more you take in, the more the food industry makes.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Adjusting to the shift...at home

Photo by Zophos via Flickr Creative Commons

Holyoke, Massachusetts has a rate of childhood obesity much higher than the national average, especially within its considerable Puerto Rican community.

Karen Brown reports on how a community center is enacting change for this population in a three part series. In this story, a 9 year-old finds herself in a house now full of healthy food and surrounded by adults encouraging her to ride her bike instead of watching TV. But with a lack of sidewalks, a high rate of neighborhood crime, and the odds seemingly stacked against her, can the balance truly be shifted in her favor?

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Health
6:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

NH House Approves 24 Hour Wait For Abortion

The NH house has voted to require women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion. 

The so-called women’s right to know bill had to be pared back to win final house passage. Penalties for doctors were stripped, as was the  requirements that abortion providers give women seeking an abortion specific information about abortion risks, including a contested claim linking aborts to breast cancer.  According to the final amendments lead author Republican Tammy Simmons of Manchester, limiting the proposal to a simple 24 waiting period is a common sense compromise.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
9:34 am
Wed March 28, 2012

A Community Approach to a Growing Epidemic

Photo by acastrodad25, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood obesity has become a public health crisis in America – and one of first lady Michelle Obama’s main causes. More than thirty percent of all children in America -- about 11 million -- are considered clinically overweight or obese. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, which has many Puerto Rican and low-income residents, the problem is even worse than the national average. In the first of a series, Karen Brown reports how one community health center is trying to reverse this trend.

 

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Series: Shifting the Balance
12:40 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Web only: Standing in the place where I work

Today, the Boston Globe reported on the growing trend of employees abandoning their chairs and standing up at their workstations. It's become a pretty popular topic since we first started talking about it nearly a year ago, and a popular topic around these parts, too, in no small part because I am still the only standing employee in my workspace. The good news?

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:31 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Stand in the Place Where You Work

Photo by Chotda via Flickr Creative Commons

Are you sitting down? Well, listen up: research shows that sitting too much shaves years off of your life. In 2011, a study in the emerging field of Inactivity Studies found that each hour of sitting per day increases a person’s risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 18 percent. It turns out that eating well and getting plenty of exercise do not offset the detriments of couch potato time as much as living and working in an environment where standing is the default option. As part of our continuing series Shifting the Balance, we spoke with Dr.

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TB
12:50 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

TB Scare At Concord Elementary School

Public health officials have confirmed a case of tuberculosis at Dane Elementary School.

Director of Public Health, Dr. Jose Montero, says the infected child, a kindergarten student, likely contracted the illness from an adult who was exposed to the dangerous bacteria abroad. Most TB is treatable and is spread through the air. Montero says the adult was treated effectively.

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Health
5:40 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Specialty Hospitals Pass House

In a 198 to 161 vote, house members passed a bill that would allow for-profit specialty hospitals to avoid going through the certificate of need regulatory process. The bill also exempts these hospitals, most of which do not take Medicaid patients, from paying the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Opponents say the bill gives an unfair advantage to these for-profit specialty hospitals. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing New Hampshire as a location for a facility in the Northeast.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
1:43 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

The Comfort Food Conundrum

Photo by songpd, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In gentile Savannah, Georgia, traditional southern food remains a somewhat sacred rite. That devotion has made Mrs. Wilkes dining room a place of worship. The former boarding house, now restaurant, offers a relaxed atmosphere and an   abundance of home-cooked pleasure.  But,as Emily Corwin reports for our Shifting the Balance series, the way the food is served can make the difference between over-indulgence, and a satisfying, healthy intake.  

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Series: Shifting the Balance
3:06 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

A School Bus of a Different Sort

Photo by Sam Warren via Wordpress

In rural towns, getting to school isn't always as easy as the walks I used to take in suburban Long Island. Small towns rely heavily on parents to give kids rides, and on kids taking lengthy bus rides...not exactly the healthiest option at a time when childhood obesity rates are climbing exponentially.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:58 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Mississippi Builds Insurance Exchange, Even As It Fights Health Law

Mississippi, unlike some of its neighbors, is moving ahead with an insurance exchange.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 9:24 am

Mississippi, a deeply red Southern state that is part of the Supreme Court case against the health law, is moving full speed ahead with one of the key provisions of that law: an online health insurance exchange.

Unlike Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other conservative states in the South, Mississippi is well on its way to having an insurance exchange ready for operation by the 2014 deadline laid out by the health overhaul law.

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