Health Buzz: 4 Percent of Adults Using Sleep Aids

Celebrity trainer Vinnie Tortorich on what works for weight loss; 5 healthy comfort foods from the experts

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Use of Sleep Aids Increases with Age and Education, According to the CDC 

In the last month, about 4 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 and over have used sedative and hypnotic medications, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the youngest age group analyzed – those ages 20 through 39 – sleep aid use in the past month was about 2 percent, while that percentage increased to 6 percent for folks between 50 and 59, and to 7 percent among adults 80 years of age and older. Use of prescription sleep aid use not only increased with age, but also by education. Adult women also used sleep aids more prominently (5 percent) than men (3.1 percent).

For a more complete analysis of the CDC study, see this article, published Thursday by the News team of U.S. News & World Report. Questions about sleep aids? Ask them in the #SleepHealth @USNewsHealth Twitter chat Wednesday.

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  • Celebrity Trainer Vinnie Tortorich on What Works for Weight Loss

    Vinnie Tortorich, who bills himself as America's "angriest trainer," has a lot he could be angry about. Growing up on the Louisiana Bayou, Tortorich suffered from a hearing impairment that caused him to struggle with speech and, consequently, become an easy target at Catholic school, where the nuns were as eager to torture him as his classmates, the Hollywood trainer writes in his new book, "Fitness Confidential: Adventures in the Weight-Loss Game."

    "I'd try to participate in class and, as soon as I spoke in my Marlee Matlin style, they'd tell me to 'get the grits out of your mouth,' which only let the other kids know that I was fair game," he writes. (And that's truly the least of it, but Tortorich says he's saving his tales of Catholic school abuse for another book.)

    Tortorich wanted to be a superhero or, more realistically, he figured, fitness guru Jack LaLanne. He wanted to fight back. He wanted to get strong. And he did. His uncle introduced him to a local gym owner and apparent demigod named Joe Bonadona, whose "pecs were like Honeybaked hams," Tortorich writes, describing him as a tough and honest teacher. Judging by the character and content of "Fitness Confidential," the same could be said of Tortorich, who brings a no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble approach to his guide on getting fit. "Cut the Crap," for example, is the title of one section. [Read more: Celebrity Trainer Vinnie Tortorich on What Works for Weight Loss]

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    • 5 Healthy Comfort Foods From the Experts

      As we approach Labor Day weekend, I feel the disappointment of summer coming to an end, writes U.S. News blogger Keri Gans. Soon, the fun weekend barbecues and social activities will be distant memories. And although I'm in no rush for the cold, blistery days of winter, I thought this would be as good a time as any to discuss the comfort food cravings we'll face in the months to come.

      So let's get a head start on making a few of our comfort foods healthy, delicious meals instead of diet disasters.

      Fried chicken. Unfortunately, this year-round favorite of many can double as a diet saboteur. To make a healthier version, I asked Robyn Webb, MS, who is a cookbook author, culinary instructor and the food editor of Diabetes Forecast Magazine. Here's what she suggests:

      "Marinate chicken pieces in low-fat buttermilk for several hours to make it tender, as the buttermilk protects the chicken from drying out. Coat the chicken in whole-wheat panko crumbs for a great and familiar crunch, and spray the tops of the chicken with olive oil cooking spray. Oven roast the chicken on a flat rimless baking sheet so air can properly circulate around the chicken, [allowing it to] crisp up properly. Make sure the chicken is skinned." [Read more: 5 Healthy Comfort Foods From the Experts]

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