January 29th, 2013
05:01 AM ET
Losing weight may not be just about WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat it, according to a new study. Participants in the study who ate a bigger meal later in the day lost less weight than those who ate earlier.
Study authors Marta Garaulet and Dr. Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed 420 people in Spain during a 20-week weight loss treatment program.
The participants were split into two groups – early eaters who ate lunch before 3 p.m. and late eaters who ate lunch after 3 p.m. In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, comprising about 40% of a person’s daily calories.
The early eaters, on average, lost 25% more weight than the late eaters over the course of the study, according to Scheer.
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.
January 4th, 2013
03:55 PM ET
Most of us are familiar with the dangers of drunken driving, but drowsy driving can be just as deadly. Studies estimate 15% to 33% of fatal crashes involve tired drivers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Being sleep-deprived slows our reaction time, said Dr. Michael Howell, a sleep expert with the University of Minnesota. That can mean hitting something we might otherwise avoid, like a child on a bicycle who suddenly veers off the sidewalk.
We're also more impulsive when we're tired, Howell said. It's like our brains revert to being teenagers. "We respond to things without thinking them through," he says. "... Road rage happens because people are sleep deprived."
The CDC report analyzed data from a 2009-2010 national behavioral telephone survey of more than 147,000 respondents. Approximately 4.2% of those surveyed reported having fallen asleep while driving at least once during the last month. That’s one out of every 24 people.
December 5th, 2012
12:01 PM ET
The death rate for colorectal cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years, thanks in part to improved screening methods, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet it is still the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women combined in the United States.
Colonoscopy screenings can prevent about two-thirds of colorectal cancers from developing by detecting precancerous polyps, said Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content for ACS. The ACS recommends men and women over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy once every 10 years or a yearly fecal blood test.
“Unfortunately, only about half of people age 50 and older in the U.S. are up-to-date on their testing for colorectal cancer,” Gansler said.
Dr. Donato Altomare and his colleagues hope to change that. The researchers have completed a small clinical trial on a breath test that screens for colorectal cancer using volatile organic compounds. The results of their study were published this week in the British Journal of Surgery.
December 4th, 2012
01:08 PM ET
CNN recently published a three-day series on the experimental use of the drug Ecstasy as part of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Readers had a lot to say in response to scientists who are studying the effects of MDMA, the chemical name for pure Ecstasy, on patients with PTSD.
Many readers said they were familiar with past research that’s been done on these drugs and questioned why they are still illegal.
November 26th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
The American Academy of Pediatrics is fighting back against teen pregnancy with revised recommendations on emergency contraception. The organization is encouraging physicians to talk about medications like Plan B and Next Choice in their discussions with their adolescent patients - both boys and girls - on safe sex.
The United States has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy among developed countries. Nearly 80% of teen pregnancies are unplanned, a result of contraception failure or nonuse, according to the AAP.
The use of emergency contraception has been around since the 1970s, when doctors often advised patients to double up on their regular birth control pills in a method called "Yuzpe." Since then several products have been approved for use by prescription and over-the-counter. Yet lead author Dr. Cora Beurner said there are still many people who don’t know about emergency contraception or have unfounded fears about using it.
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.
October 30th, 2012
12:01 PM ET
With all the talk about obesity in America, you might be surprised to know that most people are pretty good at losing weight.
Weight loss programs have proven effective in helping people drop pounds. But keeping them off is another story.
Studies have shown that overweight participants typically give up their newly learned health habits and regain 30 to 50% of the weight they lost within one year, even if they participate in a post-weight loss maintenance program.
“There’s something we’re missing in terms of what it takes to maintain our weight,” says Michaela Kiernan, an expert in behavioral weight management at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.
October 30th, 2012
12:02 AM ET
During spinning class, I often find myself wishing I was in a pool. For one, water would make the sweat dripping down my back less noticeable. Two, it has to be easier to sneak a break when the instructor can’t see your legs below the surface.
The study analyzed cardiovascular data from 33 young, healthy participants who performed the same workout on a dry land stationary bike and on a water stationary bike.
Also called hydro-riders or aqua bikes, water stationary bicycles are anchored to the bottom of a pool so that cyclists are submerged up to their shoulders. Resistance can be added by changing the pedal size or, in some bikes, the angle of plates in the wheels.
Researchers found that participants’ oxygen consumption and average heart rates were lower while riding in the water. In other words, their cardiovascular systems were working more efficiently to do the same amount of exercise.
October 25th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Christina Applegate, star of the television comedy “Up All Night,” has talked openly about her experience with breast cancer.
Still, the actress wishes she hadn’t been outed to the world in 2008 before the anesthetic from her mastectomy surgery even wore off.
“The good thing is that we got the information out,” Applegate says in this month’s edition of MORE magazine. “But talking about the facts of the disease, I didn’t have to see what was going on with me. I think when it slowed down, all of that came crashing down.”
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.