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Health Topics News and Updates


Friday recipe: a real vegetable (and not pizza)

My teenage kids came home from school recently full of joy over something that made my blood boil: On Nov. 14, Congress released the final version of a spending bill that effectively allows pizza to be considered a vegetable in school lunches. The bill would block a rule proposed by the Obama administration that would […]

— Barb Boose

Seriously sugared

That many popular children’s breakfast cereals are high in sugar is not new news. What’s alarming is that over the years food manufacturers have done little to change that and may in fact be packing even more of the sweet stuff into those kid-alluring, colorful boxes. A study released last week by the Environmental Working […]

— Barb Boose

Living a mission

As an institution that emphasizes high-quality health care education, health care services, preventive medicine and healthy lifestyles, Des Moines University demonstrates its values with its platinum-ranked wellness program. Did you know that DMU is the only college or university to achieve Platinum Well Workplace Certification in the United States? That’s a pretty impressive feat. DMU […]

— Nicole Branstad

Satisfied?

I’d like to believe health care professionals are committed to patient satisfaction, but going forward the level of “care quality” will take on greater importance: Starting in October 2012, according to Healthcare.gov, Medicare will reward hospitals “that provide high quality care for their patients through the new Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program…for the first time, hospitals […]

— Barb Boose

Be wise: exercise

Most people agree that exercise is good for one’s body. A recent study in Ireland offers evidence that it’s also good for our brains, and not just because we feel proud of ourselves for having gotten off the couch. In the study, reported in The New York Times, scientists had a group of sedentary male […]

— Barb Boose

Saddened and gladdened

In this season of plenty, when my friends and I often bemoan the plethora of tempting holiday treats and eats around us, Kaiser Health News reminded me that an increasing number of American families experience hunger. KHN recently reported that the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis established a food pantry – one of the […]

— Barb Boose

Don’t blame the bird

The turkey is often cited as the culprit in after-dinner lethargy, but the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast. Turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan […]

— Nicole Branstad

Make a change for Mother Earth

About three years ago, a group of DMU students began pushing the University to increase its sustainability practices. They wanted DMU to recycle more paper and plastic water bottles and reduce waste in other areas. Now an official campus organization, the Conservation and Sustainability Committee succeeded in getting the University to install several water coolers […]

— Barb Boose

Friday recipe: go hungry

This Sunday marks the end of National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week,a national endeavor created by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness to promote education, action and awareness about these two critical issues. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2010 annual report […]

— Barb Boose

Just 116 years ago…

It’s hard to imagine medicine without x-rays, but the technology is a relative youngster in health care. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, professor of physics and director of the Physical Institute of the University of Wurzburg, Germany, stumbled on x-rays quite by accident working late one November night in 1895 in his laboratory. Today, Nov. 8, is […]

— Barb Boose

Celebrate National Radiologic Technology Week!

Yesterday, Nov. 6, marked the beginning of National Radiologic Technology Week, celebrated annually to recognize the vital work of R.T.s across the nation. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the celebration takes place each November to commemorate the anniversary of the x-ray’s discovery by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on Nov. 8, 1895. The […]

— Barb Boose

Friday forum promises food for thought

Iowa’s status as a major food producer for the world involves entities and issues ranging from individual eating habits and public health policies to food safety and the environment. Check out a chance to explore the many challenges and opportunities of food processing in Iowa tomorrow, Friday, at a public forum presented by the Iowa […]

— Barb Boose

“Questions are the answer”

My parents are of the generation that, when told something by their doctor, they usually don’t question it. Understandably, they believe that with all the education and credentials physicians have, whatever they say must be right. Questioning one’s doctor, however, is a very good idea, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Part […]

— Barb Boose

Celebrate PA Week!

Today marks the beginning of National Physician Assistant Week, celebrated annually to support, highlight and recognize the significant impact of physician assistants in health care. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the week is “an opportunity to promote public awareness of the PA profession and to salute the outstanding growth of the […]

— Barb Boose

Iowa’s healthiest state initiative

According to the 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Iowa is #19 in the nation when it comes to being physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. As a state we know we can do better, so we plan to claim the #1 spot by 2016. This initiative to be the healthiest state in the U.S. kicks off next […]

— Nicole Branstad

Cancer summit Oct. 3-4

Each year, the Iowa Cancer Summit brings together representatives from health care, academia, public health and the private sector, along with cancer survivors, caregivers and others, to provide a dialogue on best cancer control practices across Iowa. This year’s summit will occur October 3-4 at the West Des Moines Marriott. Seats and a limited number […]

— Barb Boose

Do a downward-facing dog

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designed September as National Yoga Month, a “national observance and grass roots awareness campaign to inspire a healthy lifestyle.” I’ve enjoyed yoga classes in DMU’s great wellness center and, let me assure you, yoga will make you very “aware” of your physicality. In a good way! […]

— Barb Boose

Going bananas!

Many scholars think it was what got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden. It’s wreaked havoc in nature and among laborers on plantations in Central America and beyond. Today, Americans eat more of them than the number of apples and oranges combined: Yes, the humble banana is all this and more […]

— Barb Boose

How can you keep them down on the farm?

American Medical News recently explored the increasing shortage of physicians in rural areas and the efforts of medical schools to address it. A July report by UnitedHealth’s Center for Health Reform and Modernization noted that five million American residents live in counties with fewer than 33 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents, and about 27 […]

— Barb Boose

We all have a stake in this storm

Our planet is getting old, and I’m not talking about the ground below our feet: According to a 2007 report by the National Institute on Aging, in 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to one billion – one in every eight of the […]

— Barb Boose