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Health News and Reviews

The Health News and Reviews section addresses current health- and lifestyle issues as they are discussed in the press and respective publications. You may search by topic, by key word(s) or by date. At the end of each article, you are invited to leave your own insights, comments or questions.

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Remembering Harvest Season
Although I grew up as a city girl, a memorable period of my childhood was spent in the English countryside. Of those days, I recall most fondly the harvest season. Because the local farmers couldn’t handle the workload by themselves (we are talking agriculture before heavy machinery came into use), all able bodies in the nearby villages, including young children, were enlisted to bring in the crops. That sense of urgency to preserve the harvest is mostly lost today.
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Creating a Health-Promoting Work Environment
More and more companies are enrolling their workforce in health and wellness programs to cut staggering health care costs, reduce absenteeism and foster productivity as well as morale and loyalty, according to several studies on recent changes in employer-based health care policies. There is a fast growing interest in taking preventive measures such as promoting weight control, physical activity and cessation of tobacco use, not only among big corporations but also small and mid-size businesses.
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Is Eating Alone Becoming the Norm?
It’s a familiar picture: People eating while talking on the phone, reading e-mails, staring at computer screens, hurrying from appointment to appointment. Our hectic lifestyles rarely allow for lunch breaks exclusively dedicated to nourishment or sit-down dinners to reconnect with loved ones. Nearly half of all adults in America now eat most of their meals alone.
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The Many Health Benefits of a Good Belly Laugh
It feels good to laugh once in a while. Everyone knows that. But laughter as a health-promoting exercise is not as widely practiced, despite of the fact that scientists have long known about the healing effects of good humor.
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Food Safety First
Enjoying delicious food is at the center of nearly all holiday celebrations, regardless of social, cultural or religious background. Festive banquets, sumptuous buffets and overflowing dinner tables invite to indulge. However, with so much food put out, there is also a heightened danger of contamination that can result in sometimes serious, even fatal food-borne illness.
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Navigating the Flu Season
While most of us are out and about doing our gift shopping, attending parties, going on vacations or visiting loved ones, we are also increasingly at risk of falling prey to the countless health hazards we encounter in public places – most commonly a cold or the flu. Against widespread opinion, foul weather and cold temperatures have little to do with our heightened chances of catching something this time of the year. It’s rather our being in crowded places like shopping malls, restaurants and airports that causes our undoing.
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Don’t Let Holiday Stress Wear You Out
It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year.” But for many Americans the holiday season brings considerable stress, anxiety and even depression. What should be an opportunity to slow down, take a vacation, focus on family and friends, often turns into an annually reoccurring hassle that is more of a burden than a relief.
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Don’t Get Crazy Busy!
Whenever I make phone calls or send off e-mails to family members and friends to touch base and inquire about their well-being, the answers are almost always the same: “busy,” “crazy busy,” “insanely busy,” “busy, busy, busy.” I know full well that I’m expected to respond with something like “that’s good,” or “that’s a good problem to have.” Being able to say that there is plenty going on in our lives, even if it drives us nuts, is almost considered an asset in our culture, although it’s made to sound more like a burden.
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How Healthy You Are Also Depends on Where You Live
Whether you are overweight, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol largely depends on your personal lifestyle choices – but not exclusively, according to an annual survey on the health of Americans. Where you live may also play a role in your well-being.
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Men Are Becoming More Health-Conscious
According to Men’s Health Magazine, Boise, Idaho, is the new place to be for men who look for health, happiness and quality of life. The magazine conducts regular surveys on health issues and, among other criteria, points out geographical differences. Other advantageous places in the United States are San Francisco and San Jose, California. All three cities scored high marks for physical and mental health for a number of reasons, including low crime rates and relatively short commuting times.
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Food Trends to Keep: Small, Simple, Fresh and Healthy
Much has been reported on changing food and nutrition trends in recent years and 2012 was no exception. Analysts agree: Americans want to eat more healthily. That includes healthier choices as well as smaller portion sizes. At the same time, convenience and efficiency are as important as ever, which calls for simple recipes and easy cooking techniques. Also, rising prices have made consumers more conscious of the value of quality food and they pay attention to what they’re buying and try to be less wasteful.
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