1. Tobacco control advocates disagree on whether e-cigarettes are a useful tool to get smokers off tobacco, or just a sleeker form of one of the world’s deadliest addictions.
A lot of that discord comes from the fact that there’s just not enough science to know the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than through tobacco smoke. And it could take years to find out if vaping causes cancer and other deadly diseases.
But that lack of certainty means that people need more protection, not less, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. 
Health Organizations Call For A Ban On E-Cigarettes Indoors
Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images View in High-Res

    Tobacco control advocates disagree on whether e-cigarettes are a useful tool to get smokers off tobacco, or just a sleeker form of one of the world’s deadliest addictions.

    A lot of that discord comes from the fact that there’s just not enough science to know the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than through tobacco smoke. And it could take years to find out if vaping causes cancer and other deadly diseases.

    But that lack of certainty means that people need more protection, not less, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. 

    Health Organizations Call For A Ban On E-Cigarettes Indoors

    Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  2. WHO

    E-cigarettes

    NPR Shots

    health

  1. "What Makes Us Fat: Is It Eating Too Much Or Moving Too Little?" via Patti Neighmond
"We’re constantly hearing messages that we’re eating too much and not moving around enough. Now researchers suggest that we’re actually not eating more than we did 20 years ago, it’s that we’re much less active. And that includes not just middle-aged workers tied to their desks, but also young men and women who spend their days sitting in front of their laptops."
Image: Maria Fabrizio/NPR View in High-Res

    "What Makes Us Fat: Is It Eating Too Much Or Moving Too Little?" via Patti Neighmond

    "We’re constantly hearing messages that we’re eating too much and not moving around enough. Now researchers suggest that we’re actually not eating more than we did 20 years ago, it’s that we’re much less active. And that includes not just middle-aged workers tied to their desks, but also young men and women who spend their days sitting in front of their laptops."

    Image: Maria Fabrizio/NPR

  2. shots

    patti neighmond

    health

    food

    science

  1. "Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress" via Allison Aubrey
If you’re reaching for the potato chips when you’re stressed, then you’re not alone. In a national survey, more than one-third of participants said they alter their diets when they’re stressed, often turning to foods that comfort them. Doctors suggest links between our moods and what we eat –– so, next time, grab a couple pieces of dark chocolate instead. Nutrient-rich foods might just help you keep a cap on your stress.
– Alexander
Image: Meredith Rizzo/NPR View in High-Res

    "Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress" via Allison Aubrey

    If you’re reaching for the potato chips when you’re stressed, then you’re not alone. In a national survey, more than one-third of participants said they alter their diets when they’re stressed, often turning to foods that comfort them. Doctors suggest links between our moods and what we eat –– so, next time, grab a couple pieces of dark chocolate instead. Nutrient-rich foods might just help you keep a cap on your stress.

    – Alexander

    Image: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

  2. The Salt

    Allison Aubrey

    Food

    Mood

    Health

  1. "Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans And Raises Privacy Concerns" via Maanvi Singh
More and more millennials are taking to the Internet for online therapy, and some insurance providers are even reimbursing patients for these sessions. Some studies suggest that online sessions may be just as effective as face-to-face therapy. Although the APA released a guideline for online therapy last year, its rise in popularity still raises several concerns.
– Alexander
Image: Katherine Streeter/NPR View in High-Res

    "Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans And Raises Privacy Concerns" via Maanvi Singh

    More and more millennials are taking to the Internet for online therapy, and some insurance providers are even reimbursing patients for these sessions. Some studies suggest that online sessions may be just as effective as face-to-face therapy. Although the APA released a guideline for online therapy last year, its rise in popularity still raises several concerns.

    Alexander

    Image: Katherine Streeter/NPR

  2. Shots

    Maanvi Singh

    Health

    Mental Health

    Therapy

  1. School Lunch Debate: What’s At Stake?
School lunches have never been known for culinary excellence. But to be fair, the National School Lunch Program — which provides free or reduced lunches to about 31 million kids every day — has never aimed to dazzle as much as to fill little bellies.
Image: kcline/iStockphoto.com

    School Lunch Debate: What’s At Stake?

    School lunches have never been known for culinary excellence. But to be fair, the National School Lunch Program — which provides free or reduced lunches to about 31 million kids every day — has never aimed to dazzle as much as to fill little bellies.

    Image: kcline/iStockphoto.com

  2. The Salt

    health

    food

    lunch

    school lunch

  1. Photo: Jonathan Steinberg/NPR
"Evidence On Marijuana’s Health Effects Is Crazy At Best"
Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects. View in High-Res

    Photo: Jonathan Steinberg/NPR

    "Evidence On Marijuana’s Health Effects Is Crazy At Best"

    Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.

  2. Marijuana

    Health

  1. Posted on 22 January, 2014

    535 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from theatlantic

    theatlantic:

Newly Insured Americans Don’t Understand Basic Healthcare Terms

An estimated 14 percent of English-speaking adults in the United States have below-basic literacy, or an inability to perform simple reading tasks. But 35 percent have only basic or below-basic health literacy. That means more than 77 million people have difficulty with common health-related reading tasks.
Health literacy involves the ability to obtain, process, and understand the health information necessary to make appropriate decisions, and it’s clearly essential to selecting health insurance. More Americans are enrolling in federal and state-based marketplaces, but being insured is only the beginning when it comes to reducing health disparities related to literacy.
Low health literacy disproportionately affects vulnerable populations that include individuals now eligible for new health insurance options: those with lower socioeconomic status and education, or disabilities; non-white racial and ethnic groups; the elderly.
Many of these Americans are now contending with unfamiliar insurance terms and are at risk of making uninformed choices that they may regret. This matters because those with low health literacy already tend to experience poorer health and to generate increased costs, estimated by some to amount to more than $100 billion annually.
Read more. [Image: Joe Elswick/AP]

View in High-Res

    theatlantic:

    Newly Insured Americans Don’t Understand Basic Healthcare Terms

    An estimated 14 percent of English-speaking adults in the United States have below-basic literacy, or an inability to perform simple reading tasks. But 35 percent have only basic or below-basic health literacy. That means more than 77 million people have difficulty with common health-related reading tasks.

    Health literacy involves the ability to obtain, process, and understand the health information necessary to make appropriate decisions, and it’s clearly essential to selecting health insurance. More Americans are enrolling in federal and state-based marketplaces, but being insured is only the beginning when it comes to reducing health disparities related to literacy.

    Low health literacy disproportionately affects vulnerable populations that include individuals now eligible for new health insurance options: those with lower socioeconomic status and education, or disabilities; non-white racial and ethnic groups; the elderly.

    Many of these Americans are now contending with unfamiliar insurance terms and are at risk of making uninformed choices that they may regret. This matters because those with low health literacy already tend to experience poorer health and to generate increased costs, estimated by some to amount to more than $100 billion annually.

    Read more. [Image: Joe Elswick/AP]

  2. health

    business

    healthcare

    literacy

  1. Posted on 13 January, 2014

    852 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from theatlantic

    theatlantic:

Study: Caffeine Can Improve Memory

Caffeine can improve attention and focus, we’ve known for a while. It also enhances working memory (short term, in the moment). Caffeine’s effects on long-term memory, though, if any, aren’t well established.
A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Neuroscience gets into that in a unique way, looking at caffeine’s effect on memory consolidation.
Read more. [Image: RaghavanPrabhu/Flickr]

View in High-Res

    theatlantic:

    Study: Caffeine Can Improve Memory

    Caffeine can improve attention and focus, we’ve known for a while. It also enhances working memory (short term, in the moment). Caffeine’s effects on long-term memory, though, if any, aren’t well established.

    A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Neuroscience gets into that in a unique way, looking at caffeine’s effect on memory consolidation.

    Read more. [Image: RaghavanPrabhu/Flickr]

  2. health

    caffeine

    memory

    science

  1. nprglobalhealth:

5 Simple Habits Can Help Doctors Connect With Patients
I pulled back the curtain, ready to meet the next patient on my hospital rounds.
"Why are you standing there?" she asked me. "Come, have a seat, let’s talk."
Lenore could have been my grandmother. She was 77 years old, and all of 93 pounds. What she lacked in girth, she more than made up for in chutzpah. She was one of the patients from intern year who I’ll never forget.
After four years of medical school, I could recite biochemical pathways, genetic mutations and the ways all sorts of drugs work. But all the cramming suppressed most of my common sense. Perhaps manners, too.
Lenore was offering me a refresher course. How could I refuse her polite but firm invitation?
I’d never been encouraged to sit at a patient’s bedside — to stop hurrying for even a moment.
Our medical teachers put a premium on accuracy and efficiency, which became conflated with speed. Everything had to be fast.
In 2014, doctors still value speed and technical accuracy, but we also do more to consider the quality of care we give and whether patients are satisfied with it. Those goals aren’t just the right thing to do. There are often financial strings attached to getting them right.
Even so, interns today don’t sit much more often than they did back in my day.
In a recent study, Johns Hopkins researchers followed two groups of medical interns for a month and found they sat down at the bedside only 9 percent of the time.
Sitting down, which would seem like one of the simplest things to do, is the least practiced of five communication skills for doctors that Lenore would have endorsed and that research has shown can make a big difference in patient satisfaction.
The others include introducing oneself to the patient and explaining your role in the patient’s care. Touching the patient — whether it’s a handshake, a gesture of comfort or part of a physical exam — makes a difference, too.
And the old art of good conversation never goes out of style: Ask open-ended questions, like, “How are you feeling today?”
Medical educators should be role models for these common courtesies, says Dr. Leonard Feldman, the senior author of the study and director of an urban health residency program at Hopkins.
"Trainees take their cues from us," he tells Shots. "These behaviors are what constitute ‘bedside manner.’ " More than that, he says, sitting at the bedside projects body language that tells a patient, "I’m here for you. How can I be of service?"
Feldman prizes these basic but often overlooked human interactions in his trainees. He suggests simple solutions like making sure there’s a chair available next to every hospital bed.
During my own intern refresher course with Lenore those many years ago, I tried to sit in the chair next to her bed. She’d have none of it. “Here,” she said, patting the mattress and telling me where to park it. “Now, how is your day going?” she asked. An open-ended question. What a pro she was.
Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR.
View in High-Res

    nprglobalhealth:

    5 Simple Habits Can Help Doctors Connect With Patients

    I pulled back the curtain, ready to meet the next patient on my hospital rounds.

    "Why are you standing there?" she asked me. "Come, have a seat, let’s talk."

    Lenore could have been my grandmother. She was 77 years old, and all of 93 pounds. What she lacked in girth, she more than made up for in chutzpah. She was one of the patients from intern year who I’ll never forget.

    After four years of medical school, I could recite biochemical pathways, genetic mutations and the ways all sorts of drugs work. But all the cramming suppressed most of my common sense. Perhaps manners, too.

    Lenore was offering me a refresher course. How could I refuse her polite but firm invitation?

    I’d never been encouraged to sit at a patient’s bedside — to stop hurrying for even a moment.

    Our medical teachers put a premium on accuracy and efficiency, which became conflated with speed. Everything had to be fast.

    In 2014, doctors still value speed and technical accuracy, but we also do more to consider the quality of care we give and whether patients are satisfied with it. Those goals aren’t just the right thing to do. There are often financial strings attached to getting them right.

    Even so, interns today don’t sit much more often than they did back in my day.

    In a recent study, Johns Hopkins researchers followed two groups of medical interns for a month and found they sat down at the bedside only 9 percent of the time.

    Sitting down, which would seem like one of the simplest things to do, is the least practiced of five communication skills for doctors that Lenore would have endorsed and that research has shown can make a big difference in patient satisfaction.

    The others include introducing oneself to the patient and explaining your role in the patient’s care. Touching the patient — whether it’s a handshake, a gesture of comfort or part of a physical exam — makes a difference, too.

    And the old art of good conversation never goes out of style: Ask open-ended questions, like, “How are you feeling today?”

    Medical educators should be role models for these common courtesies, says Dr. Leonard Feldman, the senior author of the study and director of an urban health residency program at Hopkins.

    "Trainees take their cues from us," he tells Shots. "These behaviors are what constitute ‘bedside manner.’ " More than that, he says, sitting at the bedside projects body language that tells a patient, "I’m here for you. How can I be of service?"

    Feldman prizes these basic but often overlooked human interactions in his trainees. He suggests simple solutions like making sure there’s a chair available next to every hospital bed.

    During my own intern refresher course with Lenore those many years ago, I tried to sit in the chair next to her bed. She’d have none of it. “Here,” she said, patting the mattress and telling me where to park it. “Now, how is your day going?” she asked. An open-ended question. What a pro she was.

    Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR.

  2. medicine

    doctors

    health

  1. Earlier this year, premenstural dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, became a recognized mental disorder. But not everyone is convinced that’s a good idea. Some researchers worry that medicalizing this extreme form of PMS could be used against women, even though only a small percentage of women meet the criteria. (Full article here)

    Earlier this year, premenstural dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, became a recognized mental disorder. But not everyone is convinced that’s a good idea. Some researchers worry that medicalizing this extreme form of PMS could be used against women, even though only a small percentage of women meet the criteria. (Full article here)

  2. pmdd

    premenstural dysphoric disorder

    health