November 15-21, 2008 - Original Health Articles

Understanding Ear Infections

Ear infections are common, especially in children. In fact, about 75 percent of all children will probably have an infection before they turn three, according to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Older children will probably complain of ear pain and small children who cannot speak well are likely to pull or rub their ear.

10 Best Tips That Moms Give

Remember all those times your mom told you to go to bed early and eat your veggies? You might not have wanted to admit it back then, but as it turns out, she was right--about almost everything. Here, the 10 best pieces of advice that moms give: 1. Wash your hands.

10 Biggest Myths About Sex

When it comes to sex, most of us think we know it all--or at least enough that we don't need further education. But no matter what your background or relationship status, you've probably heard (and believed) a sexual falsehood somewhere along the line.

Weight-Loss Secrets From Around the Globe

When it comes to obesity, it might seem as if America is tipping the scales-and for good reason. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States is the ninth fattest country in the world (second only to Kuwait and some South Pacific isles).

10 Easy Ways to Cut 100 Calories a Day

Rather than making drastic adjustments to your diet, you may be more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—by making smaller changes. If you cut 100 calories a day, for example, you could lose a pound a month. It sounds simple enough, but where do those 100 calories come from? Follow these 10 easy suggestions to get started.

10 Fattest and Fittest Spots in the World

Ready for some startling statistics? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 350 million people worldwide are obese--a dangerous trend that may increase their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers. But fortunately, there's a flip side: Many international hotspots boast extremely low obesity rates.

10 Fattest Cities in America

Is your city making you fat? It may sound strange, but where you live probably plays a role in your weight. While obesity isn't confined to any one part of the country, some parts of the nation are heavier than others. In fact, one study by the University of Washington found that researchers were able to predict the prevalence of obesity simply by looking at zip codes.

10 Fattest Jobs in America for Men and Women

Ever-improving technology has replaced manual labor at many American jobs, making sedentary lifestyles commonplace. A whopping 60 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and occupations that require little or no movement certainly haven't helped.

10 Foods That Cause Heart Attacks

You probably already knew junk food is bad for your waistline, but did you ever stop to think about what it's doing to your heart? In particular, watch out for foods high in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol—all of which can raise the risk of heart disease and heart attack, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

What is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)?

If you rely on glasses or contact lenses to improve your vision, you're already familiar with the expense, inconvenience, and other drawbacks they present. For these reasons, millions of people have turned to elective procedures such as corneal refractive therapy (CRT) to restore their vision.

10 Fourth of July Health Hazards

Fourth of July is a time for picnics, parades, and of course, patriotism. But for many Americans, the holiday may end very differently than it began--with a terrifying trip to the emergency room. In addition to common culprits like fireworks and grilling, Independence Day injuries often arise from seemingly safe sources, such as foods, drinks, and fun in the sun.

10 Health Club Dos and Don'ts

There you are at the gym, trying to work off the stresses of your job. From the next bench you hear another person grunting and groaning under the weight of the barbells. Instead of feeling better after your workout, you're irritated by the inconsiderate gym-goers around you.

What's Causing Your Headaches?

Headaches often strike when you least expect them--and they can range in severity from dull throbs and intense aches to debilitating pain. In fact, they land someone in the emergency room every 10 seconds, according to the American Headache Society. As if that weren't frustrating enough, oftentimes the direct cause of a headache is unknown.

10 Most Crowded American Cities

They say three's a crowd...but what about 26,000? When it comes to population density (the number of people per square mile), some cities really push the envelope. And if you've ever walked the streets of these jam-packed locales, you've probably had first-hand experience with the squeeze of these tight spots.

The 10 Most Dangerous Places in the World

Looking for exotic and exciting getaway? While the ten places on this list certainly meet those criteria, none of them will provide the kind of relaxing reprieve you had in mind. These locations are often war-ravaged and suffer from problems such as government corruption and human trafficking.

10 Most Expensive Medical Conditions

What's the cost of poor health? A lot more than you may think. The nation's 10 most expensive medical conditions cost about $500 billion to treat in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

10 Most Fattening Ballpark Foods

There was a time when the national pastime was synonymous with peanuts and cracker jacks. Now, the ballpark menu has expanded-to include one fattening item after another. Stadiums often serve foods made famous by their hometowns (such as cheesesteaks in Philly, crabcakes in Baltimore, or pierogies in Pittsburgh), but many of them should come with an exercise plan on the side.

Why Men Don't Go to the Doctor

Aches and pains? "Just suck it up." Preventative care? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." When it comes to visiting the doctor, men seem to have an arsenal of excuses. According to experts, this is one of the reasons men generally live sicker and die younger than their female counterparts.

10 Most Sexually Active Cities in America

How often do you have sex? The answer may depend partly on where you live. As it turns out, some U.S. cities are hotbeds for love-making, while others are less than lustful. And where people are making the most whoopee might surprise you ("sin cities" like Las Vegas, Miami, and New York didn't even make our list).

10 Shocking Speed-Eating Records

Although competitive eating has been around since the early 1900s when contestants traveled to their local county fairs to eat pies without their hands, organized eating officially became a sport in 1997. An organization called the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) regulates eating rules and safety standards, unifies international eating competitions, tracks world records, and ranks the world's top eaters.

10 Shortest Life Span States

On average, an American can expect to enjoy about 78 years of life on this planet, according to a report by the United Nations. Factors such as genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices can extend or abbreviate this amount of time, but did you know that the area in which you live can play a part as well? Here, the states with the shortest life expectancies, as determined by the U.

10 Strangest Baby Names Ever

What's in a name? Some experts believe that everything from social acceptance to financial success is determined, in part, by the names we're given at birth. And many of today's parents are rejecting popular baby names in favor of more unusual monikers.

10 Strangest Beauty Tips of All Time

It's often said that beauty is pain--and for a few adventurous souls, the pursuit of beauty can be weird, wacky, and downright dangerous. The unconventional tips they follow? Some may be familiar (dabbing toothpaste on a pimple), while others are simply disturbing (plumping lips via vacuum cleaner).

10 Sun-Smartest and Sun-Dumbest Cities in America

It's no secret that protecting yourself from the sun can make you look years younger, not to mention lower your risk of skin cancer. But as it turns out, certain cities are savvier about UV protection than others. Which locations are the most and least UV aware? It's not just a matter of getting the most sunshine (sun-drenched locales like Miami and Tucson didn't make the list).

10 Surefire Signs of Road Rage

Consider this: Americans spend 100 hours a year commuting but take only 80 hours of vacation annually, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Is it any wonder that many of us have road rage? Even so, road rage isn't acceptable. Aggressive driving, which includes speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and not paying full attention to the road, puts many people at risk.

10 Things No One Ever Tells You About Your Health

Everyone knows that eating well and exercising can prevent all kinds of ailments, from heart disease to diabetes. But what don't you know? What aren't you being told that might also boost your health? And what health advice did you think was cliche but, as is turns out, really works? You might not hear the following 10 tips at the doctor's office, but they could help you to live a longer, more fulfilling life.

10 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Sex

How often do most people make love? Do certain foods boost your libido? Can men really have multiple orgasms? When it comes to copulation, there are probably lots of things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. That's why we've grilled the experts with your most intimate questions.

10 Tips for Parents of Autistic Children

Parents who have autistic children face unique challenges in raising their kids. Beyond knowing what medications and what types of intervention are most helpful, parents must understand the best ways to interact with their child, and how to incorporate the disease into their everyday lives.

10 Tips to Help Manage IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20 percent of the general population, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). And for those living with it, the condition can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even embarrassing.

10 Ways to Catch a Liar

Honesty may be the best policy, but it's not a policy people follow very often. In fact, according to a Cornell University study, people lie in roughly 25 percent of their daily interactions. How can you detect dishonesty in relationships, friendships, and business? It's easy, if you know how to spot the clues.

10 Worst Cities for Fall Allergies

It's so uncomfortable. The watery eyes, the scratchy throat, the runny nose. The annoying (and sometimes, downright miserable) feelings associated with seasonal allergies are familiar to almost half of all Americans, according to a HealthOpin poll.

10 Worst Desserts in America

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than 66 percent of U.S. adults are currently overweight, and 32 percent are obese. In fact, in 2007, Colorado was the only state that had a prevalence of obesity under 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

10 Worst Wedding Horrors of All Time

Every bride should look beautiful on her wedding day. Every groom should show up on time. And every couple should create memories they'll treasure for a lifetime. But certain wedding calamities-like food poisoning, last-minute cancellations, and run-ins with the law-can quickly transform a couple's dream day into a nuptial nightmare.

17 Slim-Down Secrets That Really Work

Your sister fasts on grapefruit, your coworker guzzles caffeine, and your best friend eats nothing but soup for an entire week. When it comes to losing weight, silly strategies abound. And according to experts, these techniques are not only ineffective; they can be downright dangerous.

17 Things You Should Always Tell the Babysitter

For many parents, leaving their children with a babysitter for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. After all, most of us have heard a few harrowing stories about shaken babies, sitter abuse, or neglectful nannies. But while such concerns are valid, cases like these represent only a small fraction of babysitter problems.

22 Ways to Predict Your Life Span

We've split the atom, spliced the gene, even sent a spacecraft to Mars. But finding a reliable way to predict a person's life span? That's proven a bit more difficult. In recent years, however, scientists have begun to crack the code-identifying 22 genetic, demographic, and lifestyle factors that can estimate life span with a surprising amount of accuracy.

3 Secrets Your Doctor Isn't Spilling

The relationship you have with your physician is a very important one. It should be rooted in trust and complete honesty. However, like most relationships, it's not perfect, and as you're likely to keep a few facts to yourself, your doctor is probably harboring some secrets of his own.

3 Signs She's a Bridezilla

Every year, an estimated 2.3 million couples get married in the United States. And it's safe to assume that many of the brides have been dreaming about their perfect wedding day since they were little girls. Add to those already high expectations a sizable...

4 Benefits of Eating Whole Grains

Numerous studies continue to reveal the many health benefits of eating whole grains. While the benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least three servings daily, according to the Whole Grains Council, some studies show reduced risks of certain conditions from as little as one serving daily.

4 Deadliest Dangers of Summer

Summer is traditionally a time for sand, surf, and fun in the sun. But unfortunately, some of the season's activities can put both adults and children at risk for serious accidents, from broken bones to heatstroke and even drowning. How can you protect your family from these potential perils? Read on as we reveal the four deadliest dangers of summer—and what you can do to keep from being a victim.

4 Diets That Bring You Down

In our modern American society, anxiety, stress, and depression can play a large role with respect to work, relationships, and money. In fact, 33.9 percent of adults report having poor mental health, according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. Many people eat when they're depressed, but few realize that what they eat may be at the cause of their woes.

4 Reasons Why Marriage Makes People Fat

You may have heard of the freshman 15-those inevitable pounds college students are likely to gain in their first year. But what about the newlywed 30? In a recent University of North Carolina study, which tracked 1,200 couples over a five-year period, married people gained six to nine pounds more than their single counterparts.

4 Surefire Secrets of Happy People

With the cost of living skyrocketing, the stock market plummeting, and a recession looming, it can be pretty hard to stay optimistic these days.  Yet according to ongoing research, a positive point of view will not only help you cope with adversity, it can also keep you healthier than your pessimistic peers.

4 Ways to Avoid Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Driving to a destination is often the most ideal way to go. You don't have to contend with long lines, flight delays, or metal detectors. Best of all, you're the master of your own itinerary: leaving when you're ready and not when you have to, stopping when the need arises, and exploring the back roads along your route if you so desire.

4 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

With dollar menus aplenty, feeding yourself cheaply is rather easy, but finding food that is both nutritious and inexpensive is a lot harder. According to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers at the University of Washington found that at major supermarkets in the Seattle area between 2004 and 2006 the price of fruits and vegetables rose about 20 percent, while the cost of certain junk foods actually decreased.

5 Frightening Food-Safety Facts

People aren't the only ones who love cookouts. Because of their unfettered access to outdoor feasts, insects and microbes of all varieties often enjoy them, too. And while you may see no harm in sharing a bit of your bounty with the earth's smallest creatures, you should know that their participation can come at a price-sometimes a rather high one-to your health.

5 Amazing Breakthroughs Discovered by Accident

Chances are, the next time you get sick, you won't want to hear your doctor utter the words "mistake" or "accident." But if it wasn't for mistakes and accidents, some of the very things you rely on to stay healthy or help you heal may never have been discovered.

5 Biggest Holiday Allergy Triggers

"It's the most wonderful time of the year," legendary singer Andy Williams and many others after him have crooned about the holiday season. Well, it may not be so wonderful if you're a seasonal allergy sufferer. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), three out of four adults experience an increase of allergy attacks including headaches, eye irritation and sinus congestion during the period from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.

5 Diseases That Have No Symptoms

Some diseases can sneak up on you without a single warning sign or with symptoms so nonspecific that it may take your physician precious time to figure out what's ailing you. Since early detection often results in more effective treatment, illnesses that slip under your (and your doctor's) radar can be especially dangerous.

5 Easy Ways to Cut Energy Costs at Home

Here's a startling fact: The average American family spends more than $1,600 a year on home utility bills. What's more, by using electricity generated from fossil fuels, a single home emits more carbon dioxide annually than two average-sized cars. With the costs of natural gas and electricity to heat and cool your home skyrocketing, reducing your spending seems nearly impossible these days.

5 Foods That Could Cause Cancer

Don't smoke. Always wear sunscreen. Maintain a healthy weight. These types of preventative measures can protect you from approximately half of all cancers. But what about your favorite foods, like popcorn, French fries, and bacon? According to a growing body of research, what you're eating could put you at a higher risk of developing the disease.

5 Health Risks of Global Warming

Killer heat waves. Fierce storms. Devastating floods. Natural disasters have been all over the news, and according to organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO), the increase is no coincidence: It's actually a direct result of global warming.

5 Healthy Lunches Under $3

At fast-food restaurants, dollar menus are plentiful. Choose wisely, and you can probably eat lunch for less than $3. But what happens when you want something healthier than a burger and fries? Can you eat well and eat cheaply? As it turns out, you can.

5 Most Amazing Olympic Feats

They make it look so easy. Whether they're dashing to the finish line at breakneck speeds or hoisting hundreds of pounds of weights high into the air, Olympic athletes are in a class of their own. Although they're all truly fantastic athletes, some shine even more brightly than their competitors.

5 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

You've tried every diet in the known universe. You've switched from people food to low- or no-calorie everything. You're eating so many salads that you're convinced you could sprout bunny ears. And yet, you're no closer to your goal weight than when you started.

5 Scary Health Risks of Sleep Deprivation

With a long list of to-dos and not enough hours in the day, you might be tempted to skimp on the amount of z's you get. Besides, you can sleep when you're dead, right? But, if you sleep less than six or seven hours a night, death might come sooner than you think.

5 Signs You May Be Headed for Divorce

What ever happened to the notion of "'Til death do us part"? With America's divorce rate sitting at sky-high levels, "'Til divorce do us part" is perhaps a more realistic wedding day exchange. But amid the startling statistics, it's important to remember that marriages rarely die overnight.

5 Signs You're Ready to Retire

Have you spent your entire working life dreaming of the time you could retire to worry-free, unscheduled existence? If so, it's important to remember that retirement isn't always that simple. It an emotional, financial, and physical change—and is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

5 Strange But True Health Facts

Maggots can heal wounds. Yawns are contagious. Laughter can keep the doctor away. Perhaps you've heard some of these before and have seriously doubted their verity. Is it possible, though, that they really are true? Read on for five of the strangest—yet truest—health facts: Drinking too much water can be harmful.

5 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Between 1994 and 2004, deaths due to cardiovascular disease declined by 8 percent, and from 1995 to 2001, the overall cancer survival rate improved by 15 percent. These medical victories owe much to a greater public awareness of warning signs, and consequently, earlier diagnoses.

5 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy

When you're pregnant, almost everyone is eager to offer advice and a blueprint of what to expect during this monumental time. But moms-to-be may find that some aspects of pregnancy are rarely discussed. Here, we disclose some of pregnancy's best-kept secrets Morning sickness isn't limited to the morning.

5 Ways to Boost Your Odds of Getting Pregnant

Pregnancy may seem like the most natural biological process in the world, but it doesn't come all that naturally for some. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 12 percent of American women (7.3 million) have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term.

5 Ways to Stay Happy During the Holidays

Many of us will attend or host a winter holiday party this season. We have to balance normal work and home demands with special holiday events and shopping for gifts. Festive lights, warm fires, and family gatherings are common during the holidays, but unfortunately so are stress, anxiety, and sometimes, depression.

5 Worst Eating Habits of All Time

Relying on fast food. Eating when we're upset. Bingeing until we're full. When it comes to bad eating habits, Americans sure have a lot of them. Fortunately, these no-good behaviors could be doing a number on our waistline and our health. Read on for a list of the five worst eating habits of all time-how many are you guilty of? Eating in front of the T.

5 Worst Fast Food Restaurants

When you grab a burger and fries from the local drive-through, you know you're probably not getting the healthiest meal. But if you think trans fats are your biggest concern, you might want to inspect those fries a little more closely. At some fast-food restaurants, the hygiene habits are appalling.

5 Worst Movie Theater Foods

A movie theater provides a place to cool off when the temperatures spike in summer and a shelter from the cold during winter, but perhaps most importantly, it allows us an escape from the daily grind, if only for a few hours. Since childhood, many of...

6 Age-Erasers for Your Skin

The battle against aging is one of the longest wars we humans have ever waged. From ancient explorers who searched tirelessly for the elixir of life to innovative cosmetics that stock the drugstore shelves today, we've been on an eternal quest to stave off the ravages of old age-or at least its outward signs.

6 Amazing Anti-Aging Foods

Yes, aging is inevitable, but looking older than you are isn't. Smooth skin can take years off your appearance, and there are several things you can do to keep yours looking young and healthy. Start by avoiding activities like tanning and smoking, which can cause skin to age more quickly.

6 Amazing Foods to Boost Your Libido

Most likely because they're rich in the right vitamins and minerals, these foods have been known to help spice things up in the bedroom. Incorporate them into your daily diet or a romantic dinner, and watch the sparks fly. 1. Oysters Considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac since ancient times, these mollusks contain high amounts of zinc, which is essential for testosterone production and the maintenance of healthy sperm.

6 Best and Worst Breakfast Cereals

Half of all Americans start their day with a bowl of cereal for breakfast, according to the National Cereal Council. And while it is typically a healthy breakfast choice (better than sugary doughnuts, giant muffins, even carb-loaded bagels), your favorite cereal might not be as healthy as you think.

6 Biggest Diet Scams Ever

In the world of weight loss, there are plenty of reputable products and plans. But there are also lots of schemes, scams, and swindles-programs that promise amazing results overnight or pills that claim they can melt away fat with no side effects. How can you cut through the hype and keep from being a victim? Read on as we expose the six most outrageous diet rip-offs of all time.

6 Biggest Food Myths Exposed

Urban legends have long been a part of American culture. We've all heard about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree, the hitch hiker who vanished, and the gang members who strike when a car flashes its lights at them. Tall-tales and exaggerations are common—and legends about food are no exception.

The 6 Craziest Reasons to Get Fired

If there was ever a time when simply being qualified for a position was enough to prevent you from being fired, this most certainly is not it. In fact, there are entire websites devoted to people telling their most ridiculous stories of being let go. From posting a comic strip to talking behind a coworker's back, here are six of the craziest reasons people have ended up on the unemployment line: 1.

6 Dirtiest Foods in America

If you've ever been struck with diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or abdominal cramps after dining out (or in), chances are that you were just one of the millions of "dirty food" victims that this country sees every year.  Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is the result of consuming food or beverages contaminated with parasites, viruses, or bacteria.

5 Dirtiest Fruits and Vegetables

You'll see it at any major supermarket and its prevalence has been increasing drastically the past ten years: "Certified Organic." The organic movement has been on the upswing, partially due to the health concerns associated with pesticides. Pesticides have long been used by local and commercial farmers to prevent crop losses due to insects and other pests.

6 Energy-Draining Foods and Drinks

Ask your friends to name a food that makes them tired, and there's a good chance they'll say turkey—citing the lethargic feeling associated with the Thanksgiving meal. But is there any truth to the allegations? While certain foods do make us tired, the ones you suspect may not be the most common culprits.

6 Foods that Ruin Your Smile

Nothing conveys confidence like a bright smile, but if your teeth aren't as white and healthy as you would like, you probably aren't grinning as widely as you could be. While you'll find a variety of teeth-whitening products at your local drug store and can ask your dentist about professional services, the best way to keep your teeth pearly is by not staining or eroding the enamel in the first place.

6 Foods That Help You Sleep Better

Your eating habits can have a direct effect on your day—emotionally, mentally, and physically. A healthy, balanced breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, giving you energy for the rest of the day. Skipping meals can result in tiredness and irritability.

6 Frightening Frozen Foods

For those watching their waistlines and their wallets, frozen versions of popular restaurant foods are tempting solutions. But think twice before replacing your favorite take-out with its frigid counterpart--the swaps aren't always so diet friendly. Here, a look at the frozen foods that don't do your body good.

6 Healthy Father's Day Gifts

Every Father's Day brings the same old conundrum: What should you get the dad in your life? He has enough ties to fill a walk-in closet and so many coffee cups he could start his own diner. This year, why not encourage him to adopt a healthier lifestyle? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a lack of exercise and nutritious meals is responsible for approximately 400,000 deaths in the United States each year.

6 Most Overrated Foods of All Time

Sports drinks, power bars, and natural sweeteners must be good for you, right? Well, just because something sounds healthy doesn't mean it actually is. In fact, according to experts, many of the products currently marketed as nutritious are more hype than healthful.

6 Most Polluted Beaches in America

Do you remember looking forward to trips to the beach as a child: the anticipation of splashing in the salty water, building sand castles, and running up and down the shoreline? Unfortunately, the sandy shores that you remember from your childhood may now be a contaminated hotspot.

6 People to Avoid At All Costs

There are probably a few people you wish you could avoid--your mother-in-law, your nosy neighbor, or the woman at church who always asks you for a favor. Although you may not always enjoy their company, you know in your heart they mean well and that you shouldn't stay away from them entirely.

6 Reasons to Stop Drinking Bottled Water

Americans' addiction to bottled water has exploded. In 1976, only 350,000 bottles of water were sold. Today, more than 9.4 billion bottles are sold each year, equaling more than $12 billion in sales. However, more people are beginning to question the need for and benefits of bottled water.

6 Reasons Why Beer Can Be Good For You

One of the oldest and most consumed alcoholic beverages, beer has served many roles since it was first brewed nearly 7,000 years ago. It's been featured in religious ceremonies, praised in literature, and prized for its medicinal properties. What the ancients suspected about the health benefits of beer, modern-day science continues to prove.

6 Richest Cities in the World

If the richest city in the world were depicted in a cartoon, it would probably be full of golden, sparkling buildings. Its beautiful citizens would all wear rich, velvet clothing and travel in luxurious carriages. In real life, however, the richest city in the world is nothing like that.

6 Scary Hidden Home Dangers

Just the word home often conjures up thoughts of safety and security. It may make you think of your family, or maybe it's where you go to escape the stresses and demands of the outside world. But what you may not realize is that while you're enjoying the comforts of home, secret dangers may be lurking and potentially threatening the health of your family and your pets.

6 Secrets You Should Never Share

You can't stand your spouse's family. You make more money than your coworker. You've been sleeping with your boss for months. It's often said that honesty is the best policy, but by spilling certain secrets, you could be opening a Pandora's box. Which...

6 Shocking Fast-Food Secrets

A hamburger, fries, and a large strawberry shake. It's the recipe for an all-American meal—one on which we spend a whopping $124 billion dollars a year, according to the National Restaurant Association. In addition to contributing to the country's obesity epidemic, our penchant for fast food may be negatively affecting our health in other serious ways.

6 Signs You're a Shopaholic

Americans just love to spend money. The average American has about five credit cards. Our national debt is more than $10 trillion. A political campaign spent a reported $150,000 on a vice presidential candidate's wardrobe. Because of our culture, it can be easy to laugh off or ignore excessive spending habits.

6 Surefire Signs You're a Couch Potato

Although the term couch potato has become a joke, laziness has real, and potentially dangerous, repercussions. More than a quarter of Americans are obese, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. The risk of developing either condition can be reduced by becoming more active, which means a sedentary lifestyle can be a serious health risk.

6 Surprising Ways to Ruin Your Health

We know smoking is bad for us. We've all heard that being inactive puts us at higher risk for health problems. And who hasn't been told to put sunscreen on to protect their skin? There are a litany of ways to ruin your health, many of which we already aware.

6 Terrifying Travel Risks

What do you remember best from your last vacation? The tropical beaches? The historical ruins you toured? The incredible new wildlife you saw? Or are your memories of the food poisoning you got from that first dinner? Or of spending the night in a strange emergency room after spraining your ankle? Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than getting sick or injured.

6 Events That Can Ruin Any Vacation

You've spent months planning the perfect vacation. You managed to get a direct flight at a great rate, found a beautiful hotel, rented a sporty car, and have even learned a few important local phrases. But here you are, stranded in the airport, without your luggage, hoping that your beautiful hotel and sporty car haven't been destroyed by the hurricane that is currently blowing through your perfect vacation destination.

6 Ways to Fend Off an Attacker

It's late and it's dark, and you're finally leaving the office for the night. You're tired, frustrated, and just want to get home. As you're walking to your car in the deserted parking lot, you think you hear a noise behind you. You whip around, only to be forcibly grabbed.

6 Ways to Supercharge Your Weight Loss

You want to lose weight—and fast. But most speedy slim-down plans are not only ineffective, but they can be downright dangerous. How can you shed pounds quickly without compromising your health? According to experts, the key is following a moderate diet and exercise plan and revving up your metabolism to burn more calories.

6 Worst Home Remedies of All Time

For every one ailment, there are a score of home remedies that claim to cure it. Some are effective--like drinking ginger tea for a troubled stomach or soaking in Epsom salts to soothe achy muscles--while others are pretty useless or, worse still, dangerous.

6 Worst Jobs for Your Health

Most jobs come with some form of stress, but some are known to carry more physical and mental risks than others. While you probably rely on your job to pay your rent or mortgage and other bills, the stress and possible dangers could be doing you more harm than good.

7 Biggest Myths about Dating and Mating

Myth: Men are from Mars Fact: Contrary to popular literature, men and women are both from planet Earth. You probably already knew this one was a myth, but some of the other falsehoods we'll expose here might surprise you. Find out how much you really know about the desires and motivations of the opposite sex.

7 Brainiest Cities in America

Part of what shapes a city is its people. And while these impressive locales can lay claim to scenic beauty and fascinating history, they're also home to some of the smartest people in the country. Here are the top seven brainiest cities in the country, based on the percentage of residents who have college degrees, the number of cultural activities available (such as museums and plays), and literacy levels of its residents.

7 Deadliest Diseases in History

A plague that wipes out 25 million people in three years. A disease that kills its victims within hours of the symptoms appearing. A flu that makes its sufferers turn blue before drowning in their own lungs. It sounds like the stuff of science-fiction movies, but for centuries, these horrid diseases were very real (in fact, some of them could still post a threat today).

7 Diseases Doctors Often Miss

When you receive a diagnosis from your doctor, chances are, you believe it. After all, physicians are medical experts with years of experience identifying a variety of diseases. They've probably seen hundreds, if not thousands, of patients with symptoms just like yours.

6 Drinks That Make You Fat

The number of people who are obese is itself becoming a rotund figure, and America ranks as the ninth fattest country in the world. Foods high in calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates contribute to weight gain, but beverages are often forgotten in America's perpetual weight gain.

7 Drunkest Cities in America

Most cities can claim plenty of bars, liquor stores, and hard-partying residents. But according to government data, some metropolitan areas do a lot more drinking than others. Which cities are the most sloshed? The answers might surprise you (several towns known for their nightlife, like Miami and New Orleans, didn't even make our list).

7 Germs That Kill

Germs may be too small to see, but don't let their size fool you: Certain bacteria and molds are terrifying, causing more than 100,000 American deaths each year. To make matters worse, these microorganisms tend to mutate, becoming impervious to the drugs we've developed to defeat them.

7 Scariest Summer Foods

It's summertime, and the living is easy-but eating healthfully can be hard. Some of the season's most popular foods, like potato salad and fried chicken, contain massive amounts of calories and fat, while others, such as hot dogs, boast ingredients that may be downright dangerous.

7 Secrets All Men Keep

Conventional wisdom holds that men are simple creatures, whose needs and desires can be handily pegged. There's just one catch: Guys often prefer to keep quiet about their health concerns and problems. To promote better communication (and better health), it's important to encourage the men in your life to open up, but don't be surprised if they're reluctant to share the following seven secrets.

7 Ways to Ruin a Relationship

Happily married couples usually credit love, tolerance, and devotion as the secrets to their success. But when a relationship goes sour, people often find themselves wondering what went wrong. According to experts, there are several common mistakes—from infidelity and neglect to communication breakdown—that can cause a once-loving partnership to end in a bitter breakup.

7 Worst Convenience Foods

When you're time-crunched and starving, pre-packaged foods may seem like a tempting solution. But according to experts, these speedy snacks often come with a high price. Some are loaded with so much sodium that they could send your blood pressure sky high, while others are packed with preservatives, artificial flavorings, and empty calories.

7 Worst Workplace Behaviors

Sexual harassment, profanity, and absenteeism were probably all covered in your company orientation. But chances are, a few egregious behaviors-like gossiping and bullying-didn't make their way into the employee handbook. Even so, these missteps might be grounds for immediate dismissal.

8 Condiments That Can Ruin Any Meal

Few meals are worse than a dry turkey sandwich or a bland hamburger. Condiments can be a great way to spice, flavor, or moisten otherwise flavorless fare. They can also destroy an otherwise healthy meal. Choosing healthy condiment options can be the difference between nutritious and diet disaster.

8 Hot Ingredients to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Looking for an easy way to burn calories? Well, there's good news: You needn't resign yourself to eating bland foods. Studies have shown that the same spices that add zest to your meals can also boost your metabolism. In fact, many of these metabolism-revving spices can be found right in your own cupboards.

8 Most Dangerous Jobs in the World

Who do you think has the most dangerous job in the world? Could it be the window washer, who dangles dozens of stories above the concrete? Perhaps it's the circus lion tamer, who regularly sticks his head in the mouths of roaring animals. Or maybe the people who perform wild stunts for action-packed movies.

Eight New Waistline-Friendly Snacks

Hours have passed since your lunch meeting, and it'll be several more until you can sit down for dinner. It's 4 p.m. and, no surprise, you're hungry for your "fourth meal" of the day--your daily snack. If you're hoping to curb your hunger without losing control of your waistline, you're in luck.

8 Riskiest Things We Do Everyday

If you don't wrestle alligators for a living or spend your free time doing daredevil stunts, you probably think you live a relatively low-risk existence. Perhaps an average morning consists of hitting the snooze button, taking a warm shower, eating a quick breakfast, and then driving to work.

5 Scariest Modern Health Risks

From famines and floods to wars and pandemics, the world has always been a dangerous place. But these days, the very innovations we rely on for modern convenience may be ruining our health. Is your cell phone or iPod making you sick? Could your deodorant, antibiotics, or bottled water be toxic? Read on to uncover the five most frightening modern health threats.

8 Easy Ways to Boost Your IQ

Intelligence quotient may be one of the greatest predictors of human potential. And for years, scientists believed IQ was fixed (so the score you earned in grade school determined whether you'd be an Einstein or have the mental capacity of a spoon). But new research suggests that by flexing your gray matter, it is possible to up your score.

8 Ways to Help Manage COPD

More than 32 million Americans are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)--a chronic condition that has no known cure. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help you breathe easier. In addition, follow these tips to help manage your COPD symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups.

8 Ways to Prevent Osteoporosis

Affecting more than 10 million Americans, osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures. Although any bone can be affected, the most common fractures occur in the wrist, hips, and spine.

8 Ways to Win Every Argument

Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a coworker, we all know someone who manages to win every argument, even when they're in the wrong. How do they do it without raising their voice or coming to blows? According to psychologists, it's simple: These master debaters have perfected the art of persuasion—knowing what to say and how to say it in every situation.

8 Worst Breakfasts in America

You'd probably think twice about having an ice cream sundae for breakfast, but it's doubtful you'd question having a bacon and egg sandwich with hash browns to start your day. For many, breakfast is a forgotten meal. While there's plenty of evidence to show that eating breakfast everyday is good for your health and your weight, the bad news is, if you start your day off with the wrong meal, you may be destined for a midday crash.

8 Worst Places to Retire

When you're looking for a location to retire, you probably have a long list of criteria: prices you can afford, proximity to your children, and a climate that's just right. After all, this is where you're going to live out your golden years. But all too often, retirees overlook several important factors—and wind up making the wrong move.

9 Foods That Can Make Anyone Fat

You watch your weight. You cut back on snacks. You even hit the gym twice a week. But no matter how hard you try, the pounds come creeping back. The culprit? It could be one of these inflationary foods. Each is so fattening that just the occasional indulgence could result in major weight gain--even if you do everything else right.

8 Scariest Drug Side Effects

Before taking virtually any medication, you as the patient must ask yourself: will there be side effects, and if so, what will they be? Many side effects are minor, such as nausea or fatigue, but some can be serious or even life-threatening. Read on to discover nine of the most frightening medication-induced side effects.

9 Strange but True Medical Practices

Have you ever considered the fact that you were ill because there was too much blood in your body? How about curing yourself by drilling a hole in your skull to let evil spirits out? These questions may sound far-fetched to you, but there are those who believed--and, though far fewer—who still believe in these causes and treatments for certain health conditions.

9 Worst Foods You Can Eat at the Fair

A day at the fair conjures up ideas of friends, family, fun...and very possibly, fried foods. Although the fair has much to offer in the way of rides and activities, the truth is, many people come mostly for the food. Some stands may offer healthy choices, but they're often overshadowed by the seemingly endless supply of funnel cakes and corn dogs.

A Guide to Antidepressants

If you're among the 17 million Americans suffering from depression, a condition in which prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness interfere with the ability to function normally, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the alphabet soup of medications--SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, TCAs, MAOIs--from which to choose.

A Guide to Rhinoplasty

Maybe you have a bump that makes you feel self-conscious about getting your picture taken. Or perhaps it's a deviated septum that's causing you to have breathing problems. Whether it's for cosmetic purposes, health reasons, or a combination of factors, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States.

Adolescent Vaccination Guide

As a parent, you probably want to protect your child from illness and injury whenever possible. One way to do that is to make sure they are properly vaccinated. You may have thought the days of vaccines ended when your child started kindergarten, but as medicine evolves, more and more vaccines are available for kids between the ages of 11 and 18.

Are You a Pushy Sports Parent?

Many of us have heard horror stories about the terrible behavior exhibited by the parents of young athletes. Perhaps the most shocking incident occurred in 2000, when Thomas Junta of Massachusetts beat the coach of his young son's hockey game to death following a dispute over several on-ice infractions during the game.

Are You a Yo-Yo Dieter?

For many people, losing weight is a source of great pride and accomplishment. After all, dieting can be a grueling endeavor, and the pounds you've shed represent a lot of hard work. Once you've lost the weight, you have both a slimmer body and improved health to show for your efforts.

Are You Obsessed With Revenge?

Many of us love good revenge stories—tales in which victims ultimately become victors by wielding vengeance on all who've wronged them. But in real life, retribution isn't always all it's cracked up to be. In fact, according to experts, letting go of revenge fantasies may be one of the best things you can do for your health.

Autism and Vaccines: What's the Link?

Since 1998, when the British medical journal The Lancet published a study connecting the use of vaccines containing thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, with a spike in the diagnoses of autism, a debate has waged over the validity of such a hypothesis.

Back Pain and Depression: What's the Link?

Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common health problems Americans face. What's more, studies have found that these two conditions are often linked, afflicting the same sufferers. Close to 6 million American adults report suffering from back pain, and studies have shown that depression is four times greater in people with chronic back pain than in those without.

Bacterial Meningitis: Spotting the Signs

Headache, vomiting, fever, fatigue--to most people, these symptoms might sound a lot like the flu. But in some cases, they could indicate a much more serious condition: bacterial meningitis. According to the American College Health Association, meningococcal disease, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, strikes 1,400 to 3,000 Americans each year, many of whom are young adults, adolescents, and children.

Bladder Infections 101

Uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone. A frequent urge to urinate. A burning feeling in the bladder or urethra. If you've had a urinary tract infection (UTI) before, you're all too familiar with these painful symptoms. The good news is that most UTIs can be easily treated with antibiotics-and drinking cranberry juice may even help prevent them in the first place.

Bladder Leakage: Why the Embarrassment?

Thousands of women in the United States experience bladder leakage--whether it means tiny drops when they sneeze, a small dribble when they hear running water, or a noticeable wet spot after certain forms of exercise. Yet as common as this condition is, many women keep quiet about their symptoms, ashamed to discuss it with their doctor, their friends, and even their spouse.

Brace Yourself: Orthodontics For Adults

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nothing is quite as attractive as a confident smile. But millions of adults have dental problems that weren't addressed during their childhood--something that can make them self-conscious and reluctant to smile.

Breast Augmentation 101

Throughout history, breasts have always been associated with femininity and sex appeal. And over the years, women have tried various techniques to enhance their curves. Back in 1885, Austrian-German surgeon Vincenz Czerny made the first recorded attempt at breast augmentation using a patient's own adipose (or fatty) tissue.

Breast Cancer Treatments 101

One of the most frightening diagnoses a woman can receive is that of breast cancer-not only because of the grave medical implications, but also because of the potential to lose all or part of her breasts. However, thanks to heightened public awareness and numerous breakthroughs over the past few decades, breast cancer is often survivable, and even if a mastectomy is necessary, plastic surgery can often correct irregularities or scars.

Can Working the Night Shift Make You Sick?

Trying to get enough sleep while working the late shift can feel like trying to swim upstream. Simply put, the human body is meant to be active during the daytime hours. In fact, humans' circadian rhythms (the body's biological sleep clock) are naturally programmed to promote sleep at night.

Cancer Treatment: Myths vs. Facts

A diagnosis of cancer can be frightening for both patients and their loved ones. But according to experts, many of the fears surrounding the disease are caused by misconceptions about the condition and its treatment. By learning the facts, you can ease your fears, cope with your diagnosis, and manage the disease more effectively.

Centenarian Secrets

Imagine blowing out 100 candles on your birthday cake. If the idea appeals to you, you're not alone—two out of every three Americans say that they want to live for a century, according to a survey sponsored by the Alliance for Aging Research. What's more, a growing number of studies suggest that many of them just might get their wish.

Chicken Pox Survival Guide

It's a moment many parents probably dread: Your child comes home from school complaining about itchy red bumps. It's the first sign of chicken pox. Although chicken pox is a very common (and relatively uncomplicated) illness, it is still important to make your child as comfortable as possible and to watch out for possible signs of complications.

Coping With Arthritis on the Job

Approximately 20 percent of Americans are living with some form of arthritis or chronic joint symptoms, according to the Arthritis Foundation. And more than half of those affected are under the age of 65. This means that there are millions of arthritis sufferers working either full- or part-time in the United States.

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery: A Guide to Blepharoplasty

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), approximately 241,000 Americans opted for cosmetic eyelid surgery in 2007--making the procedure, also known as blepharoplasty, the fourth most common cosmetic surgery in the United States. What's fueling its popularity? As the ASPS explains, blepharoplasty can enhance the appearance of the eyelids, making patients look younger, more rested, and more alert.

Could You Be at Risk for a Stroke?

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. And although many people survive these medical emergencies, the disease can have a devastating impact, not only on the survivor, but on everyone who cares about him or her.

Could You Be Struck by Lightning?

Could you be struck by lightning? It's possible. In fact, being struck by lightning (your odds are an estimated 1 in 700,000) is more common than being involved in an aircraft accident (1 in 11 million), being bitten by a shark (1 in 8 million), or dying from food poisoning (1 in 3 million).

Could You Have an STD--But Not Know It?

You've been in a monogamous relationship for years. You and your partner have discussed your sexual histories. And you go to the doctor for regular checkups. There's no way you could be carrying or spreading a sexually transmitted disease, right? Well, not so fast.

Could You Have Crohn's Disease?

Every year, an estimated 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with Crohn's disease. However, many people are uninformed about the disease and, as a result, may go undiagnosed. Here, find out about the symptoms, diagnostic methods, and treatments of Crohn's disease, so you can have a better understanding of the condition.

Could You Have Diabetes But Not Know It?

While the exact cause of diabetes remains unknown, both genetics and environmental factors, such as obesity and lack of exercise, appear to play major roles. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, which is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Could Your Kids Be at Risk for Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become less dense and more prone to fractures, is often thought of as an older person's disease. But experts are beginning to refer to this degenerative condition as a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences.

Creating a Diabetes First Aid Kit

When you're preparing for a trip, there's always a lot to think about. Where will you stay? How will you get there? What sights do you want to see? People who have diabetes have one more consideration: Do you have a diabetes first aid kit ready? Whether you'll be traveling for a night or a month, it's important to have a diabetes first aid kit on hand to help you deal with any special circumstances or emergencies that may arise.

Dispelling the Top 10 Meningitis Myths

You've probably read the tragic news stories about the college kid or the young athlete who died from meningitis. Or you've heard the rumors about how you can catch it by kissing someone. But how much do you really know about the disease? Get the truth behind the top 10 meningitis myths.

Dispelling the Top 8 Bladder-Leakage Myths

Twenty-five percent of women over the age of 18 experience occasional episodes of involuntary urine leakage, according to the National Association for Continence. But as prevalent as the condition is, many misconceptions about it still exist. Here we dispel the top eight myths surrounding bladder health.

Documenting Your Diet: How and Why to Keep a Food Diary

Americans expect results, and they expect them fast. Perhaps that's why fad diets and home gyms that promise miracle weight loss are so popular. With all the hype surrounding food diaries, they might seem as though they're just another fad. So the question remains, does recording your food intake actually help you lose weight? Americans spend almost $35 billion on weight-loss products, but studies show that logging your food intake may be one of the most effective methods.

Eat More, Weigh Less

Eat more food, feel full all day long, and lose weight. It sounds too good to be true, like one of those fad diets that promises to help you shed 10 pounds while you watch TV. But this one is real. It's not that you can eat more Snickers, more pizza, or more sour-cream-and-onion potato chips.

Eight Ways To Get Fit In Retirement

Odds are, if you're 50 or older, you know you should be exercising. But in all likelihood, you're probably spending more time on the couch or in the car than on the treadmill or hiking trail. Only just over one-fourth of the 50-plus crowd are engaged in some type of physical activity in their leisure time, including 29.

Erectile Dysfunction 101

For years, it was believed that erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse, was the result of a psychological problem or simply an unfortunate part of the aging process. Men were reluctant to discuss the problem, despite the fact that it affects up to 30 million of them in the United States each year, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Erectile Dysfunction: Myths vs. Facts

If you think erectile dysfunction (ED) strictly affects the aging population, think again. As it turns out, ED affects up to 30 million males of all ages in the United States each year, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although it was once a taboo subject, men are more willing to discuss and seek treatment for the condition today.

Foreign Food Imports and Safety Concerns

Imagine if your toothpaste made you deathly ill or if your dog died because his pet food made him sick. Recent headlines have been littered with stories about unapproved antibiotics in seafood, pet-sickening wheat gluten, and tainted toothpaste imported from China, causing many Americans to raise an eyebrow about the quality and safety of imported food.

Healthiest and Unhealthiest Ballpark Snacks

If you've been to a baseball game lately, you know that an afternoon at the ballpark doesn't mean you have to derail your diet. In recent years, major-league ballparks across the country have begun selling lighter fare, including fruit skewers, sushi and vegan dogs, at their concession stands.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Even if you rarely or never had heartburn before your pregnancy, it's likely to occur while you're carrying your baby, most commonly during the second or third trimester. In fact, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) reports that more than 50 percent of all pregnant women experience heartburn.

Help Protect Yourself Against Breast Cancer

Worldwide, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer after lung cancer, and it is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. Breast cancer, which starts in the cells of the breast in men and women, is by far the most common cancer among women.

High Cholesterol: Could Your Children Be at Risk?

High cholesterol is often thought of as an adult's health concern. However, research shows that parents may need to start thinking about the cholesterol levels of their children. In fact, it's now believed that coronary artery disease, which is caused by a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries and leads to heart disease and stroke, begins in childhood.

Hip Fractures 101

Anyone, at any age, can break a hip, although the injury is far more prevalent among those who are 65 and older. In fact, 95 percent of hip injuries occur in people who are over 65. Hip fractures are hard to ignore, as they usually cause severe pain in the hip and/or groin area.

HIV/AIDS: Myths vs. Reality

When cases of HIV/AIDS were first identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981, the disease didn't even have an official name yet. Often referred to as Kaposi's sarcoma or gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), it would take another year for the virus to earn an official name and for scientists to discover that the disease wasn't limited to the gay population.

How to Quit Smoking for Good

For many smokers, knowing why to quit is easier than knowing how. Even though most smokers know the health and financial costs, many view the process of quitting as being even more painful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20.

How to Survive a Shark Attack

In real life, unlike in the movie Jaws, sharks don't approach with a distinctive "duh, duh... duh, duh" soundtrack. They attack so suddenly, their victims rarely see it coming. However, that doesn't mean that there's no way to avoid an attack. Experts say that if you take the right precautions, your risk of being attacked is minimal.

Hysterectomy 101

Each year, more than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States, making it one of the most common women's surgeries—second only caesarean section. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the procedure is so common that one in every three American women has had a hysterectomy by age 60.

Is 70 the New 30?

Clint Eastwood still winning Oscars at 78. "Godfather of Fitness" Jack LaLanne still working out two hours a day at 94. All around us, individuals who would have once been considered "past their prime" are accomplishing incredible feats that make people half their age shake their heads in amazement.

Is Stress Making You Fat?

If you've ever polished off a pint of ice cream when you were under pressure or consumed a whole bag of chips when you were worried, it will come as no surprise that stress can lead to weight gain. And according to new research, stress puts people at increased risk for obesity because it not only prompts them to eat more, but also because it releases certain hormones that encourage the body to store fat.

Is Your Tap Water Safe?

It's often said that water is the essence of life, and is it any wonder? Seventy percent of the earth's surface is covered in water, and the human body is composed of approximately the same percentage of H2O. Along these lines, millions of Americans rely on tap water every day to quench their thirst, regulate their body temperature, and stay hydrated.

Keeping Your Child Safe at Camp

For millions of kids, summer camp is a great adventure, filled with exciting opportunities and new places to explore. Approximately 10 million U.S. children attend overnight or day camps every year, according the American Camp Association, and in most cases, they suffer no more than a mild sunburn or a skinned knee.

Lactose Intolerance 101

If you've ever eaten too much cheese or polished off a pint of ice cream in one sitting, you probably felt sick to your stomach. Most likely, the cramping, bloating, and abdominal pain you felt were caused by your body's inability to break down lactose, which is found in most dairy products.

Laws of Attraction

Wouldn't it be great if there really was such a thing as a love potion? Take a few sips, and magically, potential dates appear everywhere. Without a true love potion, we're resigned to attracting future mates with nothing but our own charming personalities—and perhaps a few pointers from self-help books, late-night infomercials, and reality TV shows.

Liposuction 101

Flabby underarms, stubborn love handles, and back fat that just won't budge. If any of this sounds familiar, you're in good company. Millions of Americans are frustrated by excess fat they can't seem to shed, no matter how hard they try. For this reason, liposuction is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries in the country.

Living with Osteoporosis: Practical Tips

In the United States alone, approximately 8 million women and 2 million men have osteoporosis—a disease that causes deterioration of bone tissue and can lead to bone fragility as well as an increased risk of fractures. It's considered a "silent disease," because sufferers can remain symptom-free for many years, often until the event of a fracture or major break.

Mommy Makeovers

For many women, there's no greater thrill than having a baby. The act of childbirth signifies a new stage in their lives, and the arrival of their little one is a source of great joy. But some new moms find that pregnancy affects their bodies in unexpected, and unwanted, ways.

Most Popular Places For Plastic Surgery

 Say you know two women with identical figures and facial features. One lives in New York, the other in Texas. Image-conscious, both are planning on having plastic surgery. It only makes sense that they might choose similar procedures, right? Wrong.

Multiple Sclerosis: Myths vs. Facts

Also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminate, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 400,000 Americans, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). The condition causes the immune system to attack the central nervous system, and symptoms may include limb numbness, paralysis, or loss of vision.

Older Women, Younger Men: Does It Really Work?

Older men have dated younger women for centuries, but in the past decade, the tables have turned: Older women are now coupling with younger men in droves. In fact, a National Association of Retired Persons survey found that one-third of single women between 40 and 60 are currently dating younger men—and for some very interesting reasons.

Osteoporosis: Myths vs. Facts

Do you think that osteoporosis affects only women and older people? Do you believe you won't experience bone loss if you consume calcium every day? When it comes to osteoporosis, there are many misconceptions that may stand in the way of both prevention and treatment.

Power Walking 101

As we stroll to work, through the supermarket, and around the neighborhood, many of us take walking for granted. Even so, this ubiquitous exercise has some amazing health benefits. A recent Harvard study showed that walking at a moderate pace just 30 minutes a day may cut the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40 percent.

Preventing Diabetes Complications

Although diabetes is a serious disease, it can generally be managed through a combination of diet, exercise, self-care techniques, and sometimes medication. In fact, with proper care, many patients lead long and fulfilling lives. When diabetics stray from their treatment guidelines, however, a variety of problems can result.

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: How to Talk to Your Teen

It may seem as though stories about teen pregnancy--both fictional and real--are everywhere. First, there was the news about a Massachusetts high school where 17 girls under the age of 18 had become pregnant on purpose. Then, it was news that Bristol Palin, the teenage daughter of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, was expecting a baby with her boyfriend.

Programs for Family Caregivers

Caregivers are most often family members of the person for whom they are caring. Currently there are 44.4 million family caregivers in the United States, and experts anticipate that family caregiving will continue to grow in the years ahead. Because nearly 60 percent of caregivers work and 40 percent have children under the age of 18, it can often result in caregiver stress, burnout, and other health problems.

Public Health Resources for Meningitis Prevention

Meningococcal disease, or bacterial meningitis, is a rare and potentially deadly disease marked by the inflammation of the thin tissue that envelopes the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges. (Viral meningitis, a less serious form of the disease, is the result of a virus entering the body through the nose or mouth and traveling to the brain.

Should You Get a Flu Shot?

Many people may think the flu is not a serious disease and that it's just an inconvenient illness, like the common cold. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year as many as 36,000 people die from the flu. Most of them are older than 65, which is why people in this age group are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot.

Should You Get LASIK Surgery?

Not too long ago, patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism basically had two options: eyeglasses or contact lenses. Although these methods provided temporary vision correction, each could be a hassle. Glasses weren't especially suitable to an active lifestyle, while contacts had to be put in, taken out, and cleaned.

Spinning 101

Have you grown tired of your usual workout regimen? Are you looking to move past your fitness plateau with something a little different? If so, spinning may be just the option for you. This contemporary aerobic exercise, conducted on a specially designed stationary bicycle, has gained much popularity in the past few years.

Star Jones, Al Roker, Carnie Wilson: Is Gastric Bypass the Solution?

Over the past decade, a slew of celebrities including singer Carnie Wilson, talk-show personality Star Jones, and NBC weatherman Al Roker have elected to undergo gastric bypass surgery to help manage their weight. The procedure, which involves stapling...

Stop Drowning in Debt

The average American household with at least one credit card carries more than $9,000 in credit card debt. If you're drowning in debt, you're certainly not alone. Being in debt can cast a constant black cloud over your life, and although it may seem like the light at the end of the tunnel is out of your reach, with determination and the right plan of attack, you can become debt-free.

Your Strange Medical Symptoms Solved

You're showering after a workout at the gym when you notice something strange. There's a weird rash on your leg, a bump on your navel or maybe just a couple of indentations on your nail. It definitely isn't normal. But is it a sign of something serious?   Knowing what your body is trying to tell you isn't easy, especially when it comes to more unusual symptoms like these.

Summer Insect Survival Guide

The summer is full of promises of relaxation and good times. But along with the barbecues, theme parks, and vacations come insects and all the irritations that they bring. Generally, insect bites are harmless, resulting in no more than an annoying itch that lasts for a few days.

Summer Rash Survival Guide

Rashes resulting from exposure to poison ivy, oak, and sumac can give anyone the summertime blues. In fact, approximately 50 million people suffer from the itch and discomfort associated with these types of poisonous vegetation each year. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify and avoid these irritants and protect your skin.

Supplements or Food: Which Offers Better Nutritional Value?

For strong bones and teeth, you need calcium. To boost your immune system, experts recommend iron. Potassium is good for healthy kidneys. These and other nutrients are necessary to help your body function at its best. But if you were to try to take them as supplements everyday, you'd need a bigger medicine cabinet.

6 Ways to Survive a Breakup

It's often said that breaking up is hard to do--and anyone who's been through a split, separation, or divorce knows exactly how hard it can be. You might feel hurt, lonely, resentful, angry, confused, or jealous. And what's worse, you may experience all of these emotions at the same time.

The 10 Best and Worst Junk Foods of All Time

You ran an extra half-mile today and want to reward yourself with one of your favorite junk foods. You're craving pizza or ice cream or candy. You know none of these foods are good for you, but do you know which ones would do the most damage to your diet? Keep reading for the best and worst junk foods of all time.

The 10 Most Expensive Foods in the World

One thousand dollars for an ice-cream sundae? Sixteen grand for a cocktail? Believe it or not, there really are foods and drinks that sell for this much--and there really are people who are willing to pay for them. Here, 10 of the world's most expensive indulgences.

The 10 Unhealthiest States in America

There are certain things you can do to take control of your health: eat right, exercise, quit smoking (or better yet, don't start). Getting health insurance helps, too. But according to experts, living a healthy lifestyle can be harder in some parts of the country than others.

10 Weirdest Facts About the Human Body

From WiFi and plasma screens to picture phones, modern technology might seem pretty complex. But according to biologists, the human body is still the most sophisticated—and mysterious—machine on Earth. A single brain cell, for example, can hold as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica, while human stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razorblades.

The 10 Worst Cities to Raise a Family

Choosing when, or whether, to have children is one of the most challenging decisions many couples face. In trying to figure out if they're ready to start a family, they'll need to weigh several important questions: Do we have enough money to provide for...

The 3 Scariest Mistakes That Doctors Make

Doctor mistakes can mean the difference between life and death, and sadly, these errors are all too common. According to a study by the Institute of Medicine, medical mistakes in hospitals alone are the eighth-leading cause of death in the United States, exceeding those by car accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS.

The 5 Biggest Bacteria Hot Spots

You may want to think twice about how you store your toothbrush, where you set your purse, and how often you replace your mascara. Research shows that billions of germs could be lurking in these hot spots—and making you and your family sick. Here, uncover top five secret hiding spots for germs, and learn what you can do to keep bacteria at bay.

The 8 Most Embarrassing Health Problems--Fixed

At one time or another, an embarrassing malady is bound to fall on everyone. Although some are more debilitating than others, all are at least conquerable, if not curable, with a combination of diligence, patience, and a doctor's supervision. Here, we...

The Best and Worst Health Tips Ever

When it comes to health, good advice abounds. But there are also lots of misconceptions, silly old wives' tales, and even dangerous ideas about everything from UV exposure to treating a common cold. Which suggestions should you follow, and which ones should you kick to the curb? Follow our guide to discover the best and worst health tips of all time.

The Importance of a Voiding Schedule

When treating urge incontinence, many urologists or bladder health experts begin with behavior modification. This is because, in many cases, the bladder can be trained to respond (i.e., empty) at the appropriate time. One tool that experts use to retrain the bladder is a voiding schedule.

The Pros and Cons of Buying in Bulk

In the current economic crunch, you might feel the lure of warehouse clubs more than ever. And you wouldn't be alone: While Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club, two of the top three warehouse clubs, reported revenue increases of up to 19 percent in June 2008 compared with the previous year, overall retail and food service sales in the United States for the same period saw a jump of just 3 percent according to U.

The Top 5 Weight-Lifting Myths for Women--Busted

Trying to lose weight? Put down the cookbook, and pick up some dumbbells. Some common misconceptions deter women from lifting weights, but the truth is weight lifting can help eliminate body fat. One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that women who strength trained twice a week for two years decreased their body fat by 3.

The Truth About Diet Pills

According to research conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 66 percent of Americans are overweight, and we're on track to see that figure reach 75 percent by 2015. In the midst of this troubling epidemic, diet pills have rushed to the marketplace-some promising fairly reasonable results, others claiming they can create bathing-suit bodies in weeks or even days.

The Truth About Food Labels

What do you look for when you check a food label? Some people may check for fat content, while other may want to see if the product contains whole grains or meat byproducts. Companies have been required to list the nutritional information on the packaging of food products since 1994; however, what's written on the package may be presented in an intentionally misleading way.

The Worst Pets For Your Health

Pets provide us with abundant amusement and unconditional companionship. What's more, studies show that they can even benefit our overall health. Research from the University of Buffalo suggests that pets can help reduce their owners' blood pressure and regulate their heart rate in times of stress.

Top Diet Tips As You Age

When you think about aging well, wrinkle creams, exercise programs and even plastic surgery probably come to mind. But if you really want to make sure you're able to enjoy those later years, experts say you've also got to know something about fine-tuning your diet.

Top Drugs' Strange Side Effects

Ever experience a sudden, strong desire to gamble, or a funny feeling that you've been driving in your sleep? It could be nothing. Or maybe it's time to finally read the warnings that came with that bottle of over-the-counter or prescription drugs you're taking.

7 Lifestyle Tips For Better Bladder Control

If you or someone you care about has developed a bladder-leakage problem, it's important to visit your doctor, who will be able to rule out more serious health conditions. But while you wait for your appointment, there are a few things you can do right now.

Tummy Tuck Basics

Who doesn't want a trim, flat stomach? Millions strive for tighter tummies, usually starting by improving their diet and exercise routines. However, these changes often aren't enough to achieve desired results. While body fat can be reduced through a healthy diet and workout plan, the loose muscles and skin that frequently result from extreme weight loss, pregnancy, and even aging and heredity aren't as easily eliminated.

Understanding Alcoholism

Most Americans can't go a whole day without viewing a beer ad on the television, passing the neon signs of a bar, or glimpsing a billboard promoting the newest brand of vodka. Alcohol permeates American culture, and it's unlikely to change anytime soon.

Understanding Autism

Autism affects one out of every 150 births, according to the Autism Society of America. While some experts point to a variety of factors, such as vaccines or environment, to explain these startling statistics, others attribute the recent influx of cases to changes in diagnostic criteria.

Understanding Avian Flu

Avian influenza, commonly known as the bird flu, is a contagious disease caused by a set of viruses that typically infect birds and, in very rare cases, pigs. The viruses tend to be highly species-specific, but have also been known to affect humans. ...

Understanding Birth Control Options

With the invention of birth control pills in the 1960s, women suddenly had unprecedented control over their reproductive schedules. Today, many couples are opting to delay starting a family, and some are ruling out parenthood completely. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the type of birth control you choose depends on your lifestyle and needs.

Understanding Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue. About 2,300 new cases of primary bone cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. "Primary" refers to bone cancer that actually begins in the bones.

Understanding Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal or large bowel cancer, is the third most common form of cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the Western world, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Nationally, there were 112,000 cases of colon cancer and 41,000 cases of rectal cancer in 2007, the organization estimated.

Understanding Epstein-Barr

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is so prevalent that as many as 95 percent of Americans between 35 and 40 years old have been infected at some time in their life, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). If it's so common, why have...

Understanding Exercise-Induced Asthma

Imagine jogging around the block and, a few minutes afterward, being struck with a host of scary symptoms--wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath. The next thing you know, you're feeling chest tightness, pain, and extreme fatigue. These are just some of the signs of exercise-induced asthma (EIA), a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans.

Gout: 3 Risk Factors and 10 Foods to Avoid

For the 2.1 million Americans who experience gout attacks each year, the symptoms are all too familiar: a sudden occurrence of hot, swollen, and tender joints (often in the big toe or ankle) accompanied by excruciating pain. Without treatment, symptoms often subside in about a week, but over time, attacks can become more frequent and severe, potentially causing permanent joint damage.

Understanding Hip Pain

It's often said that aging tends to go hand-in-hand with a long list of ailments, and unfortunately, many people can add hip pain to that list. Hip pain can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable, and it can occur for numerous reasons. The term "hip pain" generally refers to any pain in or around the hip joint.

Understanding IBS

Imagine not being able to make dinner plans with your friends or not eating your favorite foods for fear that it will send you running for the bathroom. For people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), these scenarios may sound all too familiar.

Understanding Prolapse

Prolapse, which literally means "to fall out of place," is a condition in which the pelvic organs, such as the bladder or the uterus, are no longer adequately supported by the surrounding muscles and ligaments. The condition takes different forms, and there are different levels of severity.

Understanding STDs

Passed between individuals during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can have serious-and even fatal-consequences if left untreated. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting STDs, but fortunately, there are steps that you can take to minimize your chance of infection.

How Colors Can Boost Your Mood

Have you ever wondered why a clear blue sky puts you in a good mood? Or how the off white walls of your office seem to put you to sleep? Studies show that colors have a profound affect on our emotions. Marketing companies and advertisement campaigns have long used color schemes to sway our mood in one direction or another.

Eat This, Not That: Holiday Food Choices

Let's face it, completely maintaining a guilt free diet is like climbing Everest--next to impossible. Smart holiday dining relies on two factors: eating in moderation and making good choices. Anyone can cut back on second, third, and forth helpings, but can you make the diet-wise decision between pumpkin pie or apple? Here's some assistance to help you choose.

Monthly Archive

Popular Health Centers