Health Updates 20 July 2011

  • Using large cutlery may lead to a smaller waistline: “The research team put their conclusion to the test by varying the portions of food.  They found that  when served larger portions, diners with small forks ate significantly more than those with larger forks.  In contrast, when customers were served smaller portions, the size of their fork did not affect the amount of food they ate.” (USA Today)
  • $13 billion could be saved by fixing glitch in health care law: Enzi introduced legislation Monday to fix a glitch that would have allowed some middle-class early retirees to get health insurance at virtually no cost by qualifying for Medicaid coverage meant for the poor.  Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska introduced a similar bill, signaling the fix could have bipartisan support.” (Associated Press)
  • The Nagging Effect: Better health for married men: “Relationship researchers have long known that marriage is associated with better health, particularly for men.  One reason is that wives often take on the role of caregiver, setting up doctor appointments and reminding, even nagging, their husbands to go.  The notion that a nagging effect leads to better health for men is bolstered by new research showing that among heart attack victims, married men arrive at the hospital soonest….Even when a man is not experiencing troubling symptoms like chest pains, it is not uncommon for a wife to begin pushing her husband to visit the doctor long before a man thinks he needs to go”. (Tara Parker Pope, NY Times)
  • Mobile medical apps come under FDA scrutiny: “The FDA has released proposed guidance for oversight of medical applications used on smart phones and other mobile devices…The agency emphasized that the guidance applies only to a subset of medical applications”, those used as an accessory to a medical device already regulated by the FDA and those that transform a mobile communications device into a regulated medical device by using attachments, sensors or similar devices.  The agency, in bringing this investigation, said “The FDA has a public health responsibility to oversee the safety and effectiveness of those mobile medical applications that present a potential risk to patients if they don’t work as intended…”. (Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today)

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