Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes more casually called the “winter blues,” can seriously affect how a person is able to function and carry symptoms not unlike depression. Experts advise not to underestimate SAD, which can get worse over time, potentially resulting in difficulty with concentration, anxiety, social withdrawal, alcohol and substance abuse, even suicidal thoughts and behavior.
The recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its plans to redesign Nutrition Facts labels on food packages has been widely welcomed by health experts who see it as an important step in the fight against obesity and other diet-related diseases. It would be the first revision in 20 years, and some say an update is long overdue considering both advances in nutrition science and shifts in consumer behavior.
A happy marriage has long been believed to add to people’s wellbeing. Studies going back to the mid-nineteenth century concluded that married men and women lived on average longer, healthier lives than their unmarried or widowed counterparts. But does this still hold true? In times gone by, it could indeed be perilous to go through life all alone, especially for women. But that may not be as much the case today. While a number of subsequent studies confirmed what has become known as the “marriage-advantage,” there are others that warn about potential downsides as well.
A country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has long been the predominant measure for its wealth and standard of living of its citizens. In reality, however, that’s only a small element of the entire picture. What remains largely neglected are additional important aspects, including the state of public health.
Nutrition experts and health counselors dispense endless advice on how to eat right and stay healthy, but apparently to little avail, considering the ever-growing obesity crisis with all its devastating effects on public health. Why is that? Is it that people don’t pay enough attention to professional advice, or is it that the professionals don’t really know what they’re talking about?
An important part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. “Obamacare,” is the inclusion of preventive healthcare measures in most insurance policies. According to the new legislation, healthcare plans must offer services like vaccinations, screening tests and other benefits at no extra cost to subscribers, including co-payments and deductibles. While expanding our traditional healthcare system from treating diseases to preventing them in the first place may be a step in the right direction, it is not altogether clear to what extent Americans will take advantage of these new opportunities.