The hunger-obesity paradox results from stress and overly-expensive nutritional food; bug bombs fail to eliminate bed bugs; children with cancer have increased risk of cancer in the future; and baby boom generation necessitates costly care. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, June 5, 2012.
Wired Science – Homeless and Overweight: Obesity Is the New Malnutrition
A new survey finds that one in three homeless people in Boston are clinically obese, a number that casts in relief the strange reality of food in the 21st century United States. Not long ago, malnourishment was embodied by emaciation. Now it’s far more likely to be hidden in folds of fat. The findings are the latest and most dramatic illustration of what’s called the “hunger-obesity paradox,” a term coined in 2005 by neurophysiologist Lawrence Scheier to describe the simultaneous presence of hunger and obesity.
NPR – Beset With Bedbugs? Don’t Bother With Bug Bombs
Bedbug infestations can be maddening. So readily available bug bombs that fill the house with a pesticide fog are understandably tempting. But research shows they’re not likely to work. Writing in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers from Ohio State University say they tested three popular bug bomb products on five different populations of bedbugs, collected “in the wild” from homes around Ohio. All three products failed miserably.
NPR – Baby Boom Money Squeeze Is Set To Get Tighter
The number of elderly Americans in need of expensive care is about to surge, and there’s no stopping the calendar. Roughly 78 million baby boomers are moving into their retirement years now. At first, they will be the “young” old. Legions of retired boomers soon will be walking around the mall, volunteering with community groups and taking grandchildren on trips. At first, that can be good for the economy. But this immense generation, born between 1946 and 1964, will keep aging. Based on current medical outcomes, most of the people who live beyond age 85 will end up with dementia or other disabilities that require costly care
Wall Street Journal – Who Sleeps Better at Night? Men vs. Women, Couples vs. Singles: New Studies Find Benefits in Sharing a Bed
Couples may get health benefits simply from sleeping in the same bed, a burgeoning field of study is showing. In fact, some scientists believe that sleeping with a partner may be a major reason why people with close relationships tend to be in better health and live longer.
New York Times – Fever in Pregnancy Tied to Autism Risk
Running a fever during pregnancy is associated with a risk of autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays in the offspring, a new study reports. “Fever is an acute inflammatory response,” said the senior author, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the Mind Institute of the University of California, Davis. “So there is a suggestion that inflammation of some sort may play some role in autism causation. Untreated fever seems to be the place where the risk is.”
Washington Post – Protect your eyes during transit of Venus
Even for those of us whose geographical location will prevent us from witnessing much of the historic transit of Venus Tuesday evening, the once-in-a-lifetime event is exciting. But for those who actually plan to watch the planet Venus take its last journey across the sun’s face until 2117, it’s really important to make sure you’ve got proper eye protection.
New York Times – The Trouble With ‘Doctor Knows Best’
Doctors were told last month that we should stop doing so many screenings for prostate cancer with the prostate-specific antigen test. We learned that sigmoidoscopy is a cheaper, easier and effective alternative to colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. This deluge of do-less recommendations results from research into tests and procedures that have been arguably overused. But my guess is that little will change. Many doctors, maybe most, will ignore these findings and keep doing what they have been doing all along.
Detroit Free Press – Childhood cancer survivors face high breast cancer risk
Children diagnosed with cancer remain at risk from a variety of serious, long-term complications even years after doctors pronounce them cured. Now, new research shows that girls treated with radiation for pediatric tumors face a later risk of breast cancer that’s six to seven times as high as that of other women.