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Health and Fitness News Headlines

Daily health news updates, health information, news about fitness and nutrition, women's health, men's health, as well as health and fitness advice and health and fitness tips. Includes articles and news on healthy living and healthy lifestyle.

Study Finds Why We Crave Chocolate

(AP) If that craving for chocolate sometimes feels like it is coming from deep in your gut, that is because maybe it is. A small study links the type of bacteria living in people's digestive system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in their guts. But people who crave daily chocolate show signs of having different colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate's allure. That may be the case for other foods, too. The idea could eventually lead to treating some types of obesity by changing the composition of the trillions of bacteria occupying the intestines and stomach, said Sunil Kochhar, co-author of the study. It appears Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Proteome Research.   Continued

CBS Health
Going for golden

AS a culture that celebrates youth and beauty, we learn early on that adults are over the hill at 40. Birthdays aren't counted after 50. And by 60 the teasing has stopped and people are genuinely sympathetic. But the joke may be on the young. New research is finding -- with surprising consistency -- that people become happier as they age. Physical and cognitive decline notwithstanding, the later years are for many people the best years of life.  Continued

LA Times Health
Overweight kids at risk for asthma hospitalization

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Overweight children seen in the ER for an asthma flare-up are more likely to be admitted to the hospital than their non-overweight peers, according to a report in the journal Pediatrics. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of illness severity. "This is the first study in children to examine the relationship between overweight and hospital admission during asthma exacerbations," lead author Dr. Christopher L. Carroll, from Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford, told Reuters Health.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Routine health care lags for children

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. children are receiving less than half the routine care they need, even if they are covered by health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday. "We're talking about the basics of what we should be providing, and in many cases it's just not happening," said Dr. Rita Mangione-Smith of the University of Washington in Seattle, who led the study. Shortfalls were seen in vaccinating children on time, providing recommended asthma care and even monitoring growth. Parents may need to read up on needed care and come in to checkups armed with checklists, Mangione-Smith said.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Widespread weight loss may reap health benefits

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If a large swath of the population cut down on calories and took up exercise, the resulting health benefits could be extensive, a new study suggests. The findings are based on an analysis of the economic crisis in Cuba from 1989 to 2000. While the circumstances were dire, and Cuban citizens' health suffered in certain ways, researchers found that significant health benefits also emerged. Specifically, people's overall calorie intake declined, while their physical activity levels climbed -- mainly as a result of walking or biking instead of paying for public transportation. As a result, the prevalence of obesity fell by half -- from 14 percent of the adult population to 7 percent -- and deaths from diabetes, heart disease and stroke dropped substantially.  Continued

Reuters Health News
A bad relationship can cause heart attack?

LONDON (Reuters) - It has been the stuff of great romantic novels and blockbuster films. Doctors have long suspected it. A study of 9,000 British civil servants has at last established it is possible to die of a 'broken heart'. The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the stress and anxiety of hostile, angry relationships can boost the risk of developing heart disease. Chances of a heart attack or chest pain rose by 34 percent compared to people on good terms with a spouse or partner. "A person's heart condition seems to be influenced by negative intimate relationships," researchers wrote. "We showed that the negative aspects of close relationships...are associated with coronary heart disease."  Continued

Reuters Health News
5 alternative medicine treatments that work

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Dr. Andrew Weil wasn't sure exactly how he hurt his knee; all he knew was that it was painful. But instead of turning to cortisone shots or heavy doses of pain medication, Weil turned to the ancient Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture. "It worked -- my knee felt much better," says Weil. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on alternative medicine, everything from chiropractic care to hypnosis.  Continued

CNN Health
The Spud Report

Nutritious and delicious, potatoes are the perfect carb — before or after a run. For many runners, pasta is such a staple that meal-planning means choosing between penne and linguine. And for good reason: Pasta is high in carbs, it's easy to prepare, not to mention it's tasty. But runners who fuel up on only noodles may be overlooking a carb source that's just as good, if not better: the potato. Baked, mashed, or boiled, potatoes actually provide more energy-delivering complex carbohydrates than a cup of pasta.  Continued

MSN Health & Fitness
Deadly Germ Labs Unchecked

(AP) Unregulated laboratories are experimenting with potentially deadly germs, increasing public risk in a system that relies on self-reporting of accidents, congressional investigators said Thursday. Operators of the labs are the only people who know whether a few known cover-ups of accidents "are the tip of the iceberg or the iceberg itself," said Keith Rhodes, a Government Accountability Office expert on lab research. No government agency knows the total number of such labs or tries to keep track of them, the GAO told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.   Continued

CBS Health
Exercise For Cardiovascular Health Keeps Knee Cartilage Healthy Too

The world's most common joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability among adults over the age of 50. Whether physical activity is beneficial or detrimental to weight-bearing joints, knees in particular, has been open to debate. Some studies implicate physical activity in provoking knee OA, while others suggest that physical activity may actually protect the knee joint from the disease. Confounding the matter is the fact that knee injury is a known risk factor for knee OA. Then, there's the unclear role of osteophytes in knee OA progression, compounded by the limitations of radiographs for monitoring small yet significant changes in joint structure.   Continued

Science Daily
Eat fish while pregnant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women who want to become pregnant, are pregnant or breast-feeding should eat at least 12 ounces of fatty fish such as tuna every week to help themselves and their babies, experts recommend. Fish including mackerel, sardines, light tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- components of fat known to help brain development. Walnuts, flaxseed oil and leafy green vegetables also contain the compounds.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Bush vetoes popular bill on kids' health care

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Wednesday vetoed a measure to expand a popular children's health care program, launching the first in a series of major battles with Democrats over domestic spending. The legislation had bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress and the veto risks angering many Republicans who fear the issue could hurt their party in the 2008 elections.  Continued

Reuters Health News
"Healthy Buddies" teach lifestyle lessons to kids

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A school-based healthy lifestyle program appears to improve the attitudes elementary school children have toward healthy foods and physical activity, study findings suggest. Over one school year, participants in the "Healthy Buddies" program, boosted their physical activity levels, gained less weight, and showed smaller increases in blood pressure, compared with age-matched counterparts not enrolled in the program, the study found.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Life can be sweeter if you cut out the sugar

LONDON (Reuters) - Giving up sweets and avoiding vitamins could help you live longer, German researchers said on Tuesday. They found that restricting glucose -- a simple sugar found in foods such as sweets that is a primary source of energy for the body -- set off a process that extended the life span of some worms by up to 25 percent. The key was boosting the level of "free radicals" -- unstable molecules that can damage the body and which people often try to get rid of by consuming food or drinks rich in anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, they said in a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Obesity may push U.S. health costs above Europe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly twice as many U.S. adults are obese compared to European, a key factor leading Americans to suffer more often from cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, a study released on Tuesday found. Treatment of these and other chronic diseases adds between $100 billion and $150 billion to the annual health care tab in the United States, according to the report comparing U.S. and European health published online in the journal Health Affairs.  Continued

Reuters Health News
The polluted workout

Caroline Ahn lives and works in the city. She also works out in the city. Ahn runs 5 to 7 miles about five times a week. Her route takes her from her home in West Town to the lakefront. But it also takes her through a highly polluted area. "During the summer there is so much exhaust," said Ahn, 26. "It's very hot and the air becomes very thick." Ahn runs early in the morning to avoid the heat and the heavy traffic. And by running early on the lakefront, she also may be avoiding pollutants.  Continued

Chicago Tribune
Getting Motivated For Fitness

Allison Chopra, a fitness expert at Indiana University, encourages her personal training clients to break their more ambiguous goals of say, feeling better or dropping a few dress sizes, into smaller goals that can be achieved in three to four weeks. She discourages weight-oriented goals because weight loss is a long-term process and everyone loses weight at different rates. Instead, she wants to know how her clients feel.  Continued

Science Daily
Food safety system in crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are skeptical of imported food and other products after repeated safety scares, said lawmakers on Wednesday, who want to give the Food and Drug Administration more power to inspect imports and recall defective ones. The "system has pretty much fallen apart from top to bottom," said Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. "People are shocked by the continuing number of food safety issues we have."  Continued

Reuters Health News
Health-care fix looms large over 2008 races

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Health care could undergo its biggest revolution in decades under the proposals of presidential hopefuls trying to fix a system that has left one in seven Americans without insurance. No other major industrial democracy has such a large number of people without health coverage. Opinion polls have shown health care to be the top domestic issue for Democrats. At least one survey found that Democrats ranked it as important as Iraq. Republican voters also are paying more attention than in past years.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Why won't Johnny eat broccoli?

How did today's so-called "kids' cuisine" become so narrowly defined? It's mostly limited to fried breaded chicken, fries and the like. Experts say this beige, deep-fried diet -- often washed down with "tall" sugary drinks -- may be one reason American children are gaining weight at alarming rates and developing early signs of heart disease and diabetes. But beyond the childhood obesity threat, this modern-day kiddie meal may be doing something equally insidious to young kids: deadening their developing palates. "Our children's palates are being dumbed down by greasy, salty and sweet foods and drinks," said pediatric nutritionist Keith Ayoob at Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York City.  Continued

Chicago Tribune Health
Simple Steps to Better Sleep

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. But how many of us actually pay attention to how we're doing it? If you've got neck or back pain, restless legs or have just had a hard day, you might be sleeping with the enemy. Making a few quick adjustments in your mattress, pillows and the way you position your body in bed, however, can make a big difference, doctors and sleep experts say. "Most people don't know how poor their sleep is until they get a good mattress," says Dr. Johnny Benjamin, spinal medical expert and chair of the orthopedics department at the Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach, Fla.  Continued

MSN Health & Fitness
FDA fails to vet many prescription drugs

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Every year, doctors write approximately 65 million prescriptions for drugs not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that regulates prescription drugs. These drugs, some of which the FDA admits could be dangerous, slip through a "black hole" in the drug approval system, according to one U.S. congressman. "There's a regulatory black hole that makes it possible for the pharmaceutical companies to get these drugs to the stores that sell them without the FDA being able to monitor it," said Rep. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts.  Continued Health
House backs kids' health bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defying a veto threat from President George W. Bush, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to expand a health care program for children in low-income families and raise tobacco taxes to pay for it. The House voted 265-159 in favor of the bill, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. Forty-five Republicans broke ranks with Bush and voted with Democrats in support of the bill. The Senate is expected to take up the measure this week.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Most women unclear on hormone therapy risks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Fewer than one third of women 40 to 60 years old have heard about the landmark study that found the risks of hormone therapy for most menopausal women probably outweigh their benefits. And just 40 percent got more answers right than wrong on a series of questions about whether hormone therapy increased or reduced the risk of seven different conditions, according to the report in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.  Continued

Reuters Health News
Omega-3 fatty acids protect against diabetes

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A diet rich in fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids helped cut the risk that children with a family history of diabetes would develop the disease, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. "It is a relatively large effect," said Jill Norris, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It is exciting because it suggests we might be able to develop nutritional interventions to prevent diabetes."  Continued

Reuters Health News
All Hail Peanut Butter!

I loved getting PB&J sandwiches in my school lunch boxuntil I became a teenager. That's when peanut butter turned into a guilt-ridden indulgence akin to candy bars, cookies, and cakes: diet disasters to be avoided at all costs. Here's why I was wrong:  Continued

MSN Diet and Fitness News


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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life with free coaching.... more.

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