Monday, May 25, 2009

A Brave New Idea Runs Afoul of Regulators

news you may not know

It Utterly Defies All Logic...

...of course it defies logic. This is, after all, the medical community with which we're dealing. Or, to not cast too wide a net, this is the Insurance Industry with which we're dealing. So...

When a New York physician introduced an ingenious plan to cover the uninsured, the state insurance commission objected. According to the commission, they are only enforcing rules that serve to protect the patients.
From what are they being protected? Well, in this case, from receiving unlimited physician visits and on-site medical care (which includes lab and gynecology services) for a flat fee of $79 per month. How dare these dastardly physicians!
It's really quite a unique arrangement and, especially in this political climate, one that merits a closer look.
To read more about the innovative program, see this from Reuters. To learn more about the stunning expense ($2.4 trillion in 2007) of health care in America, see this from the National Coalition on Health Care.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coronary Stent Video

news you may not know

How to Fix a Broken Heart

Have you ever wondered exactly what the surgeons do when they open a clogged artery using a stent? The video animation below, though having no narration, is amazingly informative. Watch as the fatty deposits turn into life threatening plaque. Then see the artery opened using angioplasty and, in the final phase, the stent placed and expanded. It's really quite cool.

the heart of coronary stent - medical from Yuhendri on Vimeo.

To read more about all aspects of a healthy heart, see this from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To read more about eating heart healthy, whole foods, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Perfect Mate Might Be a Compulsive

news you may not know

Did You Feed the Fish?!

OK, gals -- here's the new test in picking the perfect mate. The idea of the sensitive, emoting male is a delusion of days gone by. The man of today is of a much more practical nature. In fact, practicality is his middle name.

New research indicates that women who marry men who are conscientious fare quite well. Previous research has shown that individuals who are conscientious typically lead healthier lives. Highly conscientious individuals tend to be more organized, make a better lifestyle choices and, ultimately, reap the rewards.

The new research, however, is the first to indicate a reciprocal benefit. The study shows that, even for individuals who themselves are highly conscientious, there is added benefit to marrying someone who shares these same traits.

Oddly, the positive benefits accrue only to women. For the men it appears to make no difference.

On the far end of the spectrum, the study actually found an added health benefit for women who married men who were highly neurotic. Puts a bit of a different spin on the selection of a mate, doesn't it?

So, if you're in the market for a husband, he just may be that twitchy little guy in the corner.

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To read more about the positive health benefits of being conscientious, see this from the University of California, Riverside.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Are Veggies Promoting Fast Food?

news you may not know

Don't Even Think About it...

Sometimes, good intentions fall far short.

New research out of Duke University paints a fascinating picture of how our minds and appetites intertwine. The scientists assessed the impact of adding a single healthy food choice to an otherwise typically tasty fast food menu. For example, to a menu of burgers and sandwiches, they added a veggie burger. You'd think this healthy alternative would be a positive addition -- just the type of thing to help improve the nation's physique. But...

In reality, the addition of the veggie burger had the exact opposite effect. When the veggie burger was added to the menu, many more study participants opted for the bacon cheeseburger -- the least healthy option on the menu. Prior to the addition of the veggie burger, 17% of study participants chose the bacon cheeseburger. This skyrocketed to 37% after the addition of the veggie burger.

Researchers say this upside-down impact is the result of what’s known as "vicarious goal fulfillment." It appears, just as with magic, the mind is a powerful tool that often plays tricks on its owners. In this case, simply thinking about making a healthy choice somehow fulfills that objective. The reality seems to be much less important.

Of course, being armed with this knowledge may open up some interesting new angles on diet avoidance. It can't be long before a new line of "healthy food" trading cards hits the market. They’ll be small but powerful -- simply focus on the pictures of fruits and veggies while waiting in the fast food line, then order the double cheeseburger and fries.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about eating whole, healthy foods, see this from the World's Healthiest Foods.