October 8th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.
"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "A diet containing tomatoes... a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection."
October 3rd, 2012
12:01 AM ET
Blame for a teen’s unhealthy body image often falls on the media. The barrage of size-zero supermodels and waif-like celebrities walking the red carpet could push anyone to curse their shape, right?
A study published this week in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds a new culprit may also be partially to blame: Our genes.
Researchers wondered why only a small percentage of the population developed an eating disorder when everyone was being exposed to the same images. They hypothesized that certain genes could make a person more or less prone to accepting the “thin ideal.”
September 25th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
Childhood obesity isn't just a health issue, according to a group of retired military leaders. It's also a national security issue.
One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.
"No other major country's military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America's armed forces," according to the report.
"At the end of the day, the reason America is safe and sound is not because of its tanks," adds retired Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, spokesman for Mission: Readiness. "It’s really the men and women who volunteer and so proudly serve."
Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.
Mission: Readiness believes having healthier food in the cafeteria and in vending machines will help slow - or even reverse - rising childhood obesity rates. And healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults who can serve their country.
"We’re not picking on the schools," Seip says. "The schools are part of the solution. We like to think that this obesity problem... is one that’s going to require all of America to tackle."
August 21st, 2012
11:18 AM ET
It’s hard to argue with a $1 double cheeseburger. Perhaps that’s why so many believe that eating healthy is expensive.
The EWG has combined forces with anti-hunger group Share Our Strength to create a healthy shopping guide for low-income households: “Good Food on a Tight Budget.”
The guide contains lists of “best buys” – those that pack the most nutrition for the lowest cost – in each food group, cooking/shopping tips, recipes, a meal planner and a price tracker.
August 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
Eating a little dark chocolate each day may be good for the heart, but only if you grab your running shoes in one hand and an apple in the other.
New research found that people who ate dark chocolate or cocoa for short periods of time saw a slight drop in blood pressure. But there is a caveat: If you eat these treats, you need to make sure you're doing all of the right things to stay healthy, such as exercising, eating right and - if you're on blood pressure medicine - taking that as well.
Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, curious about the role of dark chocolate in heart health, looked at 20 studies in which adults ate dark chocolate or cocoa. More than 850 people participated in the trials that generally ran from two to eight weeks.
August 14th, 2012
12:56 PM ET
Chocoholics have been looking for the answer for years: Chocolate + ? = Cellulite-free thighs.
We just never thought chemists would be the ones to solve the equation.
Researchers in the United Kingdom have managed to cut the amount of fat needed to make chocolate in half, without losing any of the dessert’s delectable-ness. Their trade secrets were published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry this week.
The new chocolate formula contains small droplets of fruit juice, explains lead study author Dr. Stefan Bon. These droplets can replace up to 50% of the triglyceride fats found in cocoa butter and milk, similar to the way air bubbles reduce the density of Aero chocolate bars.
July 4th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
If you're wondering whether to take a vitamin D supplement to keep your bones healthy, it's understandable if you - and even your doctor - are at a loss.
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but the research on supplements has been inconsistent. Some studies have concluded that vitamin D supplements can lower the risk of bone fractures, while others suggest the pills provide little to no benefit.
The latest study on the topic, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, may help clear up some of the confusion.
July 2nd, 2012
07:52 AM ET
Good news, java junkies: Researchers have found the more coffee you drink, the more you may be protecting yourself against skin cancer.
According to a new report published in the journal Cancer Research, drinking more caffeinated coffee could lower your chances of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.
Researchers analyzed data from the famous Nurses' Health Study on more than 112,000 people. One fourth of those studied had developed basal cell carcinoma over a 20 year period. Investigators found the more someone drank caffeinated coffee, (more than two cups a day) the lower their risk of developing this form of cancer.
Scientists noted caffeine seemed to be key factor, because tea, cola and chocolate, all of which contain caffeine also seemed to cut a person's risk.
June 19th, 2012
07:11 AM ET
Apples and celery are still agriculture’s dirtiest pieces of produce, according to the Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” report. The report names the fruits and vegetables ranking highest in pesticide residue.
Cucumbers were added to the 2012 Dirty Dozen, while Kale and collard greens were moved from the list to join green beans in a new “Plus” category.
The category was created this year to highlight crops that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are still commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system.
Also included on the Dirty Dozen list are:
June 15th, 2012
07:28 AM ET
Editor's note: Madeline Martinez is joining dozens of iReporters who are documenting their journeys from garden to table. Stay up to date on her progress toward a more fruitful way of life on iReport.
Well before her diabetes diagnosis, Madeline Martinez knew her unhealthy eating habits were leading her down the wrong path.
Martinez, a 49-year-old corporate travel agent in Miami, Florida, was 120 pounds overweight — the result of years resorting to fast-food dinners after long days at the office.
When her endocrinologist delivered the news in February - Type 2 diabetes - she got serious. She ditched McDonald's and began shopping at Whole Foods and farmers' markets for organic produce.
Then she went a step further and bought a shovel.
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.