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The Perils Of Fetal Sex Selection: Terminating Pregnancies Based On Baby’s Gender

What would you do if you discovered early in your pregnancy that you were pregnant with a girl when you wanted a boy? Would you terminate the pregnancy? With the advent of a new DNA test that can determine the sex of a fetus at 7 weeks gestation with a simple blood or urine test, fetal sex selection is now possible. However, before you proceed to pop the cork on your bottle of champagne, a word of precaution is warranted. The Chinese and India dilemmas present a global warning regarding the perils of fetal sex selection. Boys now outnumber girls in China and India and competition is fierce regarding finding a wife or a mate. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), by the year 2020, there will be between 30 to 40 million more boys than girls in China and the statistics in India are equally as alarming. In her book, Sobs In The Night, Xinran describes a scene where a baby girl is born and the father cries out, “Useless thing” and then the baby is dropped in a bucket and dies. This “son preference” is what has caused the unusually large amount of U.S. adoptions of baby Chinese girls.

Clinically, the gender of a baby is only important if Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

Don’t Believe The Hype: Acupuncture And Alternative Medicine Are Not So Popular

Everybody’s Doing It

One argument that often comes up when skeptics and proponents of so-called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) debate is the question of the popularity of various CAM practices. Advocates of CAM often claim these practices are widely used and growing rapidly in popularity. Obviously, CAM proponents have an interest in characterizing their practices as widely accepted and utilized. Even though the popularity of an idea is not a reliable indication of whether or not it is true, most people are inclined to accept that if a lot of people believe in something there must be at least some truth to it. The evidence against this idea is overwhelming, but it is a deeply intuitive, intransigent notion that can only rarely be dislodged.

It might therefore be useful to get some idea of whether or not the claims of great popularity for CAM treatments are true. If they are not, fruitless debates about the probative value of such popularity could potentially be avoided, and it might be possible to diminish the allure associated with the belief that “everybody’s doing it.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Obesity: On The Rise In Developing Nations

Emerging economies must act immediately to halt rising obesity rates before the epidemic becomes as severe as it is in first-world countries, according to new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD report was published in the Lancet. It characterizes the prevalence of obesity in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. Obesity rates were found to vary dramatically across these six countries. In Mexico, a stunning 70 percent of adults were reported to be overweight or obese. Nearly half of all Brazilians, Russians and South Africans fell into these categories. China and India had a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, but were moving rapidly in the wrong direction, according to the OECD.

Developing nations don’t have enough resources to handle the health consequences of obesity, which include an increased risk of cardiac disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and disability from all causes.

Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*

Massive Medical Blogosphere In China

In the medical blogosphere, we talk a lot about medical community sites such as, or and we always mention these as huge communities.

While Sermo has over 110,000 physician members, the Chinese has over 1.4 million professionals on its site. It has a blog, a conference site, a pharmacy channel, biomedical business information platform, it covers more than a 100 specialties, and offers thousands of jobs. I tried to translate the mission statement with Google Translate:

Lilac Garden Biomedical Science and Technology Network ( DXY.CN ) was established in July 23, 2000, and since its inception has been committed for the majority of medical professionals to provide a specialized life science platform. With professionalism and strong accumulation and the deepening and development of professional exchange, Lilac Garden has grown into the largest and most popular group of pharmaceutical industry professionals to network media platforms.

Now I’m looking for Chinese doctors who would help us create a Chinese section for PeRSSonalized Medicine, the easiest medical information aggregator that features only selected resources. If you know someone, please let me know.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

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Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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