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November 2nd, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Obesity program little help for low-income girls

Low-income African American girls who participated in weight loss programs over two years showed little improvement, according to two new studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Researchers found little change in the girl's body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. (calculate your BMI here)

In the first study from Stanford University girls, were offered dance classes and other opportunities to get active. One group was offered hip-hop and other types of dance classes five time a week.  Researchers also went to their homes and helped them find activities they could do instead of spending time in front of the TV or computer.  The other group just received newsletters with activities focusing on health and nutrition.  Researchers also met quarterly with their parents.

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November 2nd, 2010
12:39 PM ET

Disparities found in ear infection treatment

Poor and minority children who get frequent ear infections are less likely to have the same access to affordable health care as other children, according to a new study.  Ear infections are one of  the most common health problems in children.  Frequent ear infections are defined as three or more a year.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA culled through government records and found that about 4.6 million children suffer from frequent ear infections.  Overall they found 3.7 percent of children could not afford care, 5.6 percent could not afford prescriptions and only 25.8 percent saw a specialist.

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November 2nd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Changes coming to Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers in the United Kingdom has unveiled a new points system and American users can expect changes too.

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Deception in the brain: New clues
November 2nd, 2010
11:10 AM ET

Deception in the brain: New clues

Anyone who's ever bought anything at a flea market or dealt with a real estate agent knows that the buyer and seller have different incentives. The buyer wants a great deal; the seller wants to make a profit.

How the brain works in the negotiating process is poorly understood. Now, a new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new insight into how the brain responds to the challenge of getting a desired price and, specifically, in deceiving the other party.

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Many factors in infectious disease uptick
November 2nd, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Many factors in infectious disease uptick

Cases of some infectious diseases that haven’t been seen in decades are making a comeback. In California there are nearly 6,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and other diseases such as measles, mumps and tuberculosis have returned. There are several reasons why these diseases are back: Some are cyclical; some have become resistant to current vaccines; some vaccines wear off so booster shots are needed; and there is the fear that some vaccines could cause other illnesses. Immigration also can be a factor, especially for tuberculosis but also for other diseases long eradicated from this country but still occurring in other parts of the world.

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November 2nd, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Rural teens more likely to abuse prescription drugs

Rural teens are 26 percent more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes than are urban teens, researchers report in the  JAMA Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Non-medical prescription drug use  is a growing problem that increased 212 percent among U.S. teens from 1992 to 2003, according to the study. It is an area of concern because it’s associated with the use of other drugs including cocaine and heroin, and in problem behaviors such as gambling, increased sexual activity, and "impulsivity,” the study said. “Individuals who use prescription drugs earlier in life have a greater chance of later developing prescription drug dependence,” the authors wrote.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine analyzed data from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, produced annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The survey included data for 17,872 teens ages 12 to 17; just over half  lived in urban areas, and 17.1 percent of respondents lived in rural areas.

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November 2nd, 2010
08:29 AM ET

How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Alida of Maine:

I am 12 years old, and I think I'm depressed. How am I supposed to tell my mother and stepfather?

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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