Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

We Can – A National Child Obesity Prevention Program

We Can, Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition
We Can!
 is a national education program designed to give parents and communities ways to help kids stay at a healthy weight, can help your family avoid excess pounds. From the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Get tips on choosing low-calorie snacks, getting active, and cooking fun, healthy meals.

The home page has links to

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public), Nutrition, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Your Smartphone to Lose Weight (and other interesting things you can do with a smartphone)

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

From the May 5, 2011  Cornflower blog item (The Blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region)

Today in Chicago, it is currently 48 degrees at 10:00 am.  Not exactly beach weather.  However, it will be soon time to take off those winter jackets and replace it with t-shirts and suntan lotion.  So, did you know you can use your smartphone to help you lose weight? (Not saying you need it! You look marvelous!) Duke University researchers are using Android smartphones and wireless weight scales for a weight loss study.  It’s not just that you connect with a scale wirelessly and it adds your weight to a chart on your phone; the app on your smartphone will keep track of your weight and depending how it is trending, send you messages.  Hopefully they aren’t messages like “lay off the cookies, Max!” Because I love cookies too much.  Anyway.  This article came out a few days ago and you may find it interesting:

Sort of on the same wavelength about getting messages from your phone – there are a growing number of services that will communicate with you to remind you of appointments, to take medicines, or in the case above, maybe even give encouragement.  Some examples:

There is a Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast on this topic:

Other developments:

  • In Denver, Co, the hospital group Denver Health has teamed up with Microsoft and EMC on a project to send patients text message reminders about upcoming appointments in a diabetes program that aimed to help patients better self manage their condition.  They ask patients to text in their daily glucose readings.  They hope that this will improve condition management, reduce admission rates and reduce costs.  Read more about this project.
  • Getting teens and tweens to be more complaint with eczema treatments with texting:

For more clinical research see the following:

There’s more where these came from in PubMed.

What is your organization doing with mobile technologies? Does your hospital have ER wait times available via a mobile device? What about appointment reminders?

P.S. Don’t forget about the NLM “Show Off Your Apps” Contest!

P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.?) Don’t forget about all of the mobile sites and apps available already from the NLM:

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nutrition and Healthy Eating from the Mayo Clinic (& additional related Web sites)

Mayo Clinic
Nutrition and healthy eating 
is just one of many Healthy Lifestyle topics which provide information and tools for the public.

The Mayo Clinic staff have vetted materials on nutrition and healthy eating in the following areas

  • Nutrition Basics  with overviews on healthy diets, healthy cooking, and nutritional supplements
  • In Depth coverage of topics in Nutrition basics as the new dietary guidelines, carbohydrates, dietary fats, specific diets (as the Mediterranean diet), and menu options
  • Multimedia links to images, interactive graphics, videos, and slideshows
  • Expert blog with tips by registered dieticians and nurses on topics like kitchen organization, meal planning, and ideas for healthy salads
  • Resources with links to Web sites on nutrition, cooking, menus, and  shopping strategies
  • Web Site of the Week: Nutrition and healthy eating (
  • Whole Grains, Fiber, Protein And Almonds Help Manage Hunger Pains (Medical News Today, April 2011)
  • Live Well & Live Longer With Foods For Healthy Aging(Medical News Today, April 2011)”The tips below provide a starting point that can help you focus on foods for key parts of the body that are important to healthy aging:– Bones: String cheese is not just for the young. Add calcium to your diet by snacking on a stick of string cheese when hunger strikes.

    — Muscles: For a quick and easy snack, look for a nutrition bar with added soy protein or add a packet of soy or whey protein to your favorite smoothie.

    — Eyes: Punch up your intake of the eye-popping nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin by making a spinach salad with slices of oranges. Many multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements also include lutein.

    — Heart: Popcorn is a great source of whole grains. Keep a few mini-bags in your desk drawer to heat up for a quick, low-calorie snack at the office. Also, try spicing up your popcorn with garlic powder and cinnamon, or rosemary and parmesan cheese.

    — Mind: Salmon or tuna that is canned in water or in a shelf-stable pouch can make easy and affordable meals; add a few tablespoons of olive oil, season with pepper and thyme to enjoy on top of whole grain crackers or wrap with tomatoes in a lettuce leaf.”

Related Resources
Aim for a Healthy Weight

Aim for a Healthy Weight can help you learn how to reach and maintain a healthy weight by taking small steps to change your lifestyle. Find tips for eating well at home and on the road, and for becoming more physically active. (US NIH)
WIN (Weight-control Information Network) - An information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
NIH’s Weight-control Information Network provides science-based information on obesity, physical activity, and weight control.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Long-term weight loss may be harmful to health

Long-term weight loss may release into the blood industrial pollutants linked to illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers said on Tuesday.

These compounds are normally stored in fatty tissues, but when fat breaks down during weight loss, they get into the blood stream, said lead researcher Duk-Hee Lee at the Kyungpook National University in Daegu in South Korea.

More studies were needed to establish if such harm outweighed the benefits to be gained from weight loss, Lee said.

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | | 1 Comment