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Would you lose weight if money were at stake?
May 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Would you lose weight if money were at stake?

You might want to lose weight, but the noticeable benefits seem so far off in the future that you continually procrastinate. You need a reason to get more fit right now - how about money?

A new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces this idea that if money were on the line, you might start on a healthier path. Web and mobile tools are cropping up to help you do this yourself - but first, a word about the study.

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Low levels of Fukushima cesium found in West Coast tuna
The radioactivity found in tuna was still below levels considered dangerous for human consumption, researchers say.
May 28th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Low levels of Fukushima cesium found in West Coast tuna

Scientists hope to test new samples of Pacific bluefin tuna after low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources – but well below levels considered dangerous for human consumption, the researchers say.

Cesium-137 has a radioactive half-life of about 30 years, and traces of the isotope still persist from above-ground nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s. But cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years, "is inarguably from Fukushima Daiichi," Stanford University marine ecologist Dan Madigan told CNN.

FULL STORY from CNN Light Years


Filed under: Diet and Fitness • Food Safety

Friendships influence kids' activity levels
May 28th, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Friendships influence kids' activity levels

While children do not make or break friendships based on physical activity, a new study suggests their social network of friends can greatly influence how much they move. The research was published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.

"We tend to think of teenagers as being very influential amongst their peers, but now we're seeing this in a younger age group as well," said study author Sabina Gesell, assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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Beware the germs in pools
A pre-swim shower can help keep swimming healthy for everyone in the pool this summer.
May 28th, 2012
11:38 AM ET

Beware the germs in pools

It's almost the beginning of summer and you know what that means: Swim season is here. But beware. No matter how clean they may look, public pools could have nasty germs lurking in the water causing them to be more like public bathrooms.

A recent survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council found one in five Americans admit to using a public pool for quick relief (urinating) and seven in 10 confessed to skipping a shower before going for a swim.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a pre-swim shower removes sweat, cosmetics and other dirt that could mix with chlorine to create irritants in pool water.

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What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
May 28th, 2012
11:12 AM ET

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Gioia found out she had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at the age of 7. For years her parents had struggled to figure out why their daughter was so easily injured, but doctors couldn’t offer a diagnosis.

See photos of Gioia as she learns to deal with the condition

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is actually a group of genetic disorders that cause problems with a patient’s connective tissues, according to Dr. Salman Kirmani, an expert on EDS at the Mayo Clinic. Collagen and other proteins in the connective tissues act like glue to support your skin, bones, blood vessels and internal organs.

There are three main types of EDS – hypermobility, classical, and vascular – but many others exist. A specific diagnosis is determined by the degree of symptoms a patient experiences.
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What the Yuck: Why does my pregnant belly itch?
May 27th, 2012
08:06 AM ET

What the Yuck: Why does my pregnant belly itch?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I’m pregnant, and my belly itches all over! How come?

A: As your skin stretches over your growing bump, it can become dry and irritated. Hormonal changes may cause itching, too.

So slather on moisturizer regularly and avoid hot showers, itchy fabrics like wool, and scratching (which makes the problem worse).

If you also start to develop small bumps, especially in your third trimester, you may have pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). Your doctor can suggest an ointment to help relieve this harmless condition.

In rare cases, though, itching can be a sign of liver or gallbladder disease; pregnancy makes you more prone to both. So if moisturizing doesn’t help, be sure to check in with your doctor.


We all race for a reason - this is mine
May 25th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

We all race for a reason - this is mine

Editor's note: Denise Castelli is one of seven CNN readers chosen to be a part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. She lost her leg to an infection following a tragic accident in a collegiate softball game.

There are moments in all of our lives when we need to stop what we're doing, take a second, look around, and soak it all in.

For me, this happened multiple times while I was training in Hawaii with the "Lucky 7." The Big Island was beyond what any words can describe and spending so much time with my teammates was unforgettable.

I learned a lot on this trip, but one thing in particular sticks out.
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1 in 3 is obese - even the homeless
May 25th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

1 in 3 is obese - even the homeless

Obesity is a widespread epidemic, even among the homeless.

While the popularized image of a homeless individual is one of skin and bones, a new study shows the reality is not so. One in three (32.3%) homeless individuals in the United States is obese, highlighting a hunger-obesity paradox.

The paradox is that hunger and obesity can exist in the same person. And although a person may be overweight or obese, he or she can lack proper nutrition.

Nutrition is a daily challenge for homeless people, as the foods they manage to get are often full of preservatives and high in sodium, fats and sugars.  They may not have access to healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables.
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Learning the running lingo
May 25th, 2012
07:35 AM ET

Learning the running lingo

Did that fartlek workout lead to a major bonk instead of runner’s high? Need a glossary just to understand what we’re talking about? We demystify some of the most common running terms.

Bonk

Verb: To become utterly exhausted and depleted and unable to keep moving forward at a desired pace. This occurs when your glycogen stores are depleted.

Example: “I didn’t think I’d bonk so hard during the race, but it felt like I hit a brick wall and my legs were made of concrete.”

Triathlete: Running vs. triathlon running

Fartlek

Noun: A Swedish word that means “speedplay.” A run where you speed up and slow down several different times during the workout. You must keep running during the entire workout for it to be considered a fartlek.
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Finally, a treatment for that buzzing in your ears
May 24th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Finally, a treatment for that buzzing in your ears

Imagine the incessant, grating sound of buzzing in your ears - or constant beeping, whistling, dripping, or clicking.  Imagine the chatter of crickets or birds resonating in your head all day long.

Then realize that there are no actual birds or crickets. No dripping faucet. No clicking or whistling happening in the vicinity.

That is a small glimpse of life with tinnitus:  The perception of sound, that doesn't exist, manufactured by the brain.  

"I hear tree frogs and crickets and bugs, and really loud noise on top of that," said Ginny Morrell, 60, who has suffered with tinnitus for two years. "It started one day and never went away. It never wavers, 24 hours a day."
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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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