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  • Good Food, Delivered

    Unlike George Jetson, we'll probably never push a button in our kitchens and have a freshly cooked meal spring up from the counter. But the next best thing might be opening the front door to find a week's worth of healthy family dinners waiting for you. That's the idea behind a new crop of meal-delivery services that are popping up online. Some deliver fresh food, others frozen. But they all claim to help you eat more nutritiously, avoid junk food and save hours of time. Do these meals taste any better than what you can find in your frozen-food aisle? And are they worth the extra money? We sampled four services and found that the surprising answer, in most cases, is "yes." A guide: ...
  • Web Wellness

    Home Food Safety homefoodsafety.org The site provides useful tips from the American Dietetic Association on such things as packing your kids' lunches to avoid spoilage. Calorie-Count calorie-count.com Create a personal profile and chart your weight-loss progress with this interactive site. It provides calorie counts and assigns nutrition grades for such varied foods as bratwurst (C-minus) and pomegranates (A). Office of Dietary Supplements ods.od.nih.gov If you take dietary supplements, this National Institutes of Health site will teach you about their benefits and side effects. Nutrition Café exhibits.pacsci.org/nutrition The site teaches kids nutrition facts through interactive games. Diet Facts dietfacts.com You don't have to be on a diet to be curious about what you're eating. This site lets you look up nutritional info by ingredient and by restaurant.
  • Filling Up With Less

    Jill O'Nan used to eat just one meal a day. But, as the joke goes, that meal began in the morning and didn't end until she went to sleep at night. As a freelance writer, O'Nan had no set meal schedule. "If McDonald's delivered, I probably wouldn't have left my house," says O'Nan, 45, who has battled the bulge since she was a child.With her supersize appetite, O'Nan's weight spiraled to 360 pounds. She tried dieting, but nothing worked. O'Nan did some research and stumbled across a little-known book called "Volumetrics" (harpercollins.com), which promised that she could manage her weight by choosing foods that the program calls "low in energy density," foods that make you feel satiated, or full, but that are also low in calories. She swapped her serving of fast-food fries for an even larger portion of boiled redskin potatoes in a garlic-dill sauce.She rediscovered her pressure cooker and started to make homemade meals, including soups and chili seasoned with dark chocolate. In four...
  • Think Thin To Get Thin

    At 5 feet 3 and 116 pounds, Judith Beck doesn't look like a threat to anyone. But America's junk-food peddlers should be afraid—very afraid—of this gentle, soft-spoken psychologist. Her new book, "The Beck Diet Solution," could help dieters swear off their Doritos once and for all. That's because it's perhaps the best diet book ever to focus on the psychology of permanent weight loss. In short, it doesn't tell you what foods to eat or avoid. Instead, it tells you how to stick to a healthy eating plan of your own choice—for good—by changing the way you talk to yourself when confronted with temptation, cravings and the inevitable dietary lapses. Beck spoke with NEWSWEEK's Anne Underwood. Excerpts: ...
  • Seasonal Secrets

    The period between the end of winter and the start of spring is the toughest time to find fresh produce to put on the table. TIP SHEET asked three chefs what healthy ingredients they're cooking with now. ...
  • How to Help Your Heart

    A Harvard cardiologist passes on the latest news about the tests you need, lowering blood pressure and the real pros and cons of drinking red wine.
  • Coping With a Shortage of Cancer Doctors

    Who will care for America's baby boomers when cancer strikes? A new study predicts a shortfall of as many as 4,000 oncologists by 2020, with no easy solution in sight
  • Food: What's On Your Label?

    A decade ago, environmentally conscious consumers had one main label to check if they wanted to make sure the food they were buying was acceptable: organic. Today, supermarket aisles are filled with products that profess to safeguard salmon, preserve rain forests, protect migratory birds and allow cows and chickens to roam free. "There's been a huge proliferation of claims over the last three years," says Mindy Pennybacker, founder and editor of The Green Guide (thegreenguide.com), a newsletter for ecosavvy consumers. How do you know if the products are delivering on their promises? A TIP SHEET guide: ...
  • Adult Drugs for Children: A Growing Problem?

    A new study finds that close to 80 percent of children in U.S. hospitals are receiving drugs that have been approved only for grownups. The growing problem of 'off label' prescriptions.
  • Health: I Screen, You Screen

    Hank Furman prides himself on wringing the last cent out of a dollar. But when it comes to good health, "no amount of money is too much," says Furman, a 73-year-old retired machinist from Euclid, Ohio. That's why he recently took advantage of a vascular ultrasound screening program advertised in his local newspaper. Furman paid $129 for a battery of tests, none of which was covered by his insurance. The final report: "Everything was perfect," he says. "It gave me peace of mind; that's worth every cent."But not all doctors agree. The package of screens, offered by several U.S. companies ($129; see lifelinescreening.com), include carotid-artery, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and osteoporosis screens. The good news is these imaging tests can detect abnormalities that could lead to stroke, heart disease and ruptured aneurysms. "We provide a much needed service," says Eric Greenberg, Life Line Screening's vice president of marketing, adding that ...
  • Men and Depression: New Treatments

    For nearly a decade, while serving as an elected official and working as an attorney, Massachusetts state Sen. Bob Antonioni struggled with depression, although he didn't know it. Most days, he attended Senate meetings and appeared on behalf of clients at the courthouse. But privately, he was irritable and short-tempered, ruminating endlessly over his cases and becoming easily frustrated by small things, like deciding which TV show to watch with his girlfriend. After a morning at the state house, he'd be so exhausted by noon that he'd drive home and collapse on the couch, unable to move for the rest of the day.When his younger brother, who was similarly moody, killed himself in 1999, Antonioni, then 40, decided to seek help. For three years, he clandestinely saw a therapist, paying in cash so there would be no record. He took antidepressants, but had his prescriptions filled at a pharmacy 20 miles away. His depression was his burden, and his secret. He couldn't bear for his image to...
  • Buzz for a Potential New Cancer Drug

    Scientists and patients are buzzing about DCA, an existing drug newly recognized as a potentially powerful cancer treatment. But, of course, more research is needed.
  • Rehab Reality Check

    The time is coming-- perhaps even within the decade--when doctors will treat alcoholism with a pill. As they improve their understanding of the biochemistry of addiction, researchers will find new ways to interrupt the neurological sequence that begins with pulling the tab on a can of beer and ends with sobbing on the phone to someone you dated twice in 1987. It will be a paradigm shift as profound as the one wrought by Prozac in the treatment of depression, says Dr. Mark Willenbring of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: people with drinking problems will get a modicum of counseling and prescriptions from their family doctors. This will be a great boon to most people except for athletes, congressmen and movie stars, who will lose one of the defining rites of passage of modern celebrity: the all-absolving, career-rejuvenating, Barbara Walters-placating ritual of checking into rehab.It has been a fixture of our culture since as far back as 1983, when Elizabeth...
  • Hot Flashes and Hormones

    Here's what you and your clinician should talk about before deciding whether to take estrogen.
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Sex

    I've heard that sex gets better for some women during the menopause transition but worse for others. What can I do to increase my chances of being in that first category?
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Mood

    I'm usually a pretty upbeat person, but lately I've been barking at everyone I know and shifting from neutral to supercranky in less than five seconds. I know I'm being unreasonable, but I can't seem to help myself.
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Heart

    My doctor says I need to watch my cholesterol, even though I'm only 47. I thought only men had to be concerned about heart disease. Does menopause change things?
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Eyes

    I've been wearing contact lenses since I was 13, but lately they feel uncomfortable. I'm constantly taking them out, cleaning them and reinserting them. Why are my eyes so dry and irritated?
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Sleep

    Lately, I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping no matter how tired I am. Is there a connection between menopause and insomnia?
  • The Great Diet Debate

    I’ve known Dr. Arthur Agatston for many years. I like him very much and greatly respect his pioneering work on developing the heart scan, which is a way of screening for heart disease using a special CT scanner that can detect calcium in coronary arteries. I’ve also appreciated his books that educate people about the need to distinguish between unrefined “good carbs” and refined “bad carbs.”However, I have some concerns about his new book, “ The South Beach Heart Program ,” which claims to “detect, prevent and even reverse heart disease.” It’s based on the only published research study he authored on his program which, surprisingly, showed that LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels did not come down significantly at all on this diet. Also, the South Beach Diet has never been shown to reverse the progression of coronary heart disease and may be too high in saturated fat and cholesterol to prevent heart attacks for many people unless a lifetime of cholesterol-lowering drugs are added.These...
  • Nap Quest

    Print out this article and hand it to your boss. Tell them Harvard thinks you should take a nap. Honest.Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School have just released findings from a large study that shows how mid-day napping reduces one's chance of coronary mortality by more than a third. So go ahead and nap—a short daily snooze might ward off a heart attack later in life.Researchers studied 23,681 individuals living in Greece who had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer when they first volunteered. The researchers also controlled for risk factors such as diet and exercise, going beyond prior studies that have tried to explore the benefits of napping but ended up with conflicting results. More than six years later, the exemplary nappers, men and women who napped at least three times per week for an average of at least 30 minutes, had a 37 percent lower coronary mortality risk than those who took no siestas. The so...
  • What's Up With Stents, Docs?

    It's not often that the New England Journal of Medicine devotes most of its editorial content to a single subject—and releases the information early online. That's exactly what it did Monday with a series of five studies and several commentaries on drug-eluting coronary stents. As the editors explained, "Our motivation is the recent concern that the implantation of drug-eluting stents, as compared with bare-metal stents, may be associated with a small increased risk of late stent thrombosis, a potentially fatal complication."Drug-eluting stents were hailed as a "breakthrough technology" in 2003 and 2004, when the FDA approved the Cypher and Taxus stents, respectively. Like the bare-metal stents that preceded them, these tiny wire-mesh scaffolds were designed to prop open narrowed blood vessels (a problem known as stenosis), reducing the chest pain known as angina. Unlike bare-metal stents, however, the Cypher and Taxus devices were coated with drugs, the purpose of which was to...
  • CDC Raises Autism Estimate

    As the debate over autism's cause continues, the CDC raises its estimate of how many children are affected.
  • Let Them Eat … CSB?

    Chef Heinz Beck’s kitchen at Rome’s exquisite La Pergola restaurant is arguably one of the best in the Eternal City, serving up innovative cuisine like cannelloni with duck, foie gras in kuzu béchamel, and venison in a pistachio crust with chestnut purée and persimmon jam to a discerning international clientele. But there may soon be a new item on the menu: crème brûlée made with “CSB” and topped with pineapple gelato. Far from a trendy new acronym for the latest in haute cuisine ingredients, CSB stands for corn soya blend, the same vitamin-enriched food-ration substance that humanitarian aid workers truck through mine fields in Afghanistan and air drop from C-130s into Sudan. It is generally distributed in 25-pound canvas bags and made into mush or porridge under the dire conditions of war, famine and natural disaster. On its own, it has virtually no flavor, but it does provide crucial daily nutrition with little more than a few drops of water and even the most rustic mortar and...
  • House Of Healing

    Pennies from kids who thought they were giving a fortune. Checks written in modest amounts from ordinary families. And one eye-popping anonymous contribution of $22.5 million. It was private donations like these from more than 600,000 Americans that paid for a comprehensive new rehabilitation center for wounded troops that opened Monday at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Military brass and privates shuffling on crutches joined senators, actresses and country-music stars under a chilly South Texas winter sky at the ribbon cutting for the Center for the Intrepid, which opened along with two new Fisher House suites that house the families of the recovering troops. The pomp and pageantry, including a fighter-jet flyover and the crooning of singer John Mellencamp, was meant to pay tribute to the wounded and fallen and to the citizens who tried to repay their sacrifices with world-class medical and support facilities."Today is a celebration of life, heroism, duty, honor and commitment,"...
  • When Best Intentions Aren’T Good Enough

    I am a gym rat. And my gym, like gyms all over the country, has been really crowded lately. I used to get a little peevish about this January surge in traffic on the treadmill and Stairmaster, but I no longer do. As a regular, I know that most of these newly dedicated fitness buffs will be gone by February.This is not arrogance. I’ve had my share of relapses. The fact is, it’s really hard to keep the promises we make to ourselves, including New Year’s resolutions. Not only will the January joggers soon be drifting back to their couches, others will be restocking their liquor cabinets, tossing their nicotine patches and bingeing on Chunky Monkey—in short, giving up on all those optimistic visions of healthy living.Why are we so bad at adhering to our most well-intended commitments? Psychologists are very interested in this question, because of the obvious public-health implications, and they recently have been probing beyond the common and unhelpful answer: weak willpower. What does...
  • No Child Left Untested?

    The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced last week that it will be holding four regional summits promoting random student drug testing in public middle and high schools. The controversial program, which has already been implemented in nearly 1,000 middle and high schools across the country, requires that kids submit to random drug testing if they want to participate in competitive extracurricular activities like athletics. The Department of Education offers grants to schools that want to develop or expand a drug-testing programs for children in grades 6-12, but decisions about whether to test and which drugs to test for are made on an individual school level. The testing is usually done by a school nurse with a urine sample taken on school premises. If there's a positive result, the sample is sent out for verification by a lab. Tests can also be done with blood or saliva. Samples are generally tested for cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, opium-based substances,...
  • New Sensible Eating Rules for Kids

    Every day at 6:15 p.m., 4-year-old Payton and 7-year-old Avery Lumeng sit down for dinner with their parents, who let them eat as much or as little as they'd like. They're free to be excused when they're finished—even if it's after only 15 minutes. If they're hungry when it's not mealtime, they eat snacks—including occasional cookies and candies. "If you have all these hard and fast rules—'My children are never going to eat candy'—it makes it all the more tempting," explains their mom, Dr. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan's department of pediatrics and Center for Human Growth and Development. She should know: she worked on "Healthy From the Start," a new booklet on healthy eating just out from the nonprofit group Zero to Three (zerotothree.org) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.In the booklet, Lumeng and her colleagues redefine the rules of healthy eating for kids. Faced with a childhood-obesity epidemic (about one in six U.S. kids is fat), experts are...
  • The Big Sleep

    Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a narcoleptic.OK, while I haven’t announced my condition with brazen acceptance to a semi-circle of strangers drinking watered-down coffee from Styrofoam cups, the term “narcoleptic” has wriggled its way onto my list of defining characteristics, right there with “recent college graduate” and “dog lover.”I’ve had the symptoms for about eight years. For years, I would routinely sleep for 14-plus hours and still nod off during “Desperate Housewives.” If my presence was not required somewhere (school, work), getting out of bed seemed pointless since I would fall asleep again within an hour. Friends knew better than trying to coax me out of bed, and even my dog learned to hold her bladder for a surprisingly long period of time. Further hindering my motivation was a diagnosis of depression pinned to my shirt at age 18.  Eventually, I resigned myself to being a chronically slothful person.I made decent grades in college, and was offered a good job at a well...