Ameetav Nangrani / Creative Commons

When was the last time you enjoyed a sugary soft drink? If it's been a while, it may be because health movements have begun to turn consumers away from sodas.

But the sugar content in juices, iced teas, and energy drinks is also very high. It begs the question: why are some connoisseurs now trying to break only their soda habits, and what makes others remain dedicated to their favorite carbonated drink?

U.S. Marines

Connecticut's Department of Children and Families has been under a federal court monitor for almost 24 years. In the latest quarterly report, the monitor found DCF was meeting the basic needs of children in its care half of the time, a four-year low. 

Huntstock / Thinkstock

Connecticut staked its claim as a leader in the field of stem cell research this week, as it hosted StemConn, a conference bringing together the latest discoveries in the field. 

CT State Democrats

A bill before lawmakers would require certain health care workers to undergo training related to the mental health issues veterans and their family members face. Some providers say the bill is an unnecessary mandate. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Once upon a time Nancy Butler lived in the Beltway and used her MBA to secure a high paying job with a defense contractor.  But Butler had considered herself a devout Christian since the age of 9, and something about a job with a company that made torpedoes started to bother her. So she left and embarked on a journey that included mission work in Asia and enrollment at Yale Divinity School.

Sohel Parvez Haque/flickr creative commons

Could the future of heart health be centered on gene therapy?

Today we talk about heart research and how to prevent heart disease, the leading killer of women and men in the U.S.

Federal health officials Monday changed the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962, cutting by almost half the maximum amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking supplies.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the long-standing range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.

Creative Commons

Despite laws in many states that protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke, exposure remains especially high for children ages three to eleven, African-Americans, and those who live in poverty or rental housing, according to a recent report.

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

You can take your drinks outside on Bourbon Street, but you can no longer bring your smokes indoors.

Effective Wednesday, New Orleans has banned smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos.

The New York Times published an intriguing look at the city's nightlife spots as the ban went into effect.

Here's an excerpt:

The Science of Snake Oil

Apr 22, 2015
Dave Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

We like to think of health care as an exact science: established guidelines, uniform practices, rigorously tested treatments vetted through extensive lab trials. Unfortunately this was neither the case  in the early days of medicine, nor is it the case today. It's shame that nearly 2500 years after the writing of Hippocrates' famous oath we'd still be wrestling with the ethics of best practice.

Kidney Health

Apr 22, 2015


Apr 22, 2015

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

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Mental disorders surpassed respiratory problems and all other ailments as the leading cause of hospitalization in Connecticut in 2012 for children ages five to 14, teenagers, and younger adults, according to a new state health department report.

Sal Pinna Finally Finds a Home

Apr 16, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

I didn’t think the story would end this way.

Sal Pinna has been homeless for 20 years, since he came to Connecticut from his native Long Island to enroll in a substance abuse program. 

Pinna is a 52-year-old man who loves the Mets, Batman, and Dean Martin. He wants a home, but the myriad forms and appointments that are required have proven to be beyond him. Pinna has diabetes, and he’s been diagnosed with depression, and a few years ago, bipolar disorder. 

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In his new book, Ending Back Pain, New York spine neurosurgeon Jack Stern says there are five actions to take to treat an ailing back or keep your back in better shape, to avoid surgery.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

A Manchester social service agency will close its 40-bed homeless shelter July 1 rather than comply with a state order to admit homeless people who abuse alcohol and drugs. 

Allan Foster / Creative Commons

A bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs and treatments currently not approved by the Food and Drug Administration is working its way through the state legislature. 

akunamatata/flickr creative commons

No surgery. No medication. No drastic measures. Just healthy joints — for life!

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The federal VA is trying to cut down the amount of time veterans are left waiting for care by hiring more health care professionals. For former service members, working at the VA may not be a tough sell.

Natalie Maynor/flickr creative commons

Thai basil chicken… joyful chocolate almond bars… no-bake cake… sweet potato and ground turkey shepherd's pie… it's all in the new book The Science of Skinny Cookbook, produced by the scientist Dee McCaffrey, who eliminated synthetic chemicals from her diet and went from obese to slender. Now she offers the recipes that have made her plan a success…

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The State Department of Public Health has just released 2013 data on Health Risk Behaviors in Connecticut’s High School Age Youth. This week, WNPR is focusing on one particularly troubling condition described in the report: self injury.

On Wednesday, we learned about how one Connecticut school district is trying to cope with a substantial rise in the number of high school students who are cutting themselves.

In part two, we bring you the story of a Connecticut man’s journey through mental illness and self-injury to recovery. 

Emad Ghazipura / Creative Commons

A new report compiled data from all traffic stops in Connecticut concludes that minority drivers are statistically more likely to be stopped by law enforcement than white drivers. 

Natasha Vora / Creative Commons

Schools in Connecticut and across the nation are reporting a consistent rise in the number of students with mental health issues, and an increase in the complexity and severity of problems. This week, WNPR focuses attention on a particularly troubling condition: self-injury.

Beth Wetherington / Creative Commons

The CDC reports that about 1 in 68 American children has Autism Spectrum Disorder and that number has increased significantly over the last decade. But, it’s hard to know if autism is really on the rise or if greater awareness and better diagnosis are bringing previously undetected cases under the umbrella.

Flickr The Commons

Thousands of low-income adults and children have gained access to dental services in recent years as the number of dentists accepting Medicaid and HUSKY patients has soared, according to state data.

Sorin Popa/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has eliminated its sales tax on certain non-prescription medicines. The change will eliminate taxes on over-the-counter items like antacids, cough syrup, and pain medication. It also gets rid of the sales tax on dietary supplements and vitamins.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been five years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, and the law is still as contentious as ever. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the distribution of Obamacare subsidies. 

Allan Ajifo/flickr creative commons

New techniques are being used by brain specialists to treat Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.