The Week: Most Recent Health Posts recent posts.en-usSat, 12 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Health Posts from THE WEEKSat, 12 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0400Are vitamin pills even necessary?<img src="" /></P><p><strong> Are vitamins good for you?</strong><br /> In natural form, they're essential to the proper functioning of our bodies. The term "vitamins" covers a diverse array of molecules that fulfill a huge variety of biochemical functions &mdash; helping human beings to grow, repair damaged tissue, and avoid such diseases as scurvy, rickets, and pellagra. In the modern world, the abundant supply of a wide variety of foods makes it possible to satisfy virtually all nutritional needs by eating a healthful, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and protein sources. But based on the idea that more of a good thing is better...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 12 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0400This is a perfect example of why Democrats aren't the party of science<img src="" /></P><p>This probably passed you by, but last October 7-13 was "Naturopathic Medicine Week," a distinction bestowed unanimously by the U.S. Senate recognizing "the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care." And if you missed it, fear not! Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has introduced another resolution to celebrate it this October, too. This is a baffling move for the so-called party of science.</p><p>For the uninitiated:</p><p >Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Josiah NeeleyFri, 11 Jul 2014 06:12:00 -0400Selfies fuel cosmetic surgery boom, doctors say<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The selfie revolution is upon us and everywhere you look someone is holding up their smartphone and snapping a picture of their face, which will then promptly be posted to a social media outlet &mdash; or three.</p><p>This social phenomenon is having a surprising impact on consumer behavior, according to some plastic surgeons, who are crediting an uptick in business to social media's selfie obsession.</p><p>Last year, the cosmetic surgery business was worth around $12.8 billion, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons &mdash; and it's only expected to keep climbing&hellip; one selfie at a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brianna EhleyFri, 13 Jun 2014 08:25:00 -0400A scary new disease just got scarier<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>People who study infectious diseases have long been calling for better communication among governments around the world and better monitoring of the spread of diseases within individual countries. Last week, the world got another example of what they are so worried about.</p><p>The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia announced last Tuesday that it was updating the statistics on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a contagious flu-like disease that can be passed from person to person. The disease, a type of corona virus, is commonly abbreviated among infectious disease experts as MERS-CoV and is from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Rob GarverThu, 12 Jun 2014 09:11:00 -0400Trapped between life and death<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">IMAGINE YOU WAKE UP, </span></strong>locked inside a box," says Adrian Owen, a neurologist at the University of Western Ontario. "It's only just big enough to hold your body but sufficiently small that you can't move. It's a perfect fit, down to every last one of your fingers and toes. It's a strange box because you can listen to absolutely everything going on around you, yet your voice cannot be heard. In fact, the box fits so tightly around your face and lips that you can't speak, or make a noise. Although you can see everything going on around the box, the world outside is oblivious to what's going on inside...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Roger HighfieldSun, 08 Jun 2014 08:00:00 -0400Kickstarting a cure for rare diseases<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left effect-dropcaps" data-content_id="text:afef4d1081654afca696d3b86d8d01d6">The geneticist called it a one-in-three-billion chance.</p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left" data-content_id="text:c5fd583d380c4e70bf2684e9dcc42324">Just one. Out of three billion. Take a plane to Asia &mdash; absolutely anywhere in Asia &mdash; and randomly point to the first person you see. Is it Kim Jong-un, the fade-hairdoed leader of North Korea? Yes? Well, you've just beaten the odds we're talking about here.</p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left" data-content_id="text:006e315aa3ab45c597f9715b06d14478">But that's all the likelihood it took for Robert Stone &mdash; the only never-in-a-million-years, statistical screw-you that Robert's body needed to land him in a wheelchair and cause legions of medical know-it-alls to scratch their heads in wonder for 13 long and painful...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Noah RosenbergMon, 26 May 2014 12:00:00 -0400What Freakonomics gets wrong about health care<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">In <em>Think Like a Freak</em>, the latest book from <em>Freakonomics</em> co-authors economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, the authors tell a story about meeting David Cameron in London before he became the prime minister of Britain. They told him that the U.K.'s National Health Service &mdash; which they claim offers "free, unlimited, lifetime heath care" &mdash; isn't such a great idea.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s2">They write</span><span class="s1">: </span></p><p ><span class="s1">We tried to make our point with a thought experiment. We suggested to Mr. Cameron that he consider a similar policy in a different arena. What if, for instance...everyone were allowed to go down...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Fri, 16 May 2014 10:12:00 -0400This is the best sign yet that ObamaCare is working<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">There's no denying that ObamaCare has had serious teething troubles. <span class="s2">A broken website and</span> multiple <span class="s2">missed enrollment targets made for a difficult and messy rollout, leaving a president with some of the lowest approval ratings of his career and his party in serious danger of losing the Senate</span>. But even if Republicans do take control of both houses of Congress in November, undoing the law just got a lot harder. </span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">The important thing for ObamaCare's supporters is that the law has proved resilient to</span> all of the angry shouting labeling it socialism or fascism, </span><span class="s2">negative approval ratings</span><span>, </span><span class="s2">and Congress...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Mon, 05 May 2014 12:07:00 -0400No, ObamaCare isn't causing soaring health costs<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Megan McArdle over at <em>Bloomberg View</em> is convinced that soaring health-care spending was the difference between the economy growing and it being in recession. S</span><span class="s1"></span>he's right on at least one point: Health-care spending really did soar, up 9.9 percent on last year.</p><p><br /></p><p class="p3" ><span class="s1">(<em>Bureau of Economic Analysis</em>)</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">There is no doubt that the surge was driven by the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansion. <span class="s2">More than 9.5 million extra Americans in total got covered in the rollout</span> &mdash; including 6 million who bought private coverage, 2 million of whom were previously uninsured. That's on top of 4.5 million extra enrollees...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Mon, 05 May 2014 06:20:00 -0400Living with lupus<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>As a child, Sandra Bettinger was never allowed to use her lupus as an excuse for anything.</p><p>On school mornings, if Bettinger was feeling fatigued or simply didn't want to deal with bullying classmates mocking her swollen body, she would desperately devise a plan to stay home. Standing in front of the air conditioner, shivering, she would hope for little white polyps to form on her tonsils or some other physical signs of her illness to appear.</p><p>"Look Ma," Bettinger would say in their absence, hopeful she could pull off the ruse. "I'm sick."</p><p>But before her mother could answer, her father's deep...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Simone M. ScullySat, 26 Apr 2014 12:00:00 -0400