Skim Health: 3.25.17 March 25, 2017

Top health articles of interest circulating in the media this week, 3.25.17

  • While it is assumed wealthier nations will have seen a decline in death rates over past decades, a recent analysis featured in The Washington Post suggests that the opposite is true for many Americans in the United States. “Diseases of Despair,” such as alcoholism, suicide, and particularly opioid addiction, have seen a rise in the death rate for for middle aged white people in particular – a stark contrast to many European counterparts.
  • Is a calorie truly an accurate measurement of energy when it comes to weight loss? Researchers are thinking there may be much more to the equation in this fascinating feature in The Atlantic. While the commonly accepted formula for weight loss is using up more calories than consumed in a day, controlled studies suggest that what we assume to to equal a calorie – and how our body may process it – is often far off.
  • A year-long study confirms what we already know to be true: eating out makes us gain more weight. As this Time Magazine article points out, our resolve is weakened significantly when we frequent a restaurant or bar – with around a 60% chance of over-consuming compared to eating while at home, at work, or even at another person’s home. Being around other social eaters may contribute to indulging while out on the town.
  • While the recent GOP healthcare bill was struck down, these 5 charts via NPR point out some of the controversial flaws in the suggested overhaul, particularly the fact that “Older, poorer people would see big reductions in coverage and cost increases.” A significant rise in the amount of uninsured Americans was another reason the bill did not gain enough steam to pass muster in the house.
  • A study from Denmark is calling attention to those considered to be a “healthy” obese (overweight individuals who show no signs of high blood pressure or illness) and their increased propensity to develop heart disease over their normal-weight peers. While there exists a commonly accepted view that a healthy, active lifestyle is key to warding off weight-related illness, those who carry excess weight are vastly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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