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Top Diets Of 2014 (Hint: It's Probably Not What You Think)

Of 32 diets ranked by a panel convened by U.S. News & World Report, the DASH diet came out on top. Never heard of it? It's not a buzzword, but it's been around for a long time, and there's solid evidence that it works, not just for weight control but also to lower high blood pressure.
NPR

50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths

Back in 1964, people smoked cigarettes at work, in restaurants and in grocery stores. Few would have predicted that a report from the U.S. surgeon general would spark a public health revolution that has increased life expectancy in this country by 30 percent.
NPR

Cold Weather Tips To Keep Your Pets In Good Health

Keep the dog away when you're shoveling snow. Some can't resist jumping toward the flying flakes, and a dog is no match for a shovel blade. The sweet taste of antifreeze can be enticing for pets, but ethylene glycol, the main antifreeze, is also quite toxic. Clean up spills and drips.
NPR

Meditation Can Help Manage Anxiety, Depression And Pain

Hospitals now offer meditation classes, but doctors have questioned whether this ancient discipline has any medical benefits. It can help with symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, an analysis says. But there's no evidence it helps with sleep or weight issues.
NPR

Drinking Too Much? Don't Count On Your Doctor To Ask

Alcohol uses causes a lot of health problems, and most of the trouble strikes drinkers who aren't alcoholics. Something as simple as a five-question screening test and a brief chat about cutting back can help people change course. But more than 80 percent of adults say they've never discussed alcohol use with a health professional.
NPR

New Law Allows Transgender Students To Choose Bathrooms And Sports Teams

A new California law allows transgender students to choose restrooms and sport teams based on the gender they identify with. Host Michel Martin speaks with a parenting roundtable about the pros and cons.
NPR

Health Care Inbox: From Medicaid Eligibility To Tax Credits

If you buy insurance through a marketplace and you lose your job, it will pay to let the marketplace know. The reduction in income while you're unemployed could make you eligible for a bigger tax credit to help pay for coverage.
NPR

To Make Healthier Choices, Color-Code Your Food (Green Means Go!)

Could a little red circle help you skip the comfort food this winter and maybe drop a few pounds? Doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital think so. They put traffic-light labels on their cafeteria's menu to signal the healthfulness of dishes. The colorful cues helped improve eating habits even two years later.
NPR

In 2012, Health Care Costs Grow More Slowly Than U.S. Economy

Health care spending continued to rise in 2012, but it did so at a relatively low rate for the 4th year in a row. The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Spending said overall spending on health care increased 3.7 percent over the previous year.
NPR

Patients, Consumer Advocates Question Hip Implant Settlement

Lawyers for thousands of patients who had to have their defective hip replacements removed have reached a settlement with the company that made the faulty device. Many patients, however, aren't satisfied, and consumer advocates say the case illustrates what's wrong with how the government regulates implantable medical devices.

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