Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Public Health--Research & Library News

In the last few months, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has published a number of reports that are on public health topics, such as Nutrition and Health Aging in the Community, Country-Level Decision Making for Control of Chronic Diseases, and Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health

Find the complete list of publications here.  Remember that most can be read online free of charge.

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April 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flavor and the new Nordic cuisine: BioMed Central’s new scientific journal Flavor is launched

From the 3 April 2012 article at Eureka News Alert

BioMed Central’s new journal Flavour was officially launched last night at a seminar ‘Flavour and the new Nordic Cuisine’, held in conjunction with the London Gastronomy Seminars and the University of London’s Centre for the Study of senses at Senate House, University of London.

Guests had their senses stimulated with the latest delights emerging from the ground-breaking number one restaurant in the world, Noma, whose Nordic Food Lab provided tasting samples including seaweed ice-cream and kelp crisps.

Speakers, Per Møller, Associate Professor of Sensory Science, University of Copenhagen and Editor-in-Chief of Flavour, Ole Mouritsen, Author of Sushi and Professor of Biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark and Lars Williams, Head of Research at Noma and the Nordic Food Lab, introduced the journal as well as giving an insight into the science behind the food we eat and how flavour shapes our world.

Flavour is a multi-disciplinary journal that reflects the growing interest in molecular gastronomy and focuses on all aspects of flavour, its creation and perception and its affect on behaviour and nutrition.

The journal aims to provide a collective platform for the publication of evidence-based research that will be accessible not only to researchers but also to the wider community of chefs, food professionals and the public. The first issue includes articles on the role of attention in flavour perception, the impact of food aroma on bite size and the development of new seaweed flavourings from restaurant Noma and the Nordic Food Lab, as part of the New Nordic Cuisine.

Per Møller, Editor-in-Chief of Flavour, said: “In recent years, there has been an enormous increase in knowledge related to flavour, from the fields of physics, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience and, most recently, the new field of molecular gastronomy. I hope that Flavour will provide a forum for scientists interested in flavour and that it will facilitate understanding of the ways flavour shapes our world; from pleasure to its broader effects on food choice, behaviour and health.”

Flavour welcomes contributions from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, genetics, sensory science and food chemistry and especially encourages contributions from chefs who are introducing science into their kitchens, often working in partnership with academic research groups.

A video with highlights from the launch will be available shortly on the journal website.

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

CDC Announces People In The US Have Healthy Vitamin And Mineral Levels

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpkin seeds, barley, buckwheat flour, low-fat vanilla yogurt, trail mix, halibut steaks, garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans, and spinach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 2 April Medical News Today article

Whilst pointing out that certain groups of the population have deficiencies, the CDC announced in a press release today, that in all, the US population has good levels of the main essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A & D as well as Folate and Iron got the green light in a report entitled “Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition”.

The CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences in the National Center for Environmental Health collected data from participants in CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, by taking blood and urine samples. The data covers the years 1999-2006, with a focus on more recent figures from 2003 to 2006. Although the report is positive, it points out that it doesn’t mean people are eating balanced and healthy diets.

As Christopher Portier, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health clarifies :

“These findings are a snapshot of our nation’s overall nutrition status … Measurements of blood and urine levels of these nutrients are critical because they show us whether the sum of nutrient intakes from foods and vitamin supplements is too low, too high, or sufficient.”

As far as deficiencies go, the report makes note that problems vary according to age, gender and ethnicity, and gives an example of vitamin D deficiency that can be higher than thirty percent for non Hispanic blacks….

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Why doctors should screen for poverty

From the 4 April 2012 blog post by NAHEED DOSANI, MD AND JEREMY PETCH at

…Bloch points to a growing body of research evidence showing the impact of financial struggle on the risk of a variety of diseases (this research is largely Canadian, so US statistics will differ, though the themes are likely similar):

Cardiovascular disease: there is a 17% higher rate of circulatory conditions among the lowest income quintile versus the average
Diabetes: prevalence among the lowest income quintile is more than double the rate in the highest income quintile
Mental Illness: the suicide-attempt rate of those living on social assistance is 18 times higher than higher-income individuals
Cancer: low-income women are less likely to access screening interventions like mammograms or Pap Smears
Development: infant mortality is 60% higher in the lowest income quintile neighborhoods
Regardless of this compelling evidence, why is there a need to screen for poverty? “Simply because we don’t know which patients live in poverty and if we don’t ask, we won’t find out,” says Dr. Bloch.  Since the recession of 2008, many hard-working people have been squeezed out of the middle class.  A November 2011 report by Wider Opportunities for Women entitled, “Living Below the Line,” highlighted the fact that nearly half of Americans struggle to make ends meet. …


April 4, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

How to discuss online health information with your physician

From the 4 April 2012 blog post by NATASHA BURGERT, MD at

Two articles recently caught my eye while I was spending some time on Twitter. First, an op-ed piece was published on discussing how patients and doctors perceive the use of the online health information. The article was closely followed by the results of a recent PEW research study which stated that 80% of Americans used the internet to “prepare for or recover from” their doctor visit.

The results of the PEW study were less than surprising to me. Everyday I have a concerned mom or anxious dad refer to something they have read online…

My favorite public sites for health information include:
My favorite public sites for health information include:
•    Is your child sick? This feature is on our practice’s website to give families some information about common childhood symptoms. The site also give some guidance about what symptoms are concerning enough to contact the on-call physician.
• This is a very well-designed site providing general information on health conditions and their treatments.
• A website full of childhood health information developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• General information on illness, vaccines, and travel concerns.
• Complete, concise vaccine information.

The article stresses the following

  • Critique what you find
  • If your provider allows, send links and articles to your doctor before the visit
  • Prepare for a “no”

Related Resources

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | Leave a comment


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