Childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are the most commonly discussed side effects of eating fast food. But a new study says that’s only the beginning: Fast food could be a cause of asthma and eczema for kids, too. This is clearly terrible news for kids reared on vending machine snacks and Happy Meal dinners, but in the long run, it might actually help Americans wake up and change the way they eat. More
According to records from the last five Olympic Games, 8% of Olympic athletes suffer from asthma, making it the most common chronic disease at the games. The data was collected by Australian researchers, who also found that athletes who suffer asthma often out-perform the competition. They’re not sure why asthma would make for better athletes (or vice-versa), but one thing seems clear: If they can play sports despite their condition, so can you. More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered more than 500 prescription cough, cold and allergy products off the market Wednesday, saying its office had not evaluated the medication for safety, effectiveness and quality.
“Removing these unapproved products from the market will reduce potential risks to consumers,” said Deborah Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a news release from the agency.
The FDA said removing the products from the market poses no harm to consumers, but taking the unapproved drugs may put the health of people at risk. More
Animal hoarding, which has become prevalent enough to warrant its own reality TV show, took a turn for the truly bizarre this week in Shirley, New York, near the eastern end of Long Island, where an elderly woman was found to be harboring more than 100 animals in her home. But instead of the usual mix of cats, dogs, and birds, she appeared to be assembling her own ark, complete with chinchillas, deer, pigs, and even a cow. Which would be fine if this woman lived on a farm, but these poor animals were residing inside her house. Just like the song “The Circle of Life” – the Marilyn Manson version, that is.
Just when we were getting over the potential safety issues of letting our cats and dogs share our beds at night, now we need to face the potential health hazards of snuggling up with pigs, goats, and deer. What hath Paris Hilton wrought? More
Bad news, allergy sufferers — your torture time is about to be seem even more interminable, and climate change is to blame. “A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows a link between warming temperatures and a longer ragweed pollen season,” according to TIME. As if there weren’t already enough reasons to be bummed out about global warming.
But before you start building yourself a hermetically-sealed bubble to keep out that nasty pollen, try one of these ten allergy home remedies that are all available over the counter, if not in your very own kitchen. (As always, consult with a health care practitioner before embarking on any new herbal regimen.) Sure, seeing a doc may defeat the purpose of exploring at-home allergy remedies, but you could be thankful when your face doesn’t swell to the size of a Mardi Gras mask due to a medicinal interaction. More
Turns out, giggling is actually good for you – and simpler than strapping on Pilates paraphernalia, and sillier, perhaps, than even Zumba. Studies show laughter, which lowers the heart rate, whittles the waistline, and gives the lungs a hearty workout, may be even healthier for the body than today’s trendiest forms of exercise.
Enrollment is surging at improv classes and circus schools, and a growing number of Americans are also joining laughter clubs, where they learn to chuckle their hellos and goodbyes, mime their way through complicated jokes, and invent songs made of “ho-ho-ho” and ‘ha-ha-ha’ sounds.
Why all this clowning around? Health experts say it’s not just for kicks. Recent research shows that laughter comes with a whole host of health benefits. “It relaxes your muscles, opens your arteries, and improves blood flow to your heart,” says Steve Wilson, founder of the World Laughter Tour. “It gives you a cardiovascular workout, helps you metabolize sugar, and releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.” More
Three years ago, I was five months into life with my first kid, starting a new part-time gig, and smack in the midst of perfecting a book proposal. I was overworked, overtired, and completely overwhelmed. And then I got sick. Not stuffy nose and sore throat kind of sick, but lie-down-on-the-floor-because-the-room-spinning-and-I-forgot-my-name sick. That’s when I realized that I didn’t have a doctor. Well, at least not one I could call at a moment’s notice.
Desperate and miserable, I remembered a friend telling me about the CVS Minute Clinic (available in 24 states and D.C.) and, fever rising, I drove directly to the nearest location and promptly passed out in the pharmacy (true). After I regained consciousness, downed a Coke, and stretched out on the exam room’s foldout table, I was tended to by not one, but two nurse practitioners. They determined the cause of my collapse (a blood-pressure drop due to some cold medication); they diagnosed me with double ear infections and a bad upper respiratory infection. Then they called my Dad (my husband was an hour away at a work meeting) to come pick me up. Prescriptions in hand, I climbed into the car and was driven home. The next day I received a call on my cell phone from the clinic making sure that I hadn’t had any more fainting spells. A week later, I received a handwritten note in the mail from the nurse practitioners, thanking me for coming in and making sure that I was feeling better. More
We feel badly for our friends with serious peanut allergies, and the movie My Girl made us forever afraid of developing a reaction to bee stings. But it turns out there are much worse allergies that we’re lucky to have dodged. Mother Nature Network‘s gallery of the ten most bizarre allergies caused our jaws to drop multiple times, and thank our genes that we’ve only got aversions to things like sulfur and pine nuts. Check out our summary of the ten weirdest allergies: More
Check out this post about the benefits of black rice by Victoria Stein at AOL Health.
Everyone knows that brown rice is healthier than white, but is black rice the fairest of them all?
Like its paler sibling brown rice, black rice is high in vitamin E, iron, fiber and antioxidants, but a new study suggests that it may also alleviate inflammation associated with allergies, asthma and other diseases.
An overlooked variety of rice sometimes known as “forbidden rice” because only emperors were allowed to eat it, black rice is still relatively rare in the West. More
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America just posted their list of the best and worst cities to live in if you suffer from allergies. The foundation based their rankings off of three factors: Airborne pollen counts; the number of allergy specialists in each city, per capita; and the number of allergy medications used per patient. More