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Health Topics News and Updates


“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

The No. 1 poison in our food

NPR is running an interesting series, “Living Large: Obesity in America,” that explores what it means to live in a nation where one in three adults is obese. It looks at how the obesity epidemic is changing life in our homes, at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office, on the factory floor and at […]

— Barb Boose

The toughest question

In a course on end-of-life issues here at DMU, Assistant Professor Denise Hill, J.D., M.P.A., instructs students to close their eyes. She then asks some riveting questions: What do you know about how a loved one would want to die? Would they want life-sustaining procedures? Who will speak for them, if they can’t, about medical […]

— Barb Boose

Chubby isn’t cheap

Americans are continuing to supersize, reports Kaiser Health News blog. According to a report titled “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America‘s Future 2011” by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the adult obesity rates increased in 16 states last year and did not go down in a single […]

— Barb Boose

Friday recipe: griping and grilling (salmon)

I love having someone else cook for me as much as anyone. That “someone else” is almost always my spouse, a former chef who’s as comfy around a kitchen as he is at the hardware store. When that “someone” is a restaurant, however, I can’t help but feel suspicious. Afterward I’m almost always thirstier than […]

— Barb Boose

Freaky foods

When it comes to new technological developments, some of the strangest ones involve food. For example, the Daily Telegraph recently reported that scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands are working to produce a real hamburger that doesn’t require slaughtering any animals: The Dutch scientists say the “vitro meat,” made from beef mince grown from […]

— Barb Boose

Friday recipe: chickpea burgers with mint raita

As an Iowa farm kid, I grew up eating pork, beef and chicken, with the occasional seafood and venison thrown in. But I appreciate the principles of “Meatless Monday,” a non-profit initiative of the Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Its goal is to encourage people to reduce […]

— Barb Boose

The fat kid

Remember the fat kid in elementary school? The one who may at times have wanted to be invisible, but whose girth made him/her anything but? I use the term in the singular, because in my fifth-grade class – when we 20 or so farm kids were combined with 70+ kids from the bigger town down […]

— Barb Boose

An ounce of prevention

An ounce of prevention, Benjamin Franklin said, is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to our health, we could use many ounces of prevention. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease, just some of the health problems that plague us, eat up millions of American health care dollars, yet in many cases these costly and […]

— Barb Boose

Friday recipe: tantalizing tempeh and chickpea curry

David Spreadbury, Ph.D., chair of the biochemistry and nutrition department, and Joy Schiller, director of DMU’s Wellness Center, teach a very popular healthy eating elective in the Wellness Center kitchen. These two heroes of health also periodically offer lunch-hour cooking demonstrations and discussions, such their session this week on incorporating plant-based dishes in one’s diet. […]

— Barb Boose

Ready for zombie attack?

I’m a big fan of “Shots,” and, no, not the kind tossed back in one’s you-should-know-better years – it’s National Public Radio’s health blog. I was particularly amused by reporter Scott Hensley’s post earlier this spring about the plan the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued for dealing with a zombie apocalypse. The CDC’s […]

— Barb Boose

Good news about our health

Amid the often depressing news about our individual and collective health (obesity rates expanding! diabetes on the rise! heart disease through the roof!), I find it comforting to be reminded of what’s going right or getting better in health care. I’m frequently reminded by DMU students, faculty and alumni, who are passionate about great patient […]

— Barb Boose

Would you take this test?

A new blood test that will go on sale to the public in Britain later this year can show how fast someone is ageing, giving insights on how long the person may live. The question is: Would you want to know that about yourself? The United Kingdom’s Independent newspaper reports that the “controversial test measures […]

— Barb Boose