April 8th, 2013
01:10 PM ET

Some melanoma patients don't protect skin

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.


More teens using muscle enhancing products
November 19th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

More teens using muscle enhancing products

More teens are using muscle enhancing products, according to a study published Monday in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"These behaviors are a little more common among young people than we previously thought," said lead study author Dr. Marla Eisenberg  "We want to put it on the radar for pediatricians, parents and other people working with adolescents."

Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician in Atlanta, says some teens don't always realize that these type behaviors can be harmful.

"First thing to do is try to educate and say, 'You know, I’m glad you are active and playing sports and trying to be happy. Just remember most kids don’t need protein supplements, or even energy drinks because they are getting the electrolytes in their diet,'" Shu says. "It's good for parents to be aware because they might think it’s good and buy teens these protein powders."

Researchers found the number of teens reporting muscle enhancing behavior to be substantially higher than in previous years. Boys were more likely to report these behaviors, which included supplement use and consumption of protein shakes. The concern is that this type of behavior leads to more serious behavior, excessive use and use of illegal substances (something that was reported by some of the teens).

November 9th, 2012
09:43 AM ET

Healing wounds, one tattoo at a time

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. Basma Hameed was severely burned as a toddler and lived with visible scars for a long time.  Then she found tattoos and a way to help others overcome their pain. 

After 16 years of constant surgeries and pain, nothing can compare to the pain of people's stares and comments.  Imagine going through so many surgeries, then meeting someone and the first thing they say is: "What happened to your face? Have you tried surgery?"

People could not accept my scars and the main reason was because I had not accepted them myself.  I couldn't accept that this accident did happen to me and this is my face forever.

I was in denial for so many years. I would lock myself in my bedroom and did not want to go outside because I was not comfortable with everyone's reactions.

I did not have anyone I could relate to growing up, and I did not look like what the media portrays as "beautiful."  I believed that if  you didn't look a certain way, then you could not be accepted and were not "normal." FULL POST

Bonding with Batman could make you stronger
Study participants were shown either a scrawny or buffed-up version of these comic book characters.
September 17th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Bonding with Batman could make you stronger

It was hard to keep track of all the superheroes hitting the big screen this summer: Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises." Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor in "The Avengers." Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man."

And each character seemed to have bulked up for their latest comeback.

"Over the last few decades, superheroes' bodies have become extremely muscular with body dimensions that are impossible for most men to attain," write the authors of a new study that analyzes the effects of superheroes on male body image.

Past research has shown that seeing muscular figures can make men feel badly about their own bodies, similar to the way seeing stick-thin supermodels can make women question their weight.

But the same effect may not hold true for our favorite comic book characters. FULL POST

July 30th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

Your thoughts: Plastic surgery for bullied kids

Would you allow your kids to change their appearance because they are being bullied? Does giving these children plastic surgery send the wrong message - or the right one? Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special report and share your thoughts below!

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster
June 6th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Since he revealed his re-svelte body on “Good Morning America” this week, “Fit2Fat2Fit” fitness trainer Drew Manning has sparked both inspiration and controversy about the lessons to be learned from his experiment. Readers on CNN were quick to participate in the conversation.

Manning, who lost 70 pounds just 6 months after he purposely gained it, has drawn praise from some. They said the strategy shows his desire to grow in understanding his clients’ weight loss struggles:

My wife says that unless you've walked a mile in some[one] else's shoes, you truly have no idea what is inside someone's head. Undoing a lifetime of bad habits and bad self talk is a huge undertaking. The trick or the truth is that people have to feel they are worth the effort and get their head in the game. My wife went from 203 pounds at 5' 1" to 149 [pounds] in 2 years and still is working hard to get to her goal and stay there. I love her no matter what, but she is so happy to be free of her extra poundage, free of the size war in her closet and her self confidence has definitely gone up. That is what makes me happy. Kudos to Drew Manning... now you know part of the rest of the story.


Post by:
Filed under: Body Image • Diet and Fitness • Exercise • Fitness • Obesity • Weight loss

Waist size signals diabetes risk
June 5th, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Waist size signals diabetes risk

Having a large waist is an important early warning sign for diabetes, one that in some cases may be just as significant as body mass index (BMI), if not more so, a new study has found.

Waist size, which provides a rough measure of a person's body type, may be especially useful for identifying high-risk people who are overweight but not obese, the study suggests. Obesity is a clear-cut risk factor for diabetes, but doctors generally have a harder time determining which overweight people are most vulnerable to the condition.

"Waist circumference is very helpful in people who are obese, but exceptionally helpful in people who are overweight," says Dr. Abraham Thomas, M.D., head of endocrinology and diabetes at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit. Thomas was not involved in the study.


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Filed under: Body Image • Diabetes • Health.com • Obesity • Weight loss

What the Yuck: My inner thigh skin is darker
April 22nd, 2012
09:32 AM ET

What the Yuck: My inner thigh skin is darker

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’ve noticed that the skin on my inner thighs is darker than the skin on the rest of my legs. Why, and what can I do about it?

A: The likely culprits - genetics or the natural chafing that occurs when your thighs rub together or against your clothing.

You can’t do anything about the first cause, but there are a few things you can try to remedy the second.

First, if the skin is itchy, apply a moisturizer twice a day to lubricate it and keep it from chafing further. If you’re significantly overweight, losing weight can help cut down on the friction.

Bottom line: This condition is totally normal and most likely nothing to worry about. But if the discoloration really bothers you, talk to your dermatologist about treating it with a skin-lightening cream.

New program helps teen girls with weight issues
February 13th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

New program helps teen girls with weight issues

Being obese can be a very isolating experience, and losing weight can be difficult for anyone, particularly for a teenager. 

A new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, finds that teenage girls gained less weight, ate less fast foods, improved their body images and had more family interaction over meals, after participating in a six-month program designed especially for teenage girls.

The program involved weekly peer meetings, consultations with primary care providers and separate meetings for their parents.

Conducted by Kaiser Permanente, the study is the first to report long-term results from a weight management program designed specifically for this age group.  In previous programs, younger children, teens and family members were included. This one was designed for teen girls only.

Fashion Week starts with updated health guidelines for models
February 9th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Fashion Week starts with updated health guidelines for models

New York Fashion Week starts Thursday, and there will be more on display than new fabrics and color combinations.

The runway shows will be the first to take place under an updated set of health initiatives for models, which was released last month by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The guidelines attempt to address the “overwhelming concern about whether some models are unhealthily thin, and whether or not to impose restrictions in such cases.”

The new guidelines say models should be at least 16 years old to participate in a show. It also encourages greater awareness of the risks and signs of eating disorders. Backstage at the fashion shows should be tobacco-free and also address underage drinking by prohibiting alcohol, according to the guidelines.

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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.