Health Buzz: Study Finds Women Tested for HPV Have Fewer Cancers

3 ways to help teens get more (and better) sleep; could fiber be the secret to weight loss?

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Study Finds HPV Test Better at Finding Cancer Than Pap Smear

A new study suggests that testing women older than 35 for human papillomavirus may be key to preventing deaths from cervical cancer, BBC News reports. Researchers looked at data from 95,000 women collected over close to four years. When compared with women who had only the older Pap smear, women given an HPV screening test developed fewer cancers, a result researchers attribute to the latter test's sensitivity. Study author Guglielmo Ronco tells BBC News that the HPV test should be used first to screen women for the virus—ruling out a need for smear testing if no virus is present. Ronco and his team do not recommend the same approach for women under 35, however; they say screening younger women with the HPV test could result in unnecessary treatment, BBC News reports.

[Read Will HPV Test Replace Pap Smear in Cervical Cancer Screening? and HPV Vaccine: Women Have a Choice Between Cervarix and Gardasil.]

3 Ways to Help Teenagers Get More, Better Sleep

If your teenagers are cranky, distracted, and disorganized, it may well be because they're not getting enough sleep during the week. And sleeping in on weekends doesn't solve the problem.

The latest contribution to the growing pile of evidence showing that teenagers are being seriously shortchanged found that just 10 percent of adolescents are getting the optimal 10 hours of shut-eye a night, writes U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute. Who's least likely to get enough sleep? The survey of students across the nation, published in this month's Journal of Adolescent Health, found that those most likely to miss out on sleep are female, black, and/or in the higher grade levels. That last one's not surprising, considering how the homework piles up in the junior and senior years of high school. Read more.

[Read How Sleep Is Related to Both Mental and Physical Well-Being and 7 Things That Make Sleep Apnea Worse.]

'Full Plate Diet' Says Fiber Is the Secret to Weight Loss

There's a new diet book on the shelves, one that says boosting intake of a single nutrient can help you lose weight without counting calories. Even without knowing the details, it's tempting to dismiss such a plan as a fad diet that can't be maintained over the long haul, except that this book is written by three reputable health pros and developed by a nonprofit health group. That means it's at least worth a look.

The miracle nutrient at the center of The Full Plate Diet is fiber, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson writes. If you think you've heard that before, you have. Many eating plans, including the F-Factor Diet and the Fiber35 Diet, are built on the notion that fiber has health benefits and adds bulk to your meals, permitting you to eat the same volume of food but take in fewer calories. "We hit on fiber because it helps people feel full and start to lose weight," says Teresa Sherard, one of the Full Plate authors and a staff physician at the Lifestyle Center of America, a nonprofit that focuses on fighting diabetes. Read more.

[Slide Show: 10 Fiber-Friendly Food Swaps From The Full Plate Diet.] [Read Fiber Sources: Soluble, Insoluble, and Beyond and 10 Easy Recipe Swaps to Help You Lose Weight.]

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