America has been fighting the war on drugs for over 40 years, yet accidental, drug-related deaths continue to climb in the United States. Last year, Fox News reported that deaths by overdose increased more than 30 percent from 2011-2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids are the main killer, linked to 33,091 deaths in 2015. Since 1999, overdoses related to opioids have quadrupled. As the health department has found, drug abuse takes a particular toll in certain areas of the country. In 2015, West Virginia had the highest rates of death caused by drug overdoses. New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio and Rhode Island were also hit particularly hard by the drug problem.
It’s hard to figure out which group of people in the forefront of the opioid epidemic disgust Dr. Richard D. Blondell the most. The drug companies that enriched themselves developing painkillers and sending out legions of sales reps to flood doctors’ offices with the narcotics? Outlier “writer” doctors who only take cash to see patients, charge more than the going rate for office visits, and tailor prescriptions to the desires of their addicted patients? Health insurers – including Medicaid and Medicare – that pay for these drugs, and pass on the cost to policyholders and taxpayers, although they have the ability to track and crack down on abuse?
There’s no shortage of guidance around the dangers of smoking cigarettes – but this latest finding could prompt further scrutiny of the practice. A University of Bristol study, published in Scientific Reports, found that if a girl’s maternal grandmother smoked while pregnant, she gave her granddaughter a 67 percent higher chance of showing signs associated with autism, such as poor social communication and repetitive behaviors. She also gave all her grandchildren a 53 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Sarah Gripshover and Ellen Markman, both developmental psychologists, first created a series of five storybooks to teach young children about nutrition. The books show how the body uses a variety of nutrients from different foods to power diverse biological functions.
Running as a competitive sport dates back to before the Olympic games. In recent years, running’s popularity has spawned things like fun runs, local races and running apps. Minimalist running shoes and talk of “runner’s high” have soared. Recent science suggests that the so-called high may be indicative of a more long-term effect: that of a lengthened life.
More than a third of American adults routinely fail to get the seven or more hours of nightly sleep that’s generally recommended for optimal health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year. In some cases, biology may be to blame. Everyone has an internal clock, or circadian rhythm, that regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour cycle. These patterns vary from person to person, however, which is why some people function best in the morning and others seem to have more energy late at night. Those who fall into the “night owl” category—almost 20% of Americans, by some estimates—have a problem in that their internal clocks are out of sync with society’s external ones, which generally favor early start times for school and work.
From before birth and through the school years, there are decades-old food programs designed to make sure children won’t go hungry. Experts agree that the nutrition provided to millions of children through school meal programs is invaluable for their health.
Scientists are learning that shortchanging sleep can compromise nearly every major body system, from the brain to the heart to the immune system, making our inability–or unwillingness–to sleep enough one of the unhealthiest things we can do.