Health

While the future of the Affordable Care Act is unclear, some of the changes may be here to stay. President of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Jim Weinstein is focusing on the improvement of patient care over providing more care. NHPR's Dan Gorenstein reporting for Marketplace has more.

Getting Sour on Sugar

Jun 5, 2012

This most ubiquitous and irresistible of foods has also been called addictive and toxic and has been linked with obesity, diabetes, and, recently, memory loss. Some are calling for regulating sugar  as if it were tobacco. But others say it is intrinsic to our very survival as a species, found even in breast milk and that demonizing or shunning sugar is the wrong course. 

Guests

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39794839@N03/5086437626/">HealthHomeHappy.com</a> / Flickr

Although Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) undergo virtually the same training as medical doctors, their services have hitherto not been covered by insurance companies in the state of New Hampshire. Two and a half years ago ND Bert Mathieson, frustrated by what struck him as “discrimination flat out,” got a sponsor for a bill that would change N.H. law. HB351 would require insurers in the state to reimburse naturopathic doctors, who emphasize illness prevention and lifestyle guidance rather than pharmaceutical or surgical procedures in their practice.

The Supreme Court will rule in the coming weeks on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the health care law that has been a flashpoint of partisan acrimony and debate since its beginning.

Much of that debate has been philosophical. But now that the law is under review by the country's highest court, politicians have to plan for the real implications of the court's decision. That's proving particularly difficult for congressional Republicans.

The expansion of forensic databases by US federal agencies. DNA collection of convicted felons is a well- publicized procedure. Recently released documents reveal that the department of homeland security and other federal agencies will be required to collect DNA from any person over the age of fourteen who has been detained -- regardless of criminal activity -- and that plans to include children under 14 are being explored.  

The Women of Wine

May 21, 2012

Sip a glass of Italian wine tonight with dinner.  Savor its full-bodied flavor, or its delicate notes of plum or cherries.    If you really concentrate, you might detect another subtle but important flavor - equality.  Italian women are revolutionizing the way vino is made, promoted and sold.  And women in corporate boardrooms might not be a new phenomenon; their entrance in the world’s male-dominated cantinas and vineyards is, especially as   they’re making changes that are nothing to sniff at.  Nancy Greenleese reports.

 

Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.

"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "

Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.

Photo: Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Today is bike-to-work day, an annual event across the country to promote the healthy and environmentally-friendly option of riding a bicycle to work. NPR wants to see your photos and so do we!

Post a photo of you and your bicycle to twitter and instagram using the hashtag #NHPRbike and #NPRbike. NHPR will retweet your photo and post it to this slideshow.

NHPR's resident bike expert and environment reporter Sam Evans-Brown took a shot this morning of his bike on his daily commute, where he also stopped to get fresh milk and eggs on his way to work.

Widespread obesity among Native Americans has led to spiking diabetes rates among young people in the current generation. The phenomenon partially blamed on the lack of access to healthy food on reservations. Edible Idaho’s Guy Hand recently looked at what a food coalition on the coeur d'alene reservation of North Idaho is doing to connect the people there to better eating, starting with their nutrient-rich roots. 

Today’s report from the USDA’s economic research service upends the notion that healthy food options are more expensive for consumers than sweet and fatty junk-foods. The report points out that price depends on how you measure it. When factored by calorie, a chocolate doughnut will often cost more than a tomato.

Price is the chief concern of Hank Cardello

A Soviet news reel shows teary mourners shuffling past the body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.  The Bolshevik leader and chair of the soviet state in its early years died of a he died of an apparent massive stroke in 1924 at age 54. His embalmed corpse still throngs of visitors to his tomb in Moscow’s Red Square, and was the topic of an annual clinicopathological conference held at the University of Maryland.

Roxboroughsports / Flickr/Creative Commons

New research finds that younger athletes are more susceptible to head injury than once thought, take longer to recover, and are more at risk for suffering second concussions. Now, New Hampshire may join a growing list of states asking coaches and trainers to monitor these injuries more closely.  We talk with experts on head trauma in youth sports. 

Guests:

There have been hints that the obesity epidemic's rise has slowed a bit among certain populations, but for the most part, it continues to dominate American health. One third of children and teenagers are now overweight or obese. And researchers forecast as many as half of our nation's population could be obese — not overweight but obese — by 2030.

Ask family members of someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia: Trying to talk with a loved one who doesn't even remember exactly who they are can be very frustrating.

But here at a senior center in Seattle, things are different.

On one recent day, 15 elderly people were forming a circle. The room is typical — linoleum floors, cellophane flowers on the windows, canes and wheelchairs, and walkers lined up against the wall.

Health Options at Tropical Food Market

Most people know how we should be eating: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fewer candies, fats, and calories. But putting that into practice can be tough.

When you walk into the convenience store and a bag of potatoes chips is a dollar, and a salad is six, which are you going to buy?

Nano-technology is enabling breakthroughs in a number of scientific fields at an unimaginably small scale. Consider that the basic unit of measurement for nano-particles is 40,000 times smaller than the width of the average human hair.  Recently, researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed a nano-particle capable of infiltrating the human immune system and delivering a targeted dose of powerful antibiotics.

What if how much you paid for a drug was based on how much it might help you, instead of the sticker price?

Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats.

But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance.

A new investigative report from Reuters says that the White House has fallen woefully short in the battle against childhood bulge.

Photo by Pietro Izzo, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Want to look ten years younger in ten weeks?  Good luck. Hundreds of skin-care products make bold, supposedly measurable claims to heighten hopes and defy age.  Now, the FDA is paying more attention about what goes into anti-wrinkle creams, and what consumers are actually getting out of them.

Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.

A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.

It's the unscripted, offhand comments that get you in hot water in journalism. Yesterday, in an on-air conversation that introduced a piece on All Things Considered about how farmers in California's Salinas Valley try to keep harmful microbes out of bagged salad greens, we had this exchange in the studio:

Allison Aubrey: Does that mean we need to wash this stuff?

Audie Cornish: I wash it every time, I just don't know if it helps.

Photo of A.J. Jacobs by Michael Cogliantry

A.J. Jacobs is serious about self improvement.

One in four women has had a migraine. And, it turns out, the debilitating headaches affect three times more women than men.

But why?

Decades ago, these headaches were attributed to women's inability to cope with stress, a sort of hysteria. Now experts are starting to figure out the factors that really make a difference.

Today scientists know a migraine is all in your head — but not in that old-fashioned sense. Migraines are biologically based, and they play themselves out as a wave of electrical activity traveling across the brain.

Got a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi habit? Lots of Americans do. Consumption of all types of diet soft drinks has been on the rise. And as a nation, we drink an estimated 20 percent more of diet drinks now than we did 15 years ago.

So, is it good for us? A new study finds the answer to that question may depend a lot on, well, what you eat.

The new concerns over the prolific use of antibiotics and their connection to the obesity epidemic. New research from New York University indicates that over-prescription of antibiotics could harm communities of bacteria that keep digestive systems healthy and help the body fight fat.

Green People

Apr 10, 2012

Many climate scientists argue we’ve passed the point of being able to slow down Co2 emissions that contribute to greenhouse gasses. A few advocates for mammoth scale geo-engineering to alter the earth’s climate.

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.

When your kids are infested with head lice, a certain amount of panic — even desperation — can spread through the house. But one biologist has made it his mission to find a better way to rid his home of a common household pest.

(Photo by Boxercab via Flickr Creative Commons)

A recent study in the medical journal Health Affairs found that more than ten percent of doctors admit to not telling patients the complete truth about their medical conditions, with one in five also confessing to not disclosing medical errors. Danielle Ofri is Associate Professer at NYU. She’s also attending physician at New York's Bellevue Hospital, and a regular contributor to The New York Times' Health section.

Pages