May 23rd, 2013
06:31 PM ET
Calorie counting has long been touted as an effective tool for losing pounds or maintaining a healthy weight. But new research published in the British Medical Journal shows many of us are underestimating the calories we're eating, especially when we visit fast food restaurants.
Researchers interviewed more than 1,800 adults, 1,100 adolescents and 330 children at several fast food chains in New England. The interviews were done at McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and Wendy's around dinnertime and lunchtime.
Study participants were asked to estimate their meal's calorie count. Researchers then collected the bill to later tally the correct amount of calories using nutrition info posted on the chain's website. FULL POST
April 23rd, 2013
03:03 PM ET
You walk into a fast food restaurant and examine the menu. You could get a salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side. Or you could get a double cheeseburger.
Seeing the calories listed next to each item isn't likely to affect your decision, according to a new study being presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting this week. But seeing the amount of time it would take you to work those calories off at the gym just might.
Researchers at Texas Christian University asked 300 men and women aged 18 to 30 years to purchase food from one of three fast food menus. All of the menus contained the same options, including burgers, chicken tenders, salad, French fries and desserts.
One group's menu had no labels of any kind. The second group's menu was labeled with the total calories in each item. The third group's menu was labeled with the number of minutes of brisk walking it would take someone to burn off the calories in the meal.
April 8th, 2013
01:10 PM ET
Some melanoma patients may not be as cautious as they should be, according to a new study. Doctors have found that more than a quarter of those with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – do not use sunscreen when outside for more than an hour, and many are still use tanning beds.
“We were shocked," says Dr. Anees Chagpar, associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study, “although we found that melanoma survivors did better than the general public at protecting their skin from the sun, we also found that more than a quarter of melanoma survivors never wear sunscreen. That blew my mind."
The research was presented the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
March 20th, 2013
07:11 AM ET
Two New York boroughs, Manhattan and the Bronx, are separated by just a few stops on the subway. Nonetheless, they are vastly different in key public health measurements.
The Bronx ranks dead last for health among all counties in New York, while Manhattan (also known as New York County) is near the top third. The rankings were based on rates of premature death and health-related quality of life. The list was recently compiled and updated for every county in every state by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.
March 4th, 2013
05:01 PM ET
Centralized record-keeping systems may help improve rates of colon cancer screening, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Group Health Cooperative, a non-profit health care and insurance system in Washington state, used electronic health records to identify and monitor almost 5,000 patients who were due for a colon cancer screening but hadn't gotten it.
One group of patients received "normal care" - reminders from their doctor during appointments. A second group received a letter in the mail encouraging them to get screened; a third group got a call from a medical assistant on top of all of that, and a fourth group got a "patient navigator" to manage the screening process.
Each additional step increased the percentage of people who got screened, from 26% in the "normal" group to 65% in the patient navigator group.
February 26th, 2013
10:49 AM ET
You’ve seen it added to cereal boxes, gallons of milk and bottles of orange juice. Experts tout its benefits – from strong bones to a strong immune system – and warn of the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency.
The public relations push is working; between 2002 and 2011, sales of vitamin D supplements increased from $42 million to $605 million, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.
New recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force could bump those sales even higher, or - if critics are right - confuse consumers as they head down the pharmacy aisle.
After completing a review of existing research, the USPSTF, an independent panel of doctors and experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, is advising against taking moderate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium supplements because there is not enough evidence to prove the supplements reduce the risk of bone fractures.
February 12th, 2013
11:53 AM ET
How many times have you seen a young child with a patch over one eye or wearing glasses with one lens blocked and wondered why? Chances are that child has something called amblyopia (sometimes called "lazy eye"), where one eye is not being used by the brain because it doesn't see as well.
After looking at more than 10 years of data, researchers now say children as young as a year old can be reliably screened for amblyopia; by using a camera that takes pictures of the eye, symptoms of the condition can be detected long before it becomes apparent, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
The goal is to identify children with this problem as early as possible, says lead study author Dr. Susannah Longmuir, "so we can start treatment before they have a problem or treat it before it gets worse."
January 16th, 2013
05:01 PM ET
Fears and misconceptions often surround the flu vaccine: Does it really work? Will it make me sick? Could it hurt my baby?
Researchers from Norway say the last question was a big concern during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic; anecdotal reports of fetal deaths caused many pregnant women to avoid getting vaccinated despite health officials’ pleas.
To determine the accuracy of these reports, the Norwegian researchers analyzed data from more than 100,000 pregnancies during the 2009-2010 flu season. Their results were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
October 31st, 2012
05:48 PM ET
A sister company to the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy linked to a multistate meningitis outbreak on Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of any products remaining in circulation.
Ameridose, a drug manufacturer and compounder with the same ownership as the New England Compounding Center, said in a statement the move was voluntary "and represents an expansion of our cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy."
The company said during the FDA's ongoing inspection of its facility, it was notified the FDA would be "seeking improvements in Ameridose's sterility testing process. ... Ameridose has not received any adverse reports related to the products subject to this recall and neither Ameridose nor the FDA has identified impurities in any Ameridose products." FULL POST
October 30th, 2012
12:21 PM ET
Ever heard the line, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink?" Never is that more true than during a hurricane.
Superstorm Sandy came ashore Monday night, flooding parts of the East Coast. After a natural disaster, your water may not be safe for use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes any water used for drinking, cooking, food preparation and/or personal hygiene.
Residents in Sandy’s path should be on the lookout for boil water advisories from their local and state departments of health, as well as from utility companies. These signify that your water may be contaminated.
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.