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Urban Parks and Trails Are Cost-Effective Ways to Promote Exercise

HBNS STORY | December 8, 2014

A new systematic review in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that providing public parks and walking and biking trails is the most cost-effective strategy to increase physical activity among large populations in urban areas.

Military Culture Enables Tobacco Use

HBNS STORY | December 4, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief. Previous studies of tobacco use for stress relief among soldiers have produced no evidence supporting the theory.

Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care

HBNS STORY | December 3, 2014

The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known disparities in their use of mental health services, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

Schools Often Fail to Follow Their Own Written Wellness Policies

HBNS STORY | November 18, 2014

A wide divide exists between public schools' written wellness policies and their actual day-to-day practices, finds a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Food Companies' Masterful Marketing at Odds With Consumers' Health

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 18, 2014 | CFAH Staff

New options from Domino's, McDonald's and Pepsi are putting consumers' food choices to the test. Do we really want nacho-chips-flavored Mountain Dew? Probably not. But health advocates will have to step up their game to compete against these marketing powerhouses...

Taking an Active Role in Your Recovery

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 12, 2014 | Alexandra Rosas

I was once someone who never felt that I'd be normal again. But recovery is made up of small steps that lead us to a successful life – these steps toward wellness matter, because being active versus passive about your recovery greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome...

Unhealthy Diets Linked With Mental Health of Children

HBNS STORY | November 6, 2014

Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to experience more depression and low moods, suggests a new systematic research review in the American Journal of Public Health.

Poor-Quality Weight Loss Advice Often Appears First in an Online Search

HBNS STORY | November 13, 2014

More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.

Why Attend a Patient Support Group Twenty Years Later? 'Because I Remember'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 3, 2014 | Jack Aiello

I was reluctant to attend. I didn't have leukemia and am not a "touchy-feely" person, which was my perception of a support group. However, I dragged my IV pole of medications and went to this meeting where I met my first fellow myeloma patient named Jim – finally, someone who had the same disease as me. So to this day, whenever I meet with one or a group of myeloma patients, I make the following plea...

Time Spent Preparing Meals at Home Linked to Healthier Diet

HBNS STORY | October 30, 2014

Spending less than one hour a day preparing food at home is associated with eating more fast food and spending more money eating out, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Not having time available may be one of the most significant barriers to achieving a healthy diet.

Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women

HBNS STORY | October 28, 2014

Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women. They also have lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Fecal Blood Test May Save More Lives Than Colonoscopy

HBNS STORY | October 21, 2014

Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many CRC cases by using fecal immunochemical testing, or FIT, instead of colonoscopies, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Children With Chronic Health Conditions Less Likely to Graduate From High School

HBNS STORY | October 16, 2014

Approximately 32 million U.S. children have at least one chronic health condition, which can negatively affect their chances of receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent by age 21, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Sexting in Teens Linked to More Sexual Activity, Low Self-Esteem

HBNS STORY | October 7, 2014

Relatively few teens say they have engaged in sexting, but those who do may put themselves at sexual risk, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

'Be a Prepared Patient' Gets a New Look

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 1, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Finding good health care and making the most of it is critical for each of us. Yet all too often, reliable, unbiased information is hard to find and understand. On the redesigned Be a Prepared Patient website, we have collected trusted resources and tips to help people navigate their way through health and health care decisions and experiences...

What Health Care Consultants Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 10, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"At the end of the day, there is a growing recognition that we need people to take better care of themselves. Too much money is being spent on the consequences of unhealthy choices and on health care. We don't think that patient engagement is just the flavor of the week. The concept of how we can take more responsibility for our health and health care is not going away." – Janice Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems in South Kingstown, RI

Few Overweight People with Diabetes Getting Recommended Physical Activity

HBNS STORY | September 9, 2014

Women and men with diabetes who are trying to lose weight are not meeting the recommended amounts of physical activity for weight loss, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Stress Is US

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 8, 2014 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn

"Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it," Lily Tomlin once quipped. So it's no surprise, then, that one-half of the people in the U.S. have had a major stressful event or experience in the last year. And health tops the list...

Poor Health Habits Linked to Financial Insecurity

HBNS STORY | September 4, 2014

Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Counseling Has Limited Benefit on Young People Drinking Alcohol

HBNS STORY | August 21, 2014

Counseling techniques used to help young people with drinking problems may be of limited benefit, suggests a new review in The Cochrane Library.

What Health Insurers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 20, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"Most health plans view engagement as important and want to support it. But they recognize that they are only one (relatively weak) factor in supporting patient/consumer engagement... Their customers want their insurance premiums going to medical care, not a bunch of mailings about things they already know they should do..." – Arthur Southam, MD – Executive Vice President of Health Plan Operations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, CA

Anxiety Associated With Ulcer Risk

HBNS STORY | August 14, 2014

A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry finds evidence of a relationship between anxiety disorders and the prevalence and incidence of ulcer over a 10-year period in a sample of U.S. adults.

What Policy Makers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 13, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"Since patients don't live in a vacuum, we must also involve the community in which patients live, work, and play. Community resources must be readily available to meet the needs of the population they serve. Also, as we begin to have patients and families engaged in their care and talk to peers and extended family members, they begin to model engagement to others. We are looking for 'engaged communities.'" - Jean Moody-Williams - Group Director, CMS Quality Improvement Group, Baltimore, MD

Clever Hospitals Find Another Way to Snag New Patients

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 13, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

As I sat on a New York subway one sizzler of a day, an ad for an ice cream cone grabbed my attention. After a closer read, I realized the ad was not touting ice cream but the Center for Advanced Digestive Care, a part of New York Presbyterian, one of the city's most prestigious hospitals and well known for its TV ads designed to cultivate brand recognition. The ice cream cone was an effective attention-grabber. So was the message…

What Employers and Purchaser Representatives Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 6, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"Employers have an opportunity to reduce barriers and support engagement because they sponsor health plans and can provide access to information, tools, technologies, incentives, and more. Employers have more ability to influence engagement than they often believe they have." – Michael Vittoria, Vice President, Corporate Benefits, MaineHealth, Portland, ME

What Community Health Leaders Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 23, 2014 | CFAH Staff

"When I think of patient engagement, I think of a partnership where people work together to figure out what the patient wants and how to support the process. Engagement is the knowledge base, working through the decisions and helping people to become full partners in their health outcomes." – June Simmons, MSW — Founding President and CEO, Partners in Care Foundation, San Fernando, CA

Neighborhoods with Healthy Food Options Less Likely to Have Overweight Kids

HBNS STORY | July 8, 2014

Children with a greater number of healthy food outlets near their homes had a reduced likelihood of being overweight or obese, finds an Australian study published in American Journal of Health Promotion.

Mental Health Wins When Teens Play School Sports

HBNS STORY | July 1, 2014

Adolescents who play team sports in grades 8 through 12 have less stress and better mental health as young adults, finds new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Patient Engagement: Here to Stay

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 1, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

What is patient engagement and what does it take to accomplish? With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CFAH set out to explore this concept as it was viewed by various diverse stakeholders. Our interviews with 35 key health care stakeholders lead to an impressive unity of opinion...

Growing Up Poor Impacts Physical and Mental Health in Young Adults

HBNS STORY | June 24, 2014

Socioeconomic adversity during childhood increases the likelihood of both depression and higher body mass index (BMI) in early adolescence, which can worsen and lead to illness for young adults, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Don't Let the Sun Shine Down on Me (It's Too Complicated!)

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 18, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

I'm impressed by how much we struggle with seemingly simple health decisions when faced with sorting through too much information. Every week we view diverse arrays of products with health, convenience and cosmetic claims competing for our attention. Think yogurt, Gatorade, running shoes, breakfast cereal...Given the ubiquity of such products and the swirl of marketing and science- or non-science-based information surrounding each, I'm wondering three things...

Psychological Distress Affects Tobacco Use Differently for Men and Women

HBNS STORY | June 17, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior finds that women are more likely than men to use tobacco products after experiencing severe psychological distress.

Don't Forget the Hefty Price We Pay to Engage in Health

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 12, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

Media-fueled flip-flops and research breakthroughs on lifestyle and health behaviors are wearing down my usual patience with the provisional nature of science. Even simple dietary recommendations like lower fat/salt recommendations have become complicated as old truisms are overturned by new evidence. So I'm asking: To whom should I turn for meaningful guidance about modifying my risk for illness and boosting my health?

Customized Text Messages Can Help Smokers Quit

HBNS STORY | June 10, 2014

Sending smokers individualized text messages was found to be twice as effective at helping them quit smoking than simply providing self-help materials, according to a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Life-Changing Events Can Lead to Less Physical Activity

HBNS STORY | June 5, 2014

Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Smokers Slow to Embrace Routine Use of Electronic Cigarettes

HBNS STORY | June 3, 2014

Few smokers who try e-cigarettes have made the permanent switch from regular tobacco cigarettes, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Families with Preschoolers Buying Fewer High Calorie Foods and Beverages

HBNS STORY | May 27, 2014

Families with young children are purchasing fewer high calorie drinks and processed foods, which may be a factor in declining rates of childhood obesity, finds a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People with Low Incomes Less Likely to Use Healthy Weight Loss Strategies

HBNS STORY | May 22, 2014

Poorer people of all ages are less likely than wealthier ones to follow recommended strategies for weight loss, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Social Support May Prevent PTSD in Heart Patients

HBNS STORY | May 20, 2014

Having a good social support system may help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with heart disease, finds a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Obese Employees Cost Employers Thousands in Extra Medical Costs

HBNS STORY | May 13, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.

How Much Is a Patient's Peace of Mind Worth?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 12, 2014 | Anne Polta

If something is medically useless, does it still have value if it gives the patient (and perhaps the clinician as well) some peace of mind? To many patients, this is no small thing. Unfortunately, it's also often abetted by consumer marketing that plays up the peace-of-mind aspect of certain tests while remaining silent about the limited benefit, the possible risk and the clinical complexity that may be part of the larger picture...

Who Needs a Doctor These Days?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 6, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

Are insurance companies making more decisions about the health care you receive? I received a letter from Aetna, my Medicare supplement insurance carrier, advertising a pitch for getting "started on a healthier lifestyle." "Because of your health history, we think you might benefit from joining our program," the letter read. Annoyed, I called the insurer...

Low Self-Rating of Social Status Predicts Heart Disease Risk

HBNS STORY | May 6, 2014

How a person defines their own socioeconomic standing (SES) within their community can help predict their risk of cardiovascular disease, but only among Whites, not Blacks, finds a recent study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Medication Cocktails: Not Every Mix Is Safe

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 5, 2014 | CFAH Staff

One in every five older Americans takes medications that work against each other. And some interactions between prescription drugs and supplements can pose dangerous health risks. So what must we do to make sure that we benefit from the drugs we take?

Society of Behavioral Medicine Announces Inaugural 'Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 30, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Dedicated to promoting behavioral medicine research and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and populations, Society of Behavioral Medicine created this award to recognize an individual who has made a pivotal contribution to research, practice or policy in the field of health engagement.

Calorie Disclosures Might Actually Improve Health

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 29, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman

I've long been a skeptic when it comes to disclosing information about how doctors practice medicine, how hospitals treat patients and what both doctors and hospitals charge for their services. But I'm dropping my skepticism about disclosing calories in food. We've been conditioned to think of some foods as healthier than others. Only labels will reveal the truth...

Are We Cowboys or Managers of Our Chronic Conditions?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 23, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

The word "management" raises images of organizational charts and neat project timelines. This bears no relationship to my experience of trying to live a full, rich life with serious chronic disease. My image of having a serious chronic disease is of a cowboy riding a rodeo bull. You call that management? No. But it gives you a pretty good idea of what it feels like to have a serious chronic disease. This is our experience...

Doctors as Coaches, Giving Up the High Horse

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 21, 2014 | Milly Dawson

A recent conference at Harvard Medical School brought together scores of physicians who want to live healthfully themselves and to work as partners with their patients to help them do the same. I've attended many medical meetings but never one as much fun or as health promoting for participants as this one...

Tobacco Use Varies Widely Among Asian and Pacific Islanders in U.S.

HBNS STORY | April 17, 2014

A new study in American Journal of Health Behavior finds significant differences in tobacco use when analyzed by specific Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity.

Blacks with Financial Worries Have Lower Health Scores

HBNS STORY | April 15, 2014

Black adults who reported feeling more financial strain also rated their health more poorly than those with less financial strain, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Shared Decision Making: Blending Beliefs and Attitudes With Evidence

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 7, 2014 | Don S. Dizon

My patient, Mary, was a 28-year-old woman who had completed chemotherapy for stage II breast cancer. After discussing surveillance, frequency of follow-up and ASCO guidelines, I recommended against further testing or imaging. Mary was well aware of the evidence, but she had different plans...

Tobacco Promotions Still Reaching Youth

HBNS STORY | April 1, 2014

Teens and young adults who are exposed to marketing materials for tobacco products, such as coupons and websites, were far more likely to begin smoking or to be current smokers than those not exposed, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Do People Really Want to Tech Their Way to Health?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 25, 2014 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn

The hockey-stick growth of "wearable technology" seen at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show begs the question: Will people pay out-of-pocket for gadgets that help them measure their steps, track their sleep, quantify their calories, record their heart rate and feedback their mood? A caveat emptor to investors seeing short-term dollar signs in the digital health sector...

Double Discrimination Impacts Physical and Mental Health

HBNS STORY | March 25, 2014

Racial and sexual minorities, women, and obese people may face more health risks because of their disproportionate exposure to discrimination, according to a new report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Moves Take a Toll on Kids' Mental Health

HBNS STORY | March 20, 2014

Children in military families who relocate have an increased odds of suffering mental health problems, finds a large new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Many New Parents Unaware of Safety Guidelines

HBNS STORY | April 8, 2014

A new parent’s health literacy can affect their ability to follow recommendations to protect infants from injury, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Better Benefits Help Medicaid Recipients Quit Smoking

HBNS STORY | March 6, 2014

Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Parents Should Team with Kids to Encourage Exercise

HBNS STORY | March 4, 2014

Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children’s weight, finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

The Person Responsible for Your Health Is...

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 27, 2014 | CFAH Staff

Is it our job alone to look after our health? Or do employers, insurers, for-profit companies and the government also share some responsibility to keep us healthy? One person's nanny state is another's public health salvation. There is no shortage of examples of opposing perspectives...

Engagement From Patients' Perspective: Different Than Docs, Employers, Health Plans

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 26, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

The Prepared Patient Blog published over two hundred articles in 2013 about what it takes for people to get the most from health care and how the system can be improved to make it feasible for us to do so. Here's a recap of what engagement looks like to us – whether we are sick or well, whether we are caregivers or loved ones: Engagement is not easy and we can't do it alone. Patient engagement is not the same as compliance. It is not a cost-cutting strategy, and it is not one-size-fits-all.

Confessions of a Non-Compliant Patient

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 24, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas

Most days, I have learned to function pretty well. But take a few unexpected health challenges, no matter how minor they may seem to others, arriving at the same time and piled onto an already-full plate and you have an explosion of overwhelm that looms larger than the average healthy person could even imagine. I've become a non-compliant patient...

Getting Help for Depression

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 20, 2014 | Be a Prepared Patient

Depression affects nearly one in ten Americans yet many people often go untreated. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of people surveyed with symptoms of depression received no treatment of any kind. Here's advice on how to get help...

Evidence Mixed on the Usefulness of Echinacea for Colds

HBNS STORY | February 20, 2014

For people seeking a natural treatment for the common cold, some preparations containing the plant Echinacea work better than nothing, yet “evidence is weak,” finds a new report from The Cochrane Library.

African Americans' Concept of Health May Be More Than Physical

HBNS STORY | February 13, 2014

Some African-Americans rate their health as good, despite being overweight or having high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease.

Health Inequalities Seen in Gays and Lesbians

HBNS STORY | February 11, 2014

People who identify as homosexual have several health disparities relative to their heterosexual peers, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

With Training, Friends and Family Can Help Loved Ones Quit Tobacco

HBNS STORY | February 4, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior finds that teaching people about smoking cessation—even those without a medical background—can motivate them to encourage their friends, family and acquaintances to stop smoking.

Sticking With Resolutions Is All About Preparation

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 27, 2014 | David L. Katz

Relevant research and conventional wisdom alike suggest that, despite their irresistible perennial tug on our collective conscience, New Year's resolutions generally have about the staying power of Champagne bubbles. In contrast, the science of sustainable behavior change tips convincingly toward "don't go until ready."

Gap in Life Expectancy Between Rural and Urban Residents Is Growing

HBNS STORY | January 23, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that rural residents have experienced smaller gains in life expectancy than their urban counterparts and the gap continues to grow.

Sedentary Lifestyles Up Mortality Risks for Older Women

HBNS STORY | January 21, 2014

Older women who spend a majority of their day sitting or lying down are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, cancer and death, finds a new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Rich or Poor, Schools Fall Short on Providing Physical Activity

HBNS STORY | January 16, 2014

Schools in wealthier areas are more likely to have a physical education (PE) teacher on staff than are schools in poorer areas, but students in both wealthy and less affluent areas are not getting enough physical activity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

NBC Vastly Exaggerates the Potential Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 16, 2014 | Gary Schwitzer

When we talk about a consistently clear pattern of news stories that exaggerate or emphasize benefits while minimizing or ignoring harms, we are talking about stories exactly like this one...

What Does It Take to Get 'Better Living Through Medications' These Days?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 15, 2014 | Jessie Gruman

Lately, the public's faith in the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has been making me uneasy. Why do so many of us continue to purchase pills that are not effective in causing weight loss, swallow syrups that promise to cure diabetes, and fiddle with our medication-taking regimens?...

Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression

HBNS STORY | January 9, 2014

Teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Antibacterial Agent Boosts Toothpaste Effectiveness

HBNS STORY | January 9, 2014

Regular use of fluoride toothpaste containing triclosan, an antibacterial agent, reduces plaque, gingivitis and slightly reduces tooth decay compared to regular fluoride toothpaste, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Minorities and Poor More Likely to Suffer from Restless Sleep and Chronic Diseases

HBNS STORY | December 17, 2013

The poor and minorities tend to suffer from poor sleep and chronic disease more often, but sleep does not appear to be a root cause of disease disparity, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease.

Doctors Unaware That More Teens Are Turning to E-Cigarettes

HBNS STORY | December 10, 2013

Many clinicians are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with addressing the use of e-cigarettes with their young patients, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Wellness at Work

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 5, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

Is your company one of the many that are now offering "wellness programs"? Our latest Be a Prepared Patient article, Staying Well at Work, looks at a few of these programs in action and offers tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance...

Combining Alcohol With Energy Drinks Can Lead to Heavier Drinking

HBNS STORY | December 3, 2013

Young people who mix alcohol with a caffeinated energy drink drank more heavily and reported more negative consequences of drinking than those who just drank alcohol, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Color Us Stressed – How to Deal

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 2, 2013 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn

Coast-to-coast, stress is the norm for most Americans: 55 percent of people feel stressed in everyday life, and far more women feel the stress than men do. It will take a village to help manage stress, including but not limited to our doctors.

Healthy Eating...Help!

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 27, 2013 | CFAH Staff

It isn't breaking news that exercising and eating a healthy diet can help improve your overall health and fitness, but that doesn't make it any easier for most of us to follow suit. These resources from CFAH's 'Be a Prepared Patient' can help...

Alcohol Use Disorders Linked to Death and Disability

HBNS STORY | November 26, 2013

Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

For Many People with Diabetes, Lifestyle Changes Trump Medications

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 21, 2013 | Milly Dawson

Three key patient engagement themes emerged from this year's 'Diabetes + Innovation 2013' conference in Washington, D.C., organized by Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School...

Reducing Obesity: It Takes a Village

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 20, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman

During my recent visit to Canada, I had a chance to meet obesity expert and medical director of Canada's Bariatric Medicine Institute, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. What he had to say was somewhat surprising...

Teens from Military Families Suffer from Deployments

HBNS STORY | November 19, 2013

Teens that have had a parent or sibling on military deployment were more likely to have suicidal thoughts or be depressed than teens without military connections, finds a new study in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

Staying Well at Work

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?

Tips for Workplace Health

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day

Smartphone Apps to Help Smokers Quit Come Up Short

HBNS STORY | November 14, 2013

Most popular smartphone apps do not include evidence-based practices known to help smokers quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The Great Canadian Experiment to House the Homeless

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 13, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman

At Home/Chez Soi, a Canadian program for the mentally ill, is built on the concept that providing housing is the first order of business. An approach that reinforces the truism that good health is more than swallowing the latest wonder drug.

The Hard-Hitting Truth About Sports Concussions

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 11, 2013 | Conversation Continues

Final scores, rankings and rivalries aren't the only fall football traditions getting news coverage this season. Rates, effects and what to do about concussions are in the spotlight too.

Teen Athletes at Risk for Medication Misuse

HBNS STORY | November 10, 2013

Male adolescents who participate in organized sports are more likely to be prescribed opioid medications and misuse them than male teens that don’t play sports, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

This Doctor Treats Poverty Like a Disease

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 6, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman

What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food stamps instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes...

Teens with Late Bedtimes Have Lower Grades

HBNS STORY | November 10, 2013

Late bedtimes during the school year, especially in younger teens, predicted a lower cumulative grade point average and more emotional distress by college age, finds a new article in Journal of Adolescent Health.

Is Everything We Know About Nutrition Wrong?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 31, 2013 | Inside Health Care

Millions of dollars are spent on dietary research, but are we any closer to understanding what a truly healthy diet consists of? A few new studies are turning long-held recommendations on their heads.

Banning Workplace Smoking Not Enough

HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013

Failing to address the presence of other smokers at home limits the effectiveness of workplace smoking restrictions, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.

Lifestyle Behaviors Key to Post-Deployment Health of Veterans

HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that the lifestyle of veterans both pre- and post-deployment influences their post-deployment wellness.

Veterans Groups Miss Opportunities to Curb Tobacco Use

HBNS STORY | October 31, 2013

Websites targeting veterans fail to provide information about the risks of tobacco products despite high rates of smoking in the military, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Students with Fake IDs at Greater Risk for Alcohol Abuse

HBNS STORY | October 17, 2013

Students who used false IDs more often were at increased risk for alcohol use disorder, according to a new longitudinal study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Healthy Food Rarely Convenient for Urban Minorities

HBNS STORY | October 15, 2013

A survey of stores in a predominantly black, low income area of Philadelphia found that nearly 80 percent received low ratings for the availability of healthy food, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 11, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

In this week's health news: Patient-doctor relationship affects diabetes care | Women in Appalachia at risk for late stage breast cancer | People with asthma need not fear exercise | Treating depression helps some smokers quit...

Weight Loss Apps Lack Key Ingredients for Success

HBNS STORY | October 10, 2013

Weight loss mobile applications may work well as basic tracking devices, but need to do more to help dieters, according to a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Parents Play a Role in Teen Eating Disorders

HBNS STORY | October 3, 2013

The ways parents or caregivers interact with children around mealtimes can have unintended consequences, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

It May Not “Get Better” For Bisexual Teens

HBNS STORY | October 1, 2013

A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.

Exercise Benefits People with Asthma

HBNS STORY | September 24, 2013

People with asthma who engaged in appropriate exercise programs had improved cardiovascular fitness and an overall improved quality of life, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 20, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

In this weeks health news: Group exercise alleviates college stress | Maintain your weight in a matter of minutes | Education may be the key to fighting obesity | Men who binge at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Binge Eating More Likely to Lead to Health Risks in Men

HBNS STORY | September 17, 2013

Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women however, obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

More Education, Not Income, Fights Obesity

HBNS STORY | September 12, 2013

Higher education, rather than income, protects women in disadvantaged neighborhoods from obesity, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.

Less than 10 Minutes of Brisk Activity Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight

HBNS STORY | September 5, 2013

Short bursts of less than 10 minutes of higher-intensity physical activity reduce the risk of obesity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Exercising with Others Helps College Students Reduce Stress

HBNS STORY | September 3, 2013

College students who exercise with friends are less likely to report feeling stressed, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 30, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

This week in health news: For teens, fighting is bad for the brain | Skeptical elderly turn to home remedies | Bedwetting treatments offer help | Green light for eating and drinking during labor

Body Image Tied to Suicidal Thoughts in Young Teens

HBNS STORY | August 29, 2013

Seeing oneself as overweight or obese may be an important, independent predictor of suicidal thoughts, especially in young girls, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Scary Coffee Stories – Add Cream and Two Lumps of Caveats

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 27, 2013 | Gary Schwitzer

You may have seen the story the other day about a paper pointing to an association – not proof of cause – between heavy coffee consumption and higher death rates in people younger than 55. At last check, there were more than 170 stories about this study that turned up on a simple web search. But there was a point that didn’t make it into most stories...

Kids Get More Exercise in Smart Growth Neighborhoods

HBNS STORY | September 10, 2013

Children who live in smart growth neighborhoods, designed to improve walkability, get 46 percent more moderate or vigorous physical activity than those who live in conventional neighborhoods, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

I Wish I'd Known Earlier...Kids with Cancer Need Emotional Support Too

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 23, 2013 | Sabrina Smith

The word "survivor" is a huge hot button for my older son, Nate, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) at the age of not-quite-three-years-old. The biggest regret I have from his illness is that we were so focused on saving his life and getting him physically healthy that we didn't think to bring therapy into the process for him in a full way...

Rural Seniors Prefer Self-Care Over Doctors

HBNS STORY | August 15, 2013

A survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism, the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Teens with Fighting Injuries Have Declines in IQ

HBNS STORY | August 13, 2013

Teenagers who have been seriously injured in a fight show a reduction in intelligence and cognitive ability, according to a large study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Do Antioxidants Improve a Woman’s Chances of Conceiving?

HBNS STORY | August 6, 2013

There is no high quality evidence that antioxidant supplements help to increase a woman’s chances of having a baby, according to the results of a new Cochrane review.

Why I Don't Like the Phrase 'Cancer Survivor'

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 1, 2013 | Susan Fitzpatrick

Why is it that survivors of other devastating personal traumas – fires, floods, tornadoes – rarely use celebratory hero language? Mostly, they speak of themselves as lucky…

What to Say to Someone Who Is Ill

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 30, 2013 | Conversation Continues

It can be hard to find the right words to say to someone who has received a devastating diagnosis. Here are some suggestions from people who have been through it.

Employers Can Motivate Employees to Get Moving

HBNS STORY | July 30, 2013

Workplace efforts to encourage employees to increase physical activity are most effective when they incorporate tools such as pedometers and related electronic health information, finds a new review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Significant Others Can Influence Extreme Dieting

HBNS STORY | July 25, 2013

Women who are frequently encouraged by their significant others to lose weight are more likely to resort to unhealthy measures to do so, according to new research in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Obesity Is a Major Obstacle for Disabled Americans

HBNS STORY | July 16, 2013

Obesity and its related health problems impacts far more people with a disability than previously reported, according to new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Wellness Programs Linked to Healthier Foods in Schools

HBNS STORY | July 11, 2013

A new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that schools with more robust federal wellness programs offer healthier foods and beverages, including foods offered in vending machines, school stores and a la carte sales.

Negative Public Health Campaigns May Undermine Weight Loss Goals

HBNS STORY | June 20, 2013

Public health campaigns that stigmatize obese people by using negative images or text do not motivate them to lose weight any more than more neutral campaigns, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

First Sips of Alcohol Start in Second Grade

HBNS STORY | June 18, 2013

The age at which many children in the U.S. take their first sip of alcohol is surprisingly young, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Taxing Unhealthy Food Spurs People to Buy Less

HBNS STORY | June 18, 2013

Labeling foods and beverages as less healthy and taxing them motivates people to make healthier choices, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Doctors Don’t Provide Sexual Health Info to Teens

HBNS STORY | June 11, 2013

Most sexually active teens don’t get information about sexual health from their health care providers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Quitting Smoking: Licensed Medications Are Effective

HBNS STORY | June 6, 2013

Nicotine replacement therapy and other licensed drugs can help people quit smoking, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Probiotics Prevent Diarrhea Related To Antibiotic Use

HBNS STORY | June 6, 2013

Probiotic supplements have the potential to prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics, according to a new review in The Cochrane Library.

Do Corporate Wellness Programs Work?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 5, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman

On a recent trip to Lincoln, NE, I visited Lincoln Industries, a company that makes chrome trims for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I was curious about the firm’s award-winning wellness program, especially since more employers are penalizing workers by making them pay more for their health insurance if they fail to meet certain health goals.

Cyberbullying Puts Teens at Risk

HBNS STORY | June 4, 2013

Teenage victims of cyberbullying, defined as the use of the internet or cell phones to send hurtful and harassing messages, are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, substance abuse and internet addiction, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Walking Leads to Better Health for Older Men

HBNS STORY | May 30, 2013

The more an older man walks, the better his physical and mental health and his quality of life are likely to be, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Parents’ Activity Unlikely to Influence Teen Fitness

HBNS STORY | May 28, 2013

Teens don’t necessarily follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to physical activity, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Teens Have Unsupervised Access to Prescription Drugs

HBNS STORY | May 23, 2013

Most teens have unsupervised access to their prescription drugs at home, including drugs with potential for abuse, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Teens Experience Both Sides of Dating Violence

HBNS STORY | May 14, 2013

Teens in a relationship that involves dating violence are likely to be both a victim and perpetrator, as opposed to being just one or the other, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Calorie Counts on Menus Have Small but Promising Effects

HBNS STORY | May 9, 2013

Menu labeling has made more people aware of how many calories are in restaurant meals and has some people reducing their intake, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Black Students Drink More Soda When Available at School

HBNS STORY | May 9, 2013

The availability of sugar-sweetened or diet soda in schools does not appear to be related to students’ overall consumption, except for African-American students, who drink more soda when it’s available at school, finds a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Teens Overeat at Subway, Too

HBNS STORY | May 7, 2013

Adolescents are just as likely to consume too many calories at Subway as at McDonald’s, a new study in Journal of Adolescent Health finds, despite the fact that they think Subway offers healthier food.

‘Healthy Privilege’ – When You Just Can’t Imagine Being Sick

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 6, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas

What I’ve learned since my heart attack is that, until you or somebody you care about are personally affected by a life-altering diagnosis, it’s almost impossible to really get what being sick every day actually means…

Providing Workplace Wellness Centers Could Backfire

HBNS STORY | May 2, 2013

People who signed up for a workplace wellness center but then used it infrequently experienced declines in their mental quality-of-life, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Smoking Prevention in Schools: Does it Work?

HBNS STORY | April 30, 2013

Smoking prevention in schools reduces the number of young people who will later become smokers, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 25, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

Brought to you by CFAH’s Health Behavior News Service: Depressed teens have rocky twenties | Gym benefits, yes. Extra costs, no thanks | Church goers look to ministry for health advice | Just say no to smoking in public housing

Smoke-Free Public Housing Would = Better Health and Savings

HBNS STORY | April 16, 2013

Establishing smoke-free policies for public housing would help protect residents, visitors and employees from the harmful effects of smoking and result in significant cost savings, reports a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Alcohol and Mental Health Problems a Costly Combo for ICU Patients

HBNS STORY | April 16, 2013

People admitted to a hospital ICU with alcohol withdrawal were more likely to be readmitted or die within a year if they had a co-existing mental health condition, finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Churches Minister Better Health in African American Communities

HBNS STORY | April 9, 2013

African Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Self-Tracking Tech Revolution? Not So Fast…

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 8, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas

When the report called "Tracking for Health" was released last month, media headlines announced: “Over Two-Thirds Track Health Indicators!” Surprisingly, very few headlines ran the real news from the report: “Only 21% Use Technology to Self-Track!” Yet as of last autumn, more than 500 tech companies are busy developing The Next Big Thing in self-tracking tools.

Unwilling to Pay Extra for Wellness

HBNS STORY | April 9, 2013

Although most overweight adults agree that health insurance benefits designed to promote weight loss are a good idea, they don’t want to pay extra for them, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Depressed Teens Have Rocky Twenties

HBNS STORY | April 2, 2013

Depressed teenagers are more likely to have serious problems during their twenties, including ongoing mental illness and excessive drinking, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Prebiotics: Do Supplements In Baby Formula Help Prevent Allergies?

HBNS STORY | March 28, 2013

Prebiotic supplements in infant formula may help to prevent eczema, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

School Grades Go Down When Health Risks Go Up

HBNS STORY | March 26, 2013

Academic performance is linked to risky health behaviors in children and teens, reports a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Mandating Fruits & Vegetables in School Meals Makes a Difference

HBNS STORY | March 12, 2013

State laws that require minimum levels of fruits and vegetables in school meals may give a small boost to the amount of these foods in adolescents' diets, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Latest Health Behavior News

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 7, 2013 | Health Behavior News Service

Recent health behavior research news stories: Friendships Are Good for Our Health | Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys | Health Centers Have High Satisfaction Rates | Diabetes + Depression Increases Risk of Death

Housing Improvements Should Be Targeted at Those in Poorest Health

HBNS STORY | March 5, 2013

Improving housing can improve health, particularly when interventions are targeted at those in the poorest health, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Screening Decisions Are Better Informed When Risk Information Is Personalized

HBNS STORY | February 28, 2013

Patients’ ability to make genuinely informed choices about undergoing disease screening increases when the risk information that they receive is related to their own personal risk, rather than average risks, according to the results of a Cochrane systematic review.

Friendships Are Good for Our Health

HBNS STORY | February 28, 2013

While participating in social activities and organizations promotes health, having personal ties with friends is even better, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys

HBNS STORY | February 19, 2013

Being overweight or obese significantly reduces health-related quality of life in boys, but not girls, when compared to normal weight peers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Accidental Poisonings Leading Cause of Deaths at Home

HBNS STORY | February 5, 2013

An increasing number of people die from unintentional home injury, in large part due to accidental drug overdose, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Current Evidence Does Not Support Selenium for Preventing Heart Disease in Well-Nourished Adults

HBNS STORY | January 31, 2013

A systematic review published today in The Cochrane Library finds that in well-nourished adults current evidence does not support selenium for preventing heart disease.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Maintaining healthy habits can be tough. Here are some trusted resources with advice on exercise, nutrition, and managing chronic conditions.

Improving Your Health Behaviors

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Want to change something about your health behavior? Here's some advice.

Getting Support for Healthy Living

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Sometimes it can be easier to live well with help from others. Here are some helpful sites to connect with organizations and people who understand what you’re going through.

Depression: When Should You Get Help?

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Depression is a common condition, especially in people with chronic illnesses. Here’s how to recognize if you need help.

Living With Pain

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Pain can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. Here’s insight into different types of pain and how they are treated.

Facts About Vitamins and Supplements

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Should you take vitamins or supplements for good health? Here are some facts.

Commuting to Work by Car Linked to Weight Gain

HBNS STORY | January 22, 2013

According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, urban residents who drive to work gain more weight than those who do not commute by car.

Promote Your Health

PREPARED PATIENT RESOURCE | Promote Your Health

Healthy eating, activity, and safety habits help us live for as long and as well as we can.

Does Knowing Change Behaving?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 17, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas

One of my blog readers recently told us about why most of those self-tracking health apps may not in fact be particularly useful: "Fundamentally, sick people are the LEAST likely to be self-quantifiers. We, in fact, relish the thought of NOT obsessing about our health, to take it for granted like we do, say, gravity."

Vitamins and Supplements: Before You Dive In

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Vitamins, herbs and other dietary supplements are sold as natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals and many people turn to them in an attempt to improve their health.

Teen Physical Activity and Screen Time Influenced by Friends

HBNS STORY | December 13, 2012

The company a teen keeps can influence how much time they spend either in front of a screen or participating in healthy physical activity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Exercise Can Extend Your Life by as Much as Five Years

HBNS STORY | December 11, 2012

Adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week live longer than those who don’t, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Caregivers Neglect Their Own Health, Increasing Heart Disease Risk

HBNS STORY | November 6, 2012

People acting as caregivers for family members with cardiovascular disease may inadvertently increase their own risk for heart disease by neglecting their own health, according to a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Guest Blog: Attitude

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 31, 2012 | Elaine Waples

I'??ve come to believe that seriously sick people are often subject to some very interesting comments from well-intentioned non-sick people.

Right-Sizing Health IT: Where’s My App?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 25, 2012 | Jessie Gruman

The online migration of health information services and technologies (IT) has been a popular focus for IT investors and developers recently. But we have not been as captivated by their efforts as we have been by those of, oh, Facebook, say. Or Lady Gaga's fan site. Or eBay. In fact, most of us are reluctant to make use of the thousands of helpful health IT tools launched to help us get healthier, take care of ourselves and make good use of our health care.

Prepared Patient: Do I Have to Go to the Dentist? Oral Health Starts Early

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 28, 2012 | Health Behavior News Service

Many of us have vivid memories of tying a thread to a loose tooth and wiggling it back and forth with our tongue all the time hoping for a profitable visit from the Tooth Fairy. Facebook is full of school and family photos of kids with cute, gap-toothed smiles. But increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. There are a number of reasons kids and adults don't make it to the dentist regularly. For some parents, it's a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.

Six Things Patients Want from Social Media

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 27, 2012 | Jessie Gruman

A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media conference in New York about what we patients want from health social media. Michelle McNickle, New Media Producer for Healthcare IT News wrote the following piece summarizing my talk and the '6 things patients want from social media.'

Guest Blog: The App Gap: Why Baby Boomers Won't Use Most Smart Phone Apps

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 25, 2012 | Val Jones

Along with the invention of smart phones, an entire medical mobile application (app) industry has cropped up, promising patients enhanced connectivity, health data collection, and overall care quality at lower costs...For all the hype about robo-grannies, aging in place technologies, and how high tech solutions will reduce healthcare costs, the reality is that these hopes are unlikely to be achieved with the baby boomer generation.

Uncomfortable with being Comfortable

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 19, 2012 | Chris Gibbons

Fitness maven Jeanette Jenkins recently tweeted that to see big results you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In other words, making change happen, inevitably leads to emotional or physical discomfort. If you are serious about change you must be willing to endure a lot of discomfort.

Banning the Big Gulp: Bold Initiative or Bad Idea?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 14, 2012 | Inside Health Care

"Who should be responsible for the health of Americans?" "What's the best way to break society's bad habits?" Questions like these poured in following New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Do I Have to Go to the Dentist? Oral Health Starts Early

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. For some parents, this is a result of a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.

Reading, Writing, Weight Control?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 15, 2012 | Conversation Continues

"If you believe this is a massive national problem, you have to deal with it in a systems way," says, Dan Glickman, chair of an Institute of Medicine panel/report, "Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention".

Guest Blog: Illness is Not Discrete. On Feeling Sick, and Not Knowing What's Next

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 25, 2012 | Elaine Schattner

A few days ago, the room around me started spinning. I wished I were Jack Kerouac , so it wouldn't matter if my thoughts were clear but that I tapped them out. Rat tat tat. Or Frank Sinatra with a cold. You'd want to know either of those guys, in detail. Up-close, loud, even breathing on you. You'd hire 'em. Because even when they're down, they're good. Handsome. Cool, slick, unforgettable. Illness doesn't capture or define them.

Employee Wellness Programs: The Carrot or the Stick?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 23, 2012 | Conversation Continues

Employee wellness programs can't work if employees don't participate. So, what's the motivation? Incentives or mandatory participation?

Getting Kids to Be Active

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 26, 2012 | Conversation Continues

Getting kids to eat well and exercise can be a tough sell. Are so-called "fat-shaming" books and exhibits the answer?

Teen Smoking: An Epidemic?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 15, 2012 | Inside Health Care

A new report from the U.S. surgeon general's office estimates 3,800 kids light their first cigarette every day and tobacco companies spend more than $1 million an hour marketing and promoting tobacco products.

Guest Blog: Old Public Health Guy's Plea: Don't Wear Your Headphones All the Time

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 27, 2012 | Douglas Kamerow

I propose that people stop wearing headphones when they are out in public...More serious than harming your hearing...it appears that earphone use in public can actually endanger your life.

Small Steps to Big Health Change

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

We often give a chilly reception to the idea of going "cold turkey" when it comes to anything that has to do with changing behaviors and habits, even those that may be important for our health.

Prepared Patient: Small Steps to Big Health Change

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 12, 2012 | Health Behavior News Service

The task of changing our routine behaviors and habits ' even those that may be important for our health ' can seem overwhelming. No wonder: habits become habits because they give us something we think we need. Maybe they make us feel better or they bring comfort, familiarity or convenience to our lives. We also worry that we won't be successful. It turns out, the key to lasting behavior change is taking small steps.

A New Year and a New Big Picture Look at Weight Loss?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 9, 2012 | Inside Health Care

With New Years resolutions still fresh, weight loss is all over the news, and many Americans' minds are firmly resolved to lose weight. However, their bodies and fast food restaurants may be equally determined that they fail.

1st Person: At 98, Bob Stewart Would Rather Be Dancing

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 27, 2011 | First Person

Bob Stewart, who will turn 99 this May, began taking supplements in 2000, when he was in his late 80s. The retired podiatrist is also a strong believer in keeping active. He takes exercise classes at least three times a week and participates in numerous community activities, including a local men's chorus.

Guest Blog: On Alcohol and Breast Cancer, Guilt, Correlations, Fun, Moderation, Doctors' Habits, Advice and Herbal Tea

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 11, 2011 | Elaine Schattner

Few breast cancer news items irk some women I know more than those linking alcohol consumption to the disease.

Guest Blog: What's All That Other Stuff In My Medicine?

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 14, 2011 | Scott Gavura

The perception from many consumers (based on my personal experience) seems to be that products are inferior if they contain non-drug ingredients. By this measure, drug products are problematic...

I am Not My iPhone

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 5, 2011 | Jessie Gruman

There is excitement in the air about how mobile phones are the breakthrough technology for changing health behavior. Last Saturday, I was convinced this must be true. In two short hours, I...

Connections Between Fiscal and Physical Health

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 20, 2011 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn

The relationship between economic development and population health has been long documented the health of a nation's economy does impact the health of its individuals. In this case, the connection between one's financial health (foreclosure rates in particular) and one's physical/emotional health is looked at specifically.

We Interrupt This State Fair for a Little Prostate Cancer Screening

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 7, 2011 | Gary Schwitzer

There are a few things a man should think about seriously before rolling up his sleeve for the supposedly "simple" blood test. 'But here, prostate cancer screening is hawked in the same setting as the modern-day carnies pitching their slice-'em-and-dice-'em devices and inventions you only see at the state fair - "only at this price today!"

NBC Urges Women >40 to Ask About CRP Test

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 19, 2011 | Gary Schwitzer

After seeing the NBC Nightly News last night, a physician urged me to write about what he saw: a story about a "simple blood test that could save women's lives." Readers - and maybe especially TV viewers - beware whenever you hear a story about "a simple blood test."

The Emotions Illness Brings

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 5, 2011 | Patient Perspectives

The experiences and emotions brought on by having an illness or disability can be complex and sometimes unexpected. In this blog roundup, three patients share theirs.

The Conversation Continues: Vitamins and Supplements

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 23, 2011 | CFAH Staff

The WSJ Health Journal looks at the pros and cons of taking a multivitamin.

Why Angry Birds Gets More Play Than Health Apps

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 1, 2011 | Jessie Gruman

I have been musing about why, despite our fascination with gadgets and timesaving devices, so few of us use the apps and tools that have been developed to help us take care of ourselves.

Patient-Centered Care: From Exam Room to Dinner Table

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 11, 2011 | Jessie Gruman

Only one in 10 respondents to a national survey could estimate how many calories they should consume in a day. Seventy-nine percent make few or no attempts to pay attention to the balance between the calories they consume and expend in a day.These and other piquant findings from the online 2011 Food and Health Survey fielded by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) struck home last week as I smacked up against my own ignorance about a healthy diet and the difficulty of changing lifelong eating habits.

1st Person: At 98, Bob Stewart Would Rather Be Dancing

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 5, 2011 | First Person

Bob Stewart, who will turn 99 this May, began taking supplements in 2000, when he was in his late 80s. The retired podiatrist is also a strong believer in keeping active. He takes exercise classes at least three times a week and participates in numerous community activities, including a local men's chorus.

Patient Perspectives: It's the Little Things

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 21, 2011 | CFAH Staff

It's all the little things that make caring for yourself or the one's you love with an illness that much more challenging. People with diabetes, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis share their experiences in this patient blog roundup.

Seniors in Public Housing Suffer Worse Health Than Others in Community

HBNS STORY | March 16, 2011

In a study of more than 16,000 older adults, fatigue, cardiac conditions, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and psychiatric problems were more prevalent among those living in public housing.

Cancer Survivorship and Fear

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 28, 2011 | Andrew Schorr

I had breakfast this morning with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. Today he was to see his oncologist and get his latest blood test results. Would his white blood count be in the normal range? As you can imagine, Dave was on pins and needles.

The Dilemma of Digital Mammography

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 7, 2011 | Trudy Lieberman

The rapid changeover from traditional mammography'pictures taken with film'to the new digital imaging technology poses a thorny dilemma for women, especially those over 65. The scientific evidence suggests that digital mammography does not improve the detection of breast cancer in older women.

A Fighting Spirit Won't Save Your Life

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 26, 2011 | Richard Sloan

Dr. Sloan's piece 'A Fighting Spirit Won't Save Your Life', that recently ran in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, calls into question our belief that we can affect our health through optimism and positive thinking.

Memory Training Might Not Be Best for Reducing “Senior Moments”

HBNS STORY | January 18, 2011

A new evidence review suggests that memory drills and similar brain-boosting activities are not any better than simple conversations at improving memory in older adults.

Heat Injury Rates on the Rise

HBNS STORY | December 7, 2010

Outdoor exercise and physical activity increase the risk for heat-related injuries, including dangerous heat stroke. Heat injuries are on the rise for all age groups, and football-playing boys are among the most vulnerable.

Book Review: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 29, 2010 | Connie Davis

I've been following evidence-based medicine for many years and I've been appalled by the way it is playing out. We have pay-for-performance that does not understand that the reliability we are after is not in reliably (read blindly) applying a guideline to a patient population, but rather reliably considering how the evidence applies to the individual in a health care interaction. We have guidelines that are based on expert opinion, often influenced by drug company funding, or based on bad science. And we have a news media that seems unable to present medical findings in a balanced and understandable way.

Patient Perspectives: Crowdsourcing, Ice Cream, a Fourth Devastating Diagnosis, and Medication Side Effects

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 22, 2010 | CFAH Staff

A collection of patient voices from around the web. This week's roundup includes: Red Maxwell, founder of the online diabetes community juvenation.org, D-Mom Leighann Calentine, patient empowerment advocate Trisha Torrey, and WarmSocks from "infinity-itis".

School Vending Machine Choices Affect Overall Diet for Children

HBNS STORY | November 16, 2010

Vending machines in public schools influence the diets of school children and can affect overall dietary intake and health, depending on what foods they contain.

Friends, Fatigue and the Slow Slog Back

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 5, 2010 | Jessie Gruman

I have much experience with serious illness. And so I am a connoisseur of fatigue: the sleepless edginess of post-radiation fatigue; the heavy constancy of cardiac fatigue; the blur and blues of chemotherapy-related fatigue.

Sharing the Burden

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 4, 2010 | Richard Sloan

Jessie has written about her perspective as the patient in an extremely stressful situation. I can add a different one: that of the husband of my seriously ill wife.

Guest Blog: How Personal Pain Leads to Medical Dedication

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 24, 2010 | Andrew Schorr

The old joke about psychological therapists is they are among the biggest consumers of therapy themselves. Lately, I have been noticing more and more how a significant portion of the people we meet wearing white lab coats have a very personal connection to the medical work they do. For them it is not a job, a meal ticket, or just putting their years of training into practice, it is a mission connected to something in their past, something in their own body, or the health of a loved one.

Dorms With Dining Halls Might Add to Freshman Weight Gain

HBNS STORY | August 3, 2010

Watched, Loved and Now Desired by Millions

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 20, 2010 | Dorothy Jeffress

If popular culture provides clues to social trends then all signs point to an American public captivated by red velvet, carrot, lemon, and raspberry. Fabric, fruits and vegetables? No cakes whether of the cup variety or fancy full-size versions.

Older Americans Watch More TV, But Enjoy It Less

HBNS STORY | June 29, 2010

The Inconvenient Evidence on Alzheimer's

PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 16, 2010 | Jessie Gruman

Lifestyle May Not Prevent Alzheimer's trumpets a headline in Time magazine. The article goes on to describe a carefully conducted review of decades of evidence examining the hypothesis that exercise, social relationships, diet or vitamins can ward off Alzheimer's disease. The study concludes that there is not sufficient evidence to be able to recommend that the public take any of these actions to prevent or delay the disease.

When Depression Is Severe

PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE

Severe depression is life threatening, so it is worth every effort you make and every resource it may take to get depression under control and make life more manageable.

WIC Program Has Moderate Effect on Birth Outcomes

HBNS STORY | April 28, 2010

A new study that looked at the effect of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to determine the effect on various birth outcomes found that the overall effects were only moderate.

Parents Can Help Overweight Kids With Body Image

HBNS STORY | April 20, 2010

Fed When Hungry, Premature Babies Go Home Sooner

HBNS STORY | February 16, 2010

Women With Partner, Baby Gain More Weight Than Single Women

HBNS STORY | January 5, 2010

Most High School Students Are Sleep Deprived

HBNS STORY | January 5, 2010

Only about 8 percent of high school students get enough sleep on an average school night, a large new study online in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds.