Health Headlines of the Week: August 5-9

Featured Article, Healthy Living
on August 10, 2012
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The Results Are In

The nation received improved scores with the release of the breastfeeding report card this week. Results showed that breastfeeding rates are on the rise, with credit going to better mother-to-mother support as well as improved new mother education in hospitals and birthing facilities. Better employer support of breastfeeding moms as well as child-care facilities working with families to bottlefeed with breastmilk were cited as reasons for improvement as well. All of this is to say that if you choose to breastfeed, the future’s looking rosy. If you are unable to, or (gasp!) choose not to, then move along. There’s nothing to see here. (And you can bet that Mayor Bloomberg’s smiling!)

 

Desperate Times? Old School Measures

New study findings reported this week show a link between the butter flavoring found on microwave popcorn and Alzheimer’s disease. The culprit is diacetyl, a flavoring agent that has already been found to cause lung damage for popcorn factory workers. The study findings, which show that diacetyl causes brain proteins to morph into Alzheimer’s-linked beta amyloid, could mean workers and consumers could both be at risk. Our recommendation? Go old-school air-popped: Drop a handful of popcorn kernels into a brown paper bag and microwave for a few minutes. Voila! Popcorn sans diacetyl. And if you really want some great flavor, try it this way.

 

As if Hair Loss Wasn’t Depressing Enough…

Men fighting to save their follicles with Propecia evidently face an uphill battle—or a downward spiral, depending on how you look at it. A recent study revealed that men taking Propecia who suffered the drug’s sexual side effects also had higher rates of depression compared to men who were not taking the drug. No word on how the hair fared. The FDA has since amended the listed side effects to include the potential for sexual side effects, but not psychiatric ones.

 

Complete Coverage. Almost.

News outlets were abuzz this week with sarcastic quips and opinionated pieces about healthcare coverage—or lack thereof—for pregnant dependents. New laws state that children (also known as young adults) can be covered on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26. The brouhaha erupted from the fact that, while young adults have an insurance safety net, their unborn children hiding out in utero do not. In short, the coverage does not have to include dependent maternity care. If your babies are having babies while on your policy, maternity care may very well come out of your pocket depending on your company’s choice of provision—or your child’s monetary status.