New Effort Targets Childhood Obesity
A new initiative seeks to provide improved access to healthcare for children in an effort to fight obesity, the Washington Post reports. The organization behind the effort—the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation—focuses on preventing obesity and encouraging healthier lifestyles in kids. Several health insurers have signed onto the new effort, agreeing to pay for at least four dietitian visits and four physician visits annually in order to teach kids and their parents more healthful eating habits and other tips for weight control. The alliance estimates that nearly 1 million children will have access to this benefit during the first year of the program. The hope is that 25 percent of all overweight children will benefit during the first three years of the program.
Is your child overweight? Learn how to win the weight battle, and take heed of these 5 comments parents should never make to their kids about weight.
Helen Fisher on the Chemistry of Romantic Attraction
Ever wonder why you feel that special connection with a certain someone? Well, Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University anthropologist and author of Why We Love, suspects that it's those inherited traits of temperament that, she says, make up 50 percent of our personalities. (The other half comes from our life experiences—the stuff we can blame on our parents during therapy.) She believes our DNA dictates the chemical makeup of our brains and thus whether we're creative, tradition-minded, good with puzzles and carburetors, or organized to a fault. This then determines to whom we're most attracted, Deborah Kotz reports. Fisher developed a questionnaire that has been used by the online dating site Chemistry.com to match about 5 million Americans. She explains her system in a new book called Why Hi m? Why Her?: Finding Real Love b y Understanding Your Personality Type.
Acupuncture for Dogs? Holistic Vets Swear by It
Some veterinarians are practicing holistic medicine on their animal clients, Kerry Hannon reports. Membership in the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association in Bel Air, Md., has more than doubled in the past decade, to about 2,000, and hundreds of other vets have been certified in these therapies. Meanwhile, top veterinary schools such as those at Tufts University and Colorado State University have been developing programs in alternative medicine. "I believe in a team approach across the disciplines," says Regina Schwabe, who integrates 30-plus years of clinical veterinary experience with advanced training in acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathy at Pamplin Animal Wellness Services in Pamplin, Va. "There are many cases where you need a trauma center. You need surgery. You need antibiotics to knock out the infection. These new treatments are another tool in the veterinary toolbox."
The hitch is that most alternative treatments have not been scientifically validated; indeed, many that have been tested in humans have proved to be ineffective or to have no more impact than a placebo. Alternative medicine aside, if you love your pet, consider quitting smoking.
—January W. Payne
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