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The Checkup: October 10, 2010 - October 16, 2010

Is that right? The McDonald's Happy Meal project

Okay, we get it. McDonald's food is weirdly impervious to the ravages of time. That's the finding from several amateur exercises, most recently one conducted by New York artist Sally Davies. Davies (who, by the way, says she's a vegetarian), in April bought a McDonald's Happy Meal, brought it home...

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 15, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Is That Right?, Nutrition and Fitness  
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FDA admits mistake with knee device

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday took the highly unusual step of admitting that it made a mistake when it approved a device used to repair damaged knees. The device, called Menaflex Collagen Scaffold, was approved by the FDA in December 2008 to repair and reinforce a part of the...

By Rob Stein  | October 14, 2010; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  FDA, Food Safety and Recalls  
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FDA cracks down on experimental autism therapy

Federal health officials are cracking down on a controversial therapy that has been promoted as an alternative for a variety of conditions, including autism, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The Food and Drug Administration warned eight companies Thursday that their over-the-counter products used for a procedure known as "chelation" are...

By Rob Stein  | October 14, 2010; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Autism, Cardiovascular Health, FDA, Kids' health, Popular Procedures  
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Is your on-line health data safe?

In a chilling reminder that everything you post on line has a chance of becoming more public than you'd intended, the Wall Street Journal this week reported on a common practice called "scraping," in which companies cull social media sites and other Internet-based forums for personal data to supply to interested corporations and other concerns.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 14, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Social Media  
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Canada adds BPA to toxins list

The Canadian government today became the first to officially designate the chemical BPA as a toxic substance.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 13, 2010; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Environmental Toxins, FDA, Health News  
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Bone drugs may cause fractures, FDA warns

Federal health officials are warning that patients taking drugs designed to prevent broken bones may, paradoxically, be at increased risk for certain unusual fractures of the thigh bone. he FDA is requiring that durg companies add a warning to the labels of Fosamax, Fosamax Plus D, Actonel, Actonel with Calcium, Boniva, Atelvia, Reclast and Boniva.

By Rob Stein  | October 13, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Aging, FDA, Women's Health, drug safety  
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What front-of-package food labels should say

The world of nutrition and food policy sometimes seems like a big messy jumble of competing interests, contradictory science and warring fiefdoms. So it's awfully refreshing to see someone cutting through the clutter and delivering a cogent and thoughtful message about how to help Americans eat more healthfully. That's what happened this morning when the Institute of Medicine issued its carefully considered report about front-of-package food labeling systems.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 13, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Health Policy, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity  
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Hispanics live longest

Here's an interesting piece of information that may sound like a paradox: Even though they tend to have a lower socioeconomic status, Hispanics in the United States on average outlive both blacks and whites, according to a new federal report.

By Rob Stein  | October 13, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Hispanics, Minority health  
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Homemade baby food: worth the fuss?

MSNBC's chief Washington correspondent Norah O'Donnell and her chef/restaurateur husband Geoff Tracy's recent book "Baby Love" makes the case that making baby's food at home is not only better for your child than serving commercially prepared food but also that it's cheaper -- and easy, to boot. In retrospect, it seems as though I could probably have handled the task, after all -- if it had ever crossed my mind.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 12, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Childhood obesity, Family Health, Kids' health, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity, Parenting  
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First patient treated in stem cell study

The first patient has been treated with human embryonic stem cells in the first study authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to test the controversial therapy.

By Rob Stein  | October 11, 2010; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Stem cells  
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Yoga: WWJD?

Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler last month called upon Christians to refrain from practicing yoga, a discipline he views as a religion -- and one that conflicts with Christian teachings.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | October 11, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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