Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

I’m Your Doctor, And I’m Worth It

Rx Vending MachineI saw the note on the patient’s chart before I opened the door: “Patient is upset that he had to come in.”

I opened the door and was greeted by a gentleman with his arms crossed tightly across his chest and a stern expression. I barely recognized him, having only seen him a handful of times over the past few years. Scrawled on the patient history sheet in the space for the reason for his visit were the words, “Because I was forced to come in.”

My stomach churned. I opened his chart and looked at his problem list, which included high blood pressure and high cholesterol –- both treated with medications. He was last in my office in November — of 2008. I blinked, looked up at his scowling face, and frowned back. ”You haven’t been in the office for over 18 months. It was really time for you to come in,” I said, trying to remain calm as I spoke.

He sat for a moment, then responded with very little emotion. “I’m doing fine. You could’ve just ordered my labs and called in my prescriptions. I don’t know why I had to be seen.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*

How To Lower Your Cholesterol

Your doctor has just informed you that you have “hyperlipidemia” — or high cholesterol. She’s mentioning lipid-lowering drugs (statins), but you said you want to try some things on your own first. She agrees and will recheck your blood levels in three months. What are you going to do?

The advice is all over the map and your Google searches come up with various supplements and diets that are confusing and overwhelming. Here are some specific recommendations, based on evidence, that can help you lower your cholesterol. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Health And Life Insurance Companies Invested In Fast Food

A new article published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that U.S., Canadian, and European insurance firms hold $1.88 billion of investments in fast food companies like Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s/Arby’s Groups. Both health insurers and life insurers have substantial holdings in these companies.

A person just needs to read “Fast Food Nation” or watch the documentary “Food, Inc.” to understand the negative impact of processed foods on the health of our country.

The evidence is so compelling that the new health reform legislation is requiring fast food and chain restaurants to disclose calorie counts on their menus. Ironically, the new legislation will also add millions of customers to the health insurers. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Kids Who Eat School Lunch Are Less Healthy In General

Research from the University of Michigan suggests that say one in three middle school youth who regularly eat school lunches are obese or overweight. They are also more likely to have higher cholesterol levels than kids who bring lunches from home.

The study included 1,076 middle school students who completed questionnaires about what they ate and how much physical activity they got as well as how many screen hours they logged each day.

Compared with kids who ate school lunches, kids who brought lunches from home were:

– Less likely to be overweight or obese (25% vs 38%)

– Less likely to eat two or more servings of fatty meats like fried chicken or hot dogs daily (2% vs. 6%)

– Less likely to drink two or more sugary drinks a day (7% vs. 19%)

– More likely to eat at least two servings a day of fruit (49% vs. 33%)

– More likely to eat at least two servings a day of vegetables (50% vs. 40%)

– Had lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) Read more »

This post, Kids Who Eat School Lunch Are Less Healthy In General, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »