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Health & Wellness

hpnadig, Flickr
hpnadig, Flickr
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Sorry Smokers, It’s Better to Avoid Short Cuts When Quitting — Health Check

While surveys consistently show that more than 3 out of 4 smokers would like to quit, only about 10 percent of those who try each year are successful.

Fortunately, new studies show one way to raise those numbers is to treat smoking as a chronic disease — like high blood pressure — for which long-term treatment is offered.

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Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
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Should We Be Concerned About Obesity in Kindergarteners? — Health Check

We never used to think of chubby kids as being anything other than adorable, but researchers are now more concerned about children’s eating habits now that more Americans are being considered obese.

According to a new study, 40 percent of American children enter kindergarten with a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 75 percentile. Anything over the 85th percentile is considered “overweight,” and over the 95th percentile is “obese.”

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BBC
BBC
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Can Singing Help Heal Depression, Improve Parkinson’s Conditions? — Health Check

Parkinson’s Disease is a frustrating and frightening medical condition, and treatment options are few. However, a group in Canterbury, England may have made a surprising discovery that could benefit not only them, but everyone else in the world – singing seems to make them feel better.

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colindunn, Flickr / Bruno Vincent, Getty Images
colindunn, Flickr / Bruno Vincent, Getty Images
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Taking Supplements May Result in Feeling Invincible — Health Check

People who take vitamins may be perceived as healthier, but new research finds those people often engage in decidedly unhealthy habits — possibly thinking the vitamins will make up for it.

A study in Taiwan discovered smokers who take vitamins smoked twice as much on average, and supplement-takers also made poorer food choices. Worse yet, the vitamin group was more likely to engage in risky behavior such as casual sex and binge drinking.

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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“Breaking Dawn” Birth Scene Making Audiences Sick

A pivotal scene in "Breaking Dawn pt 1" is the violent birth of Bella and Edward's half-human, half-vampire daughter.  A rather graphic and intense moment in the book, many wondered how it would transfer to the big screen.  The result?  Reports of audience members having seizures.

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dinnerseries, Flickr
dinnerseries, Flickr
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Watch Out for ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ on Thanksgiving — Health Check [VIDEO]

While you should eat, drink and be merry on Thanksgiving, doctors are warning not to overdo it. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to what’s known as “holiday heart syndrome.”

The term was coined back in the 1970s when researchers detected heart rhythm abnormalities in 24 study participants, none of whom had a history of heart disease — but all of whom had too much to drink over the holidays.

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jameskm03, Flickr
jameskm03, Flickr
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Can Thanksgiving Actually Improve Your Self-Esteem? — Health Check

For many of us, Thanksgiving means gathering with family and enjoying time-tested recipes — Dad’s famous mashed potatoes, your brother’s homemade cranberry sauce, or Grandma’s pumpkin pie.

While the food itself may be wonderful, there’s a psychological component to eating the same things every year that benefits the human mind.

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Julie @ Frugally Retro, Flickr
Julie @ Frugally Retro, Flickr
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Is Gum Our Secret Weapon Against Ear Infections? — Health Check

Painful ear infections, common among children, are frustratingly heartbreaking for parents. But what if you could stave them off simply by having your kids chew gum?

Scandinavian researchers have found “fair evidence” to support the conclusion that children who chew gum containing the natural sweetener xylitol may have a lower risk of developing middle ear infections. In fact, regular consumption of xylitol in gum, lozenges or syrup was associated with a 25 percent reduced risk for such infections.

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geishabot, Getty Images
geishabot, Getty Images
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US Teen Birth Rate Hits a 70-Year Low — Health Check

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that the teen birth rate in the United States dropped to an all-time low in 2010.

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FBellon, Flickr
FBellon, Flickr
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Want to Weigh Less? Eat More Often — Health Check

A new study finds those who’ve lost weight and kept it off tend to eat more often than heavier people — yet still took in fewer daily calories.

Lead researcher Jessica Bachman, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, was part of a group that profiled 250 people who’d lost significant amounts of weight. The key was to learn how they maintain their weight loss in order to help others lose weight and keep it off.

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sethw, Flickr
sethw, Flickr
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Video Games Might Be Warping Our Minds — Health Check

Is your kid hooked on video games? New research says simple brain-wiring may be to blame.

Brain scans conducted on 154 teenagers who played video games at least nine hours per week found the structure and activity in the part of the brain associated with reward processing was larger than in those who played less often.

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thestarshine, Flickr
thestarshine, Flickr
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Watch Out Guys, Birth Control May Be Causing Prostate Cancer — Health Check

Researchers discovered that countries with the highest numbers of women using oral contraceptives also have the highest rates of death from prostate cancer. What does this mean? They think estrogen from the urine of women who take birth control pills could be to blame.

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