Sara Libby

Sara Libby

Posts by This Writer

10 years 8 months ago

It turns out the pin-thin actresses I see stalking the aisles of Whole Foods in Hollywood aren't just outliers - people who shop at Whole Foods and other high-end grocery stores really are less likely to be obese than those who purchase their food staples at low-cost grocery stores, a new study has found, underlying a public health message that is key to fighting the obesity epidemic: Access to affordable healthy food is vital to creating healthy communities.

Researchers at the University of Washington examined the shoppers and shopping patterns of consumers in the Seattle...


10 years 9 months ago

Graduation season is upon us, and for those donning caps and gowns, that's not necessarily a good thing: Though they stand to fare better employment-wise than the class of 2009, the New York Times reports: "Average starting salaries are down, and employers plan to make only 5 percent more job offers to new graduates this spring compared to last spring, when job offers were down 20 percent from 2008 levels, according to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks recruitment data."

Without jobs, many young people would have faced...


10 years 9 months ago

Back in February, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let's Move! program to tackle the public health epidemic of childhood obesity, which the "Mom in Chief" has made her signature cause. This week, the task force released a report to the president with a large number of specific recommendations for actions that can be taken to address the problem, with the goal of reducing childhood obesity to a rate of 5 percent by 2030.

The recommendations are wide-ranging. A sampling:

  • Hospitals and health care providers should use
    maternity care practices that empower new mothers to...

10 years 9 months ago

Setting goals is a common undertaking for individuals, groups, companies, etc. to make inroads as to what can be accomplished in the future. But when it comes to goals as lofty and seemingly insurmountable as eliminating malaria, fighting AIDS and bettering the health of children around the globe, some people take the view that international health goals are unreasonable, or promise too much. A new report from the World Health Organization puts that mindset to rest; it found that health goals and targets are really delivering results by energizing politicians and political bodies to work...


10 years 9 months ago

Researchers must have Mother's Day on the brain, because this week a seeming flood of new reports and studies relating to mothers and health has been released, on everything from birth control, mothers' ages and different parenting techniques' effects on children's growth.

One study on moms released by the Pew Research Center found that mothers in the United States are increasingly older, better educated and single. Finding that "the demography of motherhood in the United States has shifted strikingly in the past two decades," the report says that "The higher share of...


10 years 10 months ago

He's the leader of a large industrial country who was swept into office after promising to reform the nation's health care system. And just recently, he did it; over the objections of a bloc of conservative state leaders. He's not Barack Obama. He's Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd. And he's now staking his re-election campaign on having achieved largely what he set out to do with regard to fixing the country's hospital system.

Australia already had a more nationalized system, in which taxpayers fund health care by paying a levy, and receiving doctors' care and access to state...


10 years 10 months ago

For the second time in eight months, a mobile health clinic in Los Angeles has demonstrated the enormous need for access to affordable medical care. Back in August 2009, as health care town hall debates were making headlines for being populated by people comparing President Obama to Hitler, the Remote Area Medical Foundation set up shop at the Forum, a sports arena in Inglewood, Calif. For eight days, the clinic treated the uninsured and underinsured - more than 6,000 people in all - providing health screenings, teeth cleanings and more. Ultimately, though, many people were turned away...


10 years 10 months ago

Over the last year, seemingly a barrage of study after study after study has examined the negative health effects of high sodium intake. In January, a study by researchers at Stanford, Columbia and UC San Francisco found that even small reductions in one's daily salt intake can improve health dramatically, by lessening the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. The same study found that a national program to reduce salt consumption could save billions in national medical costs, as much as $24 billion, researchers estimated. Studies emphasizing salt's health risks might encourage some...


10 years 10 months ago

Americans are better-informed than every about the health risks posed by eating unhealthful food, particularly fast food. There are documentaries like "Super Size Me," and "Food Inc.;" TV shows like "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," where the British superstar chef tries to help families avoid eating from fast food restaurants and to cook healthy meals at home; efforts to require calorie and other nutritional info on food packaging and fast food menus; and programs like Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative, aimed at eradicating childhood obesity. Then there was the public revulsion at the recently unveiled KFC sandwich...


10 years 10 months ago

For teenage girls, alcohol consumption can pose a number of risks: it impairs your judgment, it can land you in the hospital if you consume too much; and it can create enormous hazards for you and others should you decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. But now health officials suggest that another risk might also be lurking for teenage girls who drink frequently: It can lead to breast disease that onsets in girls' 20s, or to breast cancer later in life.

Researchers saw a huge increase in how likely girls were to develop benign breast disease (BBD) based on whether they drank often; girls who drank...


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