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The Checkup: August 22, 2010 - August 28, 2010

U.S. birth rate falls again, a possible effect of economic downturn

The number of babies born in the United States has dropped for the second year in a row, according to new federal statistics released Friday that provide more evidence that the nation's economic troubles are affecting the birth rate.

By Rob Stein  |  August 27, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Economy , Motherhood , Women's Health  
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Is that right? Chef Boyardee whole-grain Beefaroni is 'secretly nutritious'

Is that right? Chef Boyardee whole-grain Beefaroni is 'secretly nutritious'

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  August 27, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Is That Right? , Kids' health , Nutrition and Fitness  
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CDC revises flu death estimates

How many people does the flu kill each year in the United States? The number you always hear is about 36,000. Well, federal health officials on Thursday released some new calculations that conclude that number is misleading. The actual number can vary a lot from year to year, ranging from...

By Rob Stein  |  August 26, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Influenza  
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An ancient approach to detoxing your body

When I wrote about detox diets in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, I learned that Western medicine isn't sold on the idea of eating certain foods -- and avoiding others -- to rid your body of impurities. The human body, experts told me, is perfectly capable of...

By Rob Stein  |  August 26, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Alternative and Complementary Medicine , Nutrition and Fitness  
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Want to lose weight? Drink water

Could something as simple as a glass of water be the key to the nation's obesity epidemic? Well, probably not. But a new study has found that drinking a couple of glasses of water before meals can help people consume fewer calories. There's long been a lot of folklore about...

By Rob Stein  |  August 25, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Obesity  
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Tweeting about your diet

How did the world learn that Demi Moore had switched from The Master Cleanse to the Clean Program a few weeks back? Through the actress's tweets, of course. Moore, known on Twitter as "mrskutcher," tweeted on July 27 that she'd made the switch. The tweet attracted a fair amount of...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  August 24, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Nutrition and Fitness , Obesity , Social Media  
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New evidence that virus may cause chronic fatigue

A well-respected team of scientists released long-awaited new evidence Monday that a virus may be playing a role in chronic fatigue syndrome.

By Rob Stein  |  August 23, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Chronic Conditions , Infectious Disease , Women's Health  
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Food safety appointee has work cut out for her

UPDATE: After this blog entry was posted I heard from a press officer at the USDA, who pointed out that the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is to be headed by the new under secretary, does not oversee shell eggs or the other two foods I mention below;...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  August 23, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Food Safety and Recalls  
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