Health Buzz: Youth Diabetes, Pre-diabetes Rates Rise

9 best foods for your skin; how much healthcare do you need?

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Study: 23 Percent of Teens Have Diabetes or Pre-diabetes

Diabetes and pre-diabetes rates are soaring among the nation's teens, jumping from 9 percent of the adolescent population in 2000 to 23 percent in 2008. That's according to a study published today in Pediatrics. The new findings are based on data from about 3,400 adolescents ages 12 to 19, who were tracked between 1999 and 2008 as part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers did not differentiate between teens with diabetes and prediabetes, but most are likely to be prediabetic, the study authors said. That means blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis. Researchers suggest wide-scale diabetes screenings for those ages 10 and older who are overweight or obese, or who have other risk actors, such as diabetic family members. "To get ahead of this problem, we have to be incredibly aggressive and look at children and adolescents and say you have to make time for physical activity," pediatric endocrinologist Larry Deeb, former president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association, told USA Today.

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  • 9 Best Foods for Your Skin

    You are what you eat? Maybe not, but you do look the way you eat. Putting your best face forward starts with putting the right ingredients in your mouth. "The same foods that are good for your health are good for your skin," says Valori Treloar, a dermatologist based in Newton, Mass. "Your skin is just the outside part of your body."

    Want a healthy, glowing complexion? Load up on nutritious meals and snacks, like sweet potatoes, mangoes, and canned tuna. Experts say these foods will do as much for your appearance as your inner health. Here are nine skin-boosting choices:

    1. Tomatoes. They're full of lycopene, a phytochemical that provides red pigment and health benefits. Lycopene helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays—in other words, protecting against sun damage. To reap the most benefits, heat them up: A half-cup of cooked tomatoes, for example, packs 16 milligrams of lycopene. A daily dose coupled with sunscreen will help block the burn.

    2. Mangoes, papaya, and apricots. Got that washed-out look? Load up on some fruit. Mangoes, papaya, and apricots are full of pigments called carotenoids, which are stored in the layer of fat directly beneath the skin and can improve color. "They peek through, giving you a rosy glow," says registered dietitian Karen Ansel, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-author of The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life. [Read more: 9 Best Foods for Your Skin]

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    • How Much Healthcare Do You Need?

      When you need the best care medicine has to offer, chances are you can find someone with the required skills in the United States. Whether it involves repairing a sick heart or blasting a cancerous clump of cells deep within the brain with a precisely targeted beam of radiation, advanced care is so widely available that America's health system long claimed bragging rights for providing the best care on Earth.

      Then came a scathing report, now 13 years old, from the Institute of Medicine, a quasi-government think-tank known for tackling some of the toughest issues in healthcare. It charged that errors and unsafe practices in U.S. hospitals may kill nearly 50,000 patients a year, possibly even twice that number. A flurry of studies released since then show that the hazards in U.S. healthcare persist today—nasty bugs passed on to patients in hospitals and clinics, unneeded and risky tests and procedures, medications that hurt more than help, treatment guidelines that are overlooked or ignored, doctors who base treatment decisions on instinct rather than evidence, computerized health information technology that should make care safer and more efficient but too often does the opposite—and the list is still growing.