wellness http://wnpr.org en Study Links Casual Pot Use With Brain Abnormalities http://wnpr.org/post/study-links-casual-pot-use-brain-abnormalities Young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week showed changes in the size and shape of two key brain regions, according to a new study of 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25.<p>This is the first time recreational marijuana use has been connected to significant brain changes.<p>The findings, a collaboration between Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.<p>The senior author of the study, <strong>Hans Breiter</strong>, joins <em><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/">Here & Now&#82 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:42:06 +0000 editor 20252 at http://wnpr.org Study Links Casual Pot Use With Brain Abnormalities Cold Winter Means Healthy Trees -- and Pollen http://wnpr.org/post/cold-winter-means-healthy-trees-and-pollen <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now that the long winter is over, spring is here. So is tree pollen.</span></p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:29:46 +0000 Jeff Cohen 20193 at http://wnpr.org Cold Winter Means Healthy Trees -- and Pollen Where's The Whole Grain In Most Of Our Wheat Bread? http://wnpr.org/post/wheres-whole-grain-most-our-wheat-bread We've all heard the advice to eat more whole grains, and cut back on refined starches.<p>And there's good reason. Compared with a diet heavy on refined grains, like white flour, a diet rich in whole grains — which includes everything from brown rice to steel-cut oats to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/10/02/227838385/farro-an-ancient-if-complicated-grain-worth-figuring-out">farro</a> — is linked to lower rates of heart disease, certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes.<br /> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:22:00 +0000 editor 20156 at http://wnpr.org Where's The Whole Grain In Most Of Our Wheat Bread? The Benefits of Children's Yoga Only Beginning to Be Understood http://wnpr.org/post/benefits-childrens-yoga-only-beginning-be-understood <p>There are many studies out there touting the benefits of yoga, from increasing flexibility and strength, to helping with more debilitating conditions like chronic headaches and pain. More and more children are practicing yoga, and researchers are just beginning to understand how kids can benefit from the ancient discipline.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:52:50 +0000 Ray Hardman 19846 at http://wnpr.org The Benefits of Children's Yoga Only Beginning to Be Understood E-Cigarette Bill Would Ban Marketing to Kids http://wnpr.org/post/e-cigarette-bill-would-ban-marketing-kids <p>Two members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have launched a bill that would ban companies from marketing e-cigarettes to children.</p><p>But they ran into some vocal opposition during a press conference to launch the legislation.</p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:26:15 +0000 Harriet Jones 19782 at http://wnpr.org E-Cigarette Bill Would Ban Marketing to Kids State Issues Alert on Infant Sleep-Related Risks http://wnpr.org/post/state-issues-alert-infant-sleep-related-risks <p>An eight-week-old baby boy slips out of his sleeping grandmother’s arms and suffocates in the folds of a couch.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">A seven-week-old girl is found dead lying on her stomach in her mother’s bed, where she had been placed to sleep, as a nearby crib sat unused.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These are two of 23 infants who died in Connecticut last year of “sudden infant death syndrome,” or undetermined causes.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Of those cases, 18 were found to have risk factors associated with the sleep environment, including co-sleeping in an adult bed with parents, sleeping with a heavy blanket or pillows, or being placed on their stomachs.</span></p><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:35:33 +0000 Lisa Chedekel 19724 at http://wnpr.org State Issues Alert on Infant Sleep-Related Risks Smoking Rates Decline in Connecticut, But Striking Disparities Persist By County http://wnpr.org/post/smoking-rates-decline-connecticut-striking-disparities-persist-county <p>Although smoking rates in Connecticut decreased between 1996 and 2012, striking disparities persist among counties, <a href="http://viz.healthmetricsandevaluation.org/us-health-map/" target="_blank">according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington</a>.</p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:59:03 +0000 Magaly Olivero 19539 at http://wnpr.org Smoking Rates Decline in Connecticut, But Striking Disparities Persist By County How Clean Is Our Air? http://wnpr.org/post/how-clean-our-air <p>A<a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/"> report </a>released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air.&nbsp;</p><p>Today, t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he WHO</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">considers air pollution to be the single greatest environmental health risk, linking it to cases of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.</span></p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:25:55 +0000 John Dankosky, Lydia Brown, Catie Talarski & Tucker Ives 19519 at http://wnpr.org How Clean Is Our Air? Rethinking Fat: The Case For Adding Some Into Your Diet http://wnpr.org/post/rethinking-fat-case-adding-some-your-diet Remember the fat-free boom that swept the country in the 1990s? Yes, we know from the Salt readers who took our informal <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/22/292389447/remember-fat-free-mania-take-our-survey">survey</a> that lots of you tried to follow it. And gave up.<p>"I definitely remember eating fat-free cookies, fat–free pudding, fat-free cheese, which was awful," Elizabeth Stafford, an attorney from North Carolina, told us in the survey.<p>Back then, she avoided all kinds of foods with fat: cheese, eggs, meat, even nuts and avocados. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:31:00 +0000 editor 19306 at http://wnpr.org Rethinking Fat: The Case For Adding Some Into Your Diet Why Playing Minecraft Might Be More Healthful For Kids Than TV http://wnpr.org/post/why-playing-minecraft-might-be-more-healthy-kids-tv Doctors say children shouldn't log more than two hours a day of screen time, though what with phones, computers and TV most children put in much more.<p>But it may be that not all screens are equally evil.<p>Researchers from the University of Michigan found that sixth-graders who watched a lot of TV were more likely to eat junk food and drink soda than their peers who spent the same amount of time on the computer or playing video games, researchers from the University of Michigan say.<p>Of course, running around outside is still much better for children's health than playing Temple Run on an i Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:00:00 +0000 editor 19219 at http://wnpr.org Why Playing Minecraft Might Be More Healthful For Kids Than TV Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk For All Women Everywhere http://wnpr.org/post/exercise-cuts-breast-cancer-risk-all-women-everywhere This could be the simplest bit of health advice ever: Exercise reduces women's risk of breast cancer, no matter what kind of exercise they do, how old they are, how much they weigh, or when they get started.<p>Researchers in France looked at studies that involved more than 4 million women around the world who participated in prospective studies from 1987 to 2013. They found that the more active a woman is, the better her odds of avoiding breast cancer. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:59:00 +0000 editor 18751 at http://wnpr.org Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk For All Women Everywhere Statins Might Not Cause Aching Muscles, But Diabetes Risk Is Real http://wnpr.org/post/statins-might-not-cause-aching-muscles-diabetes-risk-real People taking cholesterol-lowering statins often report having muscle pain and other side effects. Many quit taking the pills as a result.<p>But the statins aren't to blame, according to an analysis that found muscle problems no more likely with statins than with a placebo pill.<p>Diabetes is the only harmful side effect linked to statins, the study found, with 3 percent of people on statins being newly diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 2.4 percent of people taking placebos. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:00:00 +0000 editor 18375 at http://wnpr.org Statins Might Not Cause Aching Muscles, But Diabetes Risk Is Real Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There http://wnpr.org/post/advice-eating-well-tight-budget-mom-whos-been-there JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to accept public assistance to feed her son, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.<p>"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:47:00 +0000 editor 18370 at http://wnpr.org Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors http://wnpr.org/post/malloy-wants-ban-sale-e-cigarettes-minors <p>Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:25:14 +0000 Jeff Cohen 18322 at http://wnpr.org Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick http://wnpr.org/post/clean-drinking-water-all-you-need-stick Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.<p>The technologies exist for doing that, but there's a problem: cost.<p>Now a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thinks he's on to a much less expensive way to clean up water.<p>MIT's <a href="http://meche.mit.edu/people/?id=279">Rohit Karnik</a> is a mechanical engineer who works on water technologies. He says it's relatively easy to make membranes that can filter the bacteria out of water. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Joe Palca 17953 at http://wnpr.org To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick Should Noise in Connecticut Movie Theaters Be Regulated? http://wnpr.org/post/should-noise-connecticut-movie-theaters-be-regulated <p>Connecticut lawmakers are <a href="http://cga.ct.gov/2014/TOB/S/2014SB-00287-R00-SB.htm" target="_blank">considering a proposal that would establish a maximum decibel level at movie theaters across the state</a>.<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee <a href="http://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/PSdata/pha/2014PHA00304-R001230PS-PHA.htm" target="_blank">heard testimony during a public hearing</a>&nbsp;on Tuesday, including from Joseph Masher, the chief operating officer of Bow Tie Cinemas.</span></p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:36:45 +0000 Heather Brandon 17854 at http://wnpr.org Should Noise in Connecticut Movie Theaters Be Regulated? Why Some Olympians Load Up On Salad Instead Of Pasta http://wnpr.org/post/how-many-calories-do-winter-olympians-strive-it-depends When we imagine Olympic athletes at the table before the most important competition of their lives, we might picture a huge plate of pasta, with Gatorade to wash it down and a well-deserved ice cream sundae for dessert.<p>Turns out, they might be preparing with a salad, a glass of beet juice and some almonds.<p>As we <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/07/24/157317262/how-many-calories-do-olympic-athletes-need-it-depends">reported</a> back in 2012 during the London Games, athletes actually deploy a pretty wide range of fueling strategies to coax peak performance from their bodies. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 19:22:00 +0000 editor 16945 at http://wnpr.org Why Some Olympians Load Up On Salad Instead Of Pasta With This Year's Flu, Young Adults Are Not So Invincible http://wnpr.org/post/years-flu-young-adults-are-not-so-invincible We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.<p>This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:21:00 +0000 Maanvi Singh 16930 at http://wnpr.org With This Year's Flu, Young Adults Are Not So Invincible The Passion of Pickling http://wnpr.org/post/passion-pickling <p>In 2030 B.C., somebody brought cucumbers from India to the Tigris Valley, and they said, "We can pickle that!" And so it began, from the first stirrings of civilization, to modern-day Brooklyn artisan pickles: we've found ourselves up to our eyes in brine, looking for the next object we can pickle. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:30:00 +0000 Chion Wolf 16404 at http://wnpr.org The Passion of Pickling Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns http://wnpr.org/post/subway-phasing-out-bread-additive-after-blogger-flags-health-concerns Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.<p>Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an <a href="http://foodbabe.com/subway/">online petition</a> raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.<p>The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.<p>But as the petition points out, the compound has been phased out in many other countries, and the Worl Thu, 06 Feb 2014 18:09:00 +0000 editor 16569 at http://wnpr.org Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk For Teen Depression http://wnpr.org/post/less-sleep-more-time-online-amp-teen-depression-risk The teenage years are a tumultuous time, with about 11 percent developing depression by age 18. Lack of sleep may increase teenagers' risk of depression, two studies say.<p>Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop <a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml">major depressive disorder</a> as their peers who sleep more, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 15:29:00 +0000 editor 16562 at http://wnpr.org Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk For Teen Depression By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives Its Reputation A Boost http://wnpr.org/post/dropping-cigarettes-cvs-gives-its-reputation-boost When drugstore chain CVS said Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products by October, the company also told investors that the move would probably cost it $2 billion a year in lost sales.<p>CVS says it has figured out unspecified ways to help make up for the profits from cigarettes and other tobacco products.<p>Still, it's pretty clear that CVS, which also runs a network of <a href="http://info.cvscaremark.com/better-health-care/minuteclinic">800 in-store health clinics</a> and provides drug benefit services to corporations, has already burnished its image by making the high-profile Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:13:00 +0000 editor 16512 at http://wnpr.org By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives Its Reputation A Boost CVS To Stop Selling Tobacco Products http://wnpr.org/post/cvs-stop-selling-tobacco-products Saying it is "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," the CEO of CVS Caremark <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-caremark-to-stop-selling-tobacco-at-all-cvspharmacy-locations-243662651.html" target="_blank">announced Wednesday</a> that the company's 7,600 pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 12:28:51 +0000 Mark Memmott 16497 at http://wnpr.org CVS To Stop Selling Tobacco Products Most Teens Aren't Active Enough, And It's Not Always Their Fault http://wnpr.org/post/most-teens-arent-active-enough-and-its-not-always-their-fault Sure, you think, my kid's on a football team. That takes care of his exercise needs, right? Probably not.<p>"There are these bursts of activity," says <a href="http://sallis.ucsd.edu/">Jim Sallis</a>, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:27:00 +0000 Patti Neighmond 16373 at http://wnpr.org Most Teens Aren't Active Enough, And It's Not Always Their Fault Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much http://wnpr.org/post/young-athletes-risk-back-injury-playing-too-much Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.<p>"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."<p>Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.<p>"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:26:00 +0000 Tom Goldman 16374 at http://wnpr.org Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much Sex Trafficking Isn't Just an Overseas Problem http://wnpr.org/post/sex-trafficking-isnt-just-overseas-problem <p>A woman who was was forced into prostitution as a teenager spoke at the state's first conference on domestic sex trafficking.&nbsp;</p><p>Audrey Morrissey, 51, is a Massachusetts resident who detailed how she was forced into prostitution after suffering from low self-esteem and lack of nurturing at home. She eventually turned her life around, and now counsels young girls through the initiative, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/mylifemychoice" target="_blank">My Life My Choice</a>.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:32:31 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 16190 at http://wnpr.org Sex Trafficking Isn't Just an Overseas Problem How A Little Chill In The Air Could Help You Lose Weight http://wnpr.org/post/how-little-chill-air-could-help-you-lose-weight When it comes to tackling obesity, eating right and staying active are usually the way to go. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 21:36:00 +0000 editor 15805 at http://wnpr.org How A Little Chill In The Air Could Help You Lose Weight Blood Pressure Ruckus Reveals Big Secret In Medicine http://wnpr.org/post/blood-pressure-ruckus-reveals-big-secret-medicine There has been a carefully guarded secret in medicine: Evidence is often inconclusive, and experts commonly disagree about what it means.<p>Most medical decisions aren't cut and dried. Instead they're usually made with uncertainty about what is best for each person.<p>This uncertainty secret has been revealed in a very public disagreement among experts about who should be treated for high blood pressure. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 19:57:20 +0000 editor 15500 at http://wnpr.org Blood Pressure Ruckus Reveals Big Secret In Medicine DCF Behavioral Health Plan Will Focus on Early Identification http://wnpr.org/post/dcf-behavioral-health-plan-will-focus-early-identification <p>The state of Connecticut will begin developing a plan to meet the behavioral health needs of all the children in the state. The plan is required under legislation passed last year by the General Assembly in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.</p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:19:00 +0000 Ray Hardman 15454 at http://wnpr.org DCF Behavioral Health Plan Will Focus on Early Identification Coffee Myth-Busting: Cup Of Joe May Help Hydration And Memory http://wnpr.org/post/coffee-myth-busting-cup-joe-may-help-hydration-and-memory Despite caffeine's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/15/174334493/a-daily-habit-of-green-tea-or-coffee-cuts-stroke-risk">many benefits</a>, there's a belief out there that a daily coffee habit can cause dehydration.<p>So is it true? Not according to the findings of a <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084154">new study</a>.<p>Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. Mon, 13 Jan 2014 23:22:00 +0000 editor 15407 at http://wnpr.org Coffee Myth-Busting: Cup Of Joe May Help Hydration And Memory