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The Science of Fat: What We Don't Know Will Hurt You
 

The Science of Fat: What We Don't Know Will Hurt YouThe following is the introduction to the chapter "The Science of Fat" in the book Fat Kids: Truth and Consequences. Why we become fat and how we lose fat is of primary interest in our culture and our homes. What we don't know may surprise you. It is far more complex than even scientists currently know. This is just the beginning of an extensive...



What Really Matters Today (And Every Day)
 

What Really Matters Today (And Every Day)As I write this, one of my daughters is in the hospital recovering from elective, but nonetheless somewhat urgent surgery. She will be fine, and likely come home later today. Still, the native rhythms of Katz family holiday preparation are much disturbed by worry, and the logistics of a family member in the hospital. When another of our...



The 12 Days of a Healthy Home: A Holiday Checklist
 

The 12 Days of a Healthy Home: A Holiday ChecklistThe 12 days of Christmas are fast approaching. While five golden rings would be lovely, most of us have no use for two turtle doves, or a partridge. What we do seek, and at the top of most people's wish list these days, is good health. Why then, do we adorn our homes with holiday décor and engage in activities that could be making the whole...



China court raps clinic over 'gay conversion' therapy
 

A Beijing orders a clinic to pay compensation to a homosexual man for administering electric shocks in an attempt to make him heterosexual. AFP Photo / Getty - Ethan MillerA Beijing court Friday ordered a psychological clinic to pay compensation to a homosexual man for administering electric shocks in an attempt to make him heterosexual, an unprecedented ruling on so-called conversion therapy. The plaintiff, a gay man named Yang Teng, said he felt traumatised when he received the shocks after being told to have sexual thoughts involving men. Yang said the court also ruled it wasn't necessary to administer the shocks since homosexuality did not require treatment. "I'm going to take this verdict and show it to my parents so they can see a Chinese court said homosexuality isn't a mental illness," Yang told AFP.



Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths
 

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions without risking punishmentMozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions without risking punishment, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths. President Armando Guebuza on Thursday quietly signed into law a revised penal code bill that eases prohibitions in abortion regulations. In Mozambique, the earlier law outlawing abortion, except in cases where the mother’s life or health is endangered, dates to the late 19th century, when the mainly Catholic Portuguese controlled the country. The other major creed in Mozambique is Islam, a faith which also does not support abortion.



'Surveillance' may be safest for low-risk prostate cancer
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Among men whose low-risk prostate cancer was managed with so-called active surveillance for up to 15 years, just 1.5 percent died of the cancer, according to new data from a Canadian study. That result is similar to outcomes in men whose cancers are treated immediately, the authors write. Prostate cancer often grows very slowly. In some men, such as the elderly or those with serious health problems, it may never need to be treated, says the American Cancer Society. ...

UN chief, visiting Ebola region, urges respect for health rules
 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the media in San JoseBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg MONROVIA (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, starting a visit to Ebola-hit states in West Africa on Friday, urged their people to set aside traditional practices like washing the dead by hand so as to help end an epidemic that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Ban said he hoped to use his two-day tour of the region - his first since the outbreak was detected in March - to raise the profile of the fight against the disease and to thank the thousands of health workers who have participated. ...



In overweight kids, some exercises can strain feet
 By Roxanne Nelson (Reuters Health) - In overweight children, exercise can put pressure on their developing feet, say Australian researchers. They point out that overweight children are at risk for foot pain and discomfort because they tend to have fatter and flatter feet, which can lead to increased pressure on the arched portion of the sole. That, in turn, could stop kids from participating in physical activity, they warn in a recent paper. ...

Rio de Janeiro preparations on track: mayor
 RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are on track and facilities are set to be delivered on time, the mayor of host city Rio de Janeiro said on Friday. Speaking at a press conference, Mayor Eduardo Paes said the main hurdles to preparations had been overcome and there should be no problem meeting deadlines if work continues at the current pace. "It's never a comfortable situation, but things are quite up-to-speed," Paes told reporters in Rio. "We have full control of the process now. ...

Five dead, dozens ill from bacteria linked to caramel apples
 By Mary Wisniewski (Reuters) - Five people have died and 21 others have been hospitalized in recent weeks in a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, federal health officials said on Friday. A total of 28 people infected with listeria have been reported from 10 states, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC warned consumers not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including those with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate or sprinkles, until more information is available. ...

UN chief visits Ebola-ravaged West African nations
 

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 file photo, A health worker volunteer talks with residents on how to prevent and identify the Ebola virus in others, and distributes bars of soap in Freetown, Sierra. Community leaders and Ebola surveillance teams are going house-to-house in neighborhoods in and around Sierra Leone’s capital to search for the sick. President Ernest Bai Koroma launched “Operation Western Area Surge” on Wednesday in a national broadcast. While infection rates appear to be stabilizing or declining in neighboring Guinea and Liberia, Sierra Leone is still seeing a surge of cases, especially the Western Area, which includes Freetown and its surroundings. (AP Photo/Michael Duff, File)MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised health workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Friday, saying they have shown "the most noble face of humankind" amid an epidemic that has killed more than 6,900 people in West Africa.



Taking This Common Pain Reliever Could Add Years To Your Life
 

Taking This Common Pain Reliever Could Add Years To Your LifeIbuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug used to relieve pain and fever, could hold the key to a longer, healthier life, according to a study conducted by the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The study, published in the December edition of PLoS Genetics, found that regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit...



AstraZeneca's ovarian cancer drug gets U.S. approval
 

The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in London(Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc's ovarian cancer drug has been granted an accelerated approval by the U.S. health regulator, a day after the treatment was approved by the European Commission. An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had voted in June against granting an accelerated approval to the drug, Lynparza, citing inadequate data. The FDA was earlier scheduled to review the drug on Jan. 3. Lynparza aims to treat ovarian cancer in patients with certain hereditary gene mutations. ...



The Science Behind Nailing Your New Year's Resolution
 Make new year's goals stick past Jan. 2 with these psychological tactics.

It's time to fight traditions that harm women's health: WHO
 LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Some of the major health problems faced by women in developing countries are caused by "terrible" traditions that must be stopped, said the head of public health at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Traditions such as child marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM), widely practised in some communities, contribute to high maternal mortality rates in some poor countries where girls as young as 13 get married and give birth. ...

Caramel Apples Linked to 4 Deaths In Multi-State Listeria Outbreak
 Twenty-eight people have become ill in 10 states.

Obama: U.S. will respond to North Korea-linked hack on Sony
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States will respond to the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures now that U.S. authorities have linked the strike to the North Korean government.

AstraZeneca cancer drug, companion test approved
 TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday granted accelerated approval to the first in a new class of targeted drugs for ovarian cancer, Lynparza from British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC.

Coal ash labeled non-hazardous under new U.S. environmental rules
 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued rules on Friday labeling coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production containing toxic materials such as arsenic and lead, as non-hazardous waste. The label means that states, and not the EPA, will be the primary enforcers of new rules, which will require the closure of some coal ash holding ponds leaking contaminants into surrounding water. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Chris Reese)

Ban pledges UN support in tour of Ebola-hit West Africa
 

UN chief Ban Ki-moon (R) reviews the troops with Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai after arriving at the Monrovia airport, on December 19, 2014, on the first stop of a visit to Ebola-ravaged west African countriesUN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday pledged support for Ebola-ravaged countries seeking to end the world's worst outbreak of the virus and rebuild their health systems as he began a tour of the three hardest-hit nations. With the UN having faced criticism for an allegedly slow response to the virus, Ban started the tour in Liberia, the worst-hit country, after flying in from Ghana, where the UN Ebola mission is headquartered. "Today we have reason to be cautiously optimistic that this terrible outbreak can be defeated," Ban said at a joint press conference with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "The spread of the virus is slowing down in Liberia.



Alcohol blackouts common in UK teens
 By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters) - About a third of 15-year-olds in the UK have blacked out due to alcohol, a new survey indicates - and the rate rises to nearly three-quarters by the time they reach 19, researchers found. “Blackout is associated with pretty severe intoxication,” said Dr. Marc Schuckit, the study’s lead author from the University of California, San Diego. It occurs when the blood alcohol level "is about double what is legally drunk.” “We found that (blackouts) were shockingly common” among the teens in the survey, Schuckit told Reuters Health. ...

U.S. FDA approves AbbVie all-oral hepatitis C treatment
 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing the first competition for Gilead Sciences huge selling and expensive medicine for the liver-destroying virus. The AbbVie regimen consists of four different anti-viral drugs to be taken as three pills in the morning and one in the evening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the regimen, which will be sold under the brand name Viekira Pak, for patients with genotype 1 form of the virus, the most common type of hepatitis C and the most difficult to treat. ...

Everything You Should Know About Bereavement at Christmas
 

Everything You Should Know About Bereavement at ChristmasIf you, or someone you know, has lost someone that you love, there are some really important things that you should know about loss at Christmas time.When you install a new program on a computer, while this new program is making alterations to your system then everything else slows down. In fact, some routine programs may even stop working...



Cigarette smoking costs weigh heavily on the healthcare system
 By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters) - Of every $10 spent on healthcare in the U.S., almost 90 cents is due to smoking, a new analysis says. Using recent health and medical spending surveys, researchers calculated that 8.7 percent of all healthcare spending, or $170 billion a year, is for illness caused by tobacco smoke, and public programs like Medicare and Medicaid paid for most of these costs. ...

10 Healthy Habits for the New Year
 

10 Healthy Habits for the New Year2014 is coming to a close, so inevitably the chatter of New Year's resolutions is getting louder. It's great to start goal setting and structuring a program to make sure you're successful early; however, it's equally important to take note of what has and hasn't worked for your health and fitness goals this year. Regardless of whether you want...



The Rise of the Employed Physician
 

The Rise of the Employed PhysicianAs the youngest member of a family of doctors, it was not uncommon during my childhood to spend summers at my father's private practice. I fondly remember greeting the familiar office staff as I recklessly ran amok among an endless array of rickety cabinets containing an untold amount of aging, yellowed paper charts. My dad's patients would...



On Thankfulness
 

On ThankfulnessCredit: World Altering MedicineThe Kamuzu Central Hospital stands tall on a hill in the center of Lilongwe, the capital city of the southern African country Malawi. The largest of the tertiary health centers in the country, Kamuzu Central Hospital sees the widest variety of patients from the widest variety of communities. Primary health...



Conjoined Twin Babies Undergo First Step Toward Separation
 Knatalye and Adeline Mata underwent a 5-hour skin-stretching surgery.

Wall Street up for third day, led by energy shares
 

Man carries an umbrella in the rain as he passes the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended gains for a third session on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its best weekly performance in nearly two months as energy shares continued to rebound.



Missouri school regrets swapping blind student's cane for foam tube
 (Reuters) - A Missouri school district has apologized for taking a cane away from a blind student and forcing him to use a foam tube called a pool noodle, the boy's father said on Friday. Earlier this week, North Kansas School District confiscated the cane of 8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger, who was born without eyes, after he reportedly swung it on a bus. A teacher gave the boy the foam tube instead, said his father Don Nafzinger. The school district, which serves more than 19,000 students in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a statement it made a mistake. ...

Parents of Colorado theater gunman plead for son’s life to be spared
 

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialBy Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - The parents of the man charged in the fatal shootings of 12 people at a Colorado movie theater broke their silence over the 2012 killings on Friday, saying their son is mentally ill, "not a monster," and should be spared the death penalty. Arlene and Robert Holmes urged prosecutors to accept a guilty plea from their son, James Holmes, and a life sentence without parole to avoid the “additional trauma” that a lengthy trial would inflict on survivors and victims' families. ...



USDA report says pesticide residues in food nothing to fear
 By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - More than half of food tested by the U.S. government for pesticide residues last year showed detectable levels of pesticides, though most were within levels the government considers to be safe, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA looked at fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as well as infant formula, apple juice, and other products. ...

Oklahoma to again employ injection mix used in flawed execution
 By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma plans to use the same lethal injection drug combination it employed during a botched execution in April, Department of Corrections officials told a federal court hearing arguments on whether to halt death sentences in the state from being carried out. Lawyers for 21 death row inmates in Oklahoma, four of whom are scheduled to die next year, have asked the court to suspend future executions following the lethal injection of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. ...

Husbands Sign Up To Support Wives In Safe Motherhood Program in Uganda
 

Husbands Sign Up To Support Wives In Safe Motherhood Program in UgandaGeorge Lwigala has probably never heard of HeForShe nor indeed of Emma Watson. But the 36-year-old father, who lives in Butansi in rural Uganda, embodies the spirit of the gender equality campaign launched by the actress in New York in September.George has five children with his wife Annette, who recently joined a Safe Motherhood and Maternal...



FDA approves Cubists' drug for antibiotic-resistant bacteria
 By Amrutha Penumudi and Rosmi Shaji (Reuters) - Cubist Pharmaceutical Inc's drug to treat complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections won U.S. approval on Friday, highlighting the regulator's interest in tackling the growing threat of the so-called superbugs. Cubist shares were up 1.9 percent in extended trading. The drug, Zerbaxa, treats infections caused by gram-negative bacteria — a type of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, often called superbugs. ...

AbbVie says newly approved hepatitis C treatment costs $83,319
 (Reuters) - An AbbVie Inc spokeswoman on Friday said that the company's newly approved hepatitis C treatment will cost $83,319 for a 12-week course, coming in a bit below the price of competing treatments from Gilead Sciences Inc. U.S. health regulators earlier on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing the first competition for Gilead. (Reporting by Caroline Humer)

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths
 WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples because they are linked to four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses in 10 states.

Child being observed at Chicago hospital to rule out Ebola
 By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A child who arrived in Chicago with a fever was under observation on Friday at a city hospital to rule out the Ebola virus, hospital officials said. Federal officials screening arriving passengers at O'Hare International Airport detected the fever, but no other symptoms of the disease, the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement. The patient was isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child’s condition improves and a diagnosis is established, the hospital said. The child was in stable condition. ...

Coal ash is not hazardous waste under U.S. agency rules
 

File photo of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announcing steps to cut carbon pollution in WashingtonBy Jonathan Kaminsky (Reuters) - In a disappointment to environmentalists, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued rules on Friday labeling coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production containing toxic materials such as arsenic and lead, as non-hazardous waste. The label means that states and environmental groups taking legal action, and not the EPA, will be the primary enforcers of the first-ever federal rules targeting coal ash, which will require the closure of some coal ash holding ponds leaking contaminants into surrounding water but will not cover others. ...



FDA approves AbbVie combo hepatitis C treatment
 TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Patients with chronic hepatitis C have a new option for treating the liver-damaging virus, with the approval of a combination treatment developed by AbbVie.

 
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