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The Checkup: January 4, 2009 - January 10, 2009

The Job of Surgeon General

Q: Which of the following is included in the formal job description for the position of surgeon general of the United States? Helps to craft the administration's public health policy. Serves as visible advocate for public health initiatives. Acts as media spokesperson promoting the administration's health agenda. A: None of...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 9, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Policy  
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Just How Useful Is Exercise at Controlling Weight?

One of the assumptions about why Americans are increasingly overweight is that we've become a nation of couch potatoes, burning far fewer calories in our daily lives than we used to. But a new study is challenging the idea that a drop in physical activity is one of the key...

By Rob Stein  |  January 8, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Obesity  
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Can Tetris Treat PTSD?

Can playing a computer game help treat post-traumatic stress disorder? That's what a new study suggests. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is marked by vivid flashbacks of traumatic events that torture soldiers, rape victims and victims of other types of trauma. Emily Holmes of University of Oxford and her colleagues...

By Rob Stein  |  January 8, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mental Health  
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By Any Name, This Game Is Deadly

Do your kids play something called "space monkey"? Or maybe "the scarf game"? Maybe they sound like fun. What they are, though, are choking games -- where kids choke themselves or their friends to elicit a brief sensation of euphoria. Apparently many adolescents, including lots of high-achievers, view them as...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 7, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Family Health  
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Resolutions For the Not-So-New Year

Getting tired of hearing about New Year's resolutions? Me, too. But there's good reason to be writing about these annual pledges to improve ourselves on January 6 -- or June 6, for that matter. As I note in today's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, many of us will already...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 6, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nutrition and Fitness  
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Group Names Top Health Hoaxes of 2008

Remember the commotion last year about radioactive granite in our kitchen counters? That story's just one of 10 health stories from 2008 identified as "hoaxes" by the American Council on Science and Health, a nonprofit group of scientists and physicians that advocates a common-sense approach to maintaining good health. ACSH...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  January 5, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  General Health  
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