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Helping kids eat right


My morning commute to work is suddenly filled with big yellow buses and cars darting through traffic to drop off kids at school. Yep, the school year is here once again. This is also Kids Eat Right Month, an ongoing initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to teach families how to shop, cook and eat smart.

How do we get kids — in the midst of our busy lives — to eat right? Registered dietitian Tess Warwick, who works with the Kids Eat Right program at Community Hospital of the Monterey, Calif., Peninsula, offers these healthy behavior goals that parents can help kids practice:

1. Eat at least one fruit and one vegetable each day. More is better, of course; but it’s an easy way to remind your child why those apples slices are in his lunch bag. It’s also a teachable moment when you are at the grocery store and junior is begging for hot Cheetos.

Exciting (and scary) times: Help for back-to-school separation anxiety, fears and stress


Getting ready for a new school year can be exciting for children, parents and caregivers. It may also be a major cause of anxiety or stress. Whether kids are heading off to elementary school, high school or college, leaving the safety and familiarity of home can prompt feelings of fear.

Mayo Clinic Children’s Center psychologist Dr. Stephen Whiteside says that if back-to-school anxiety or separation anxiety become overwhelming and disruptive, taking steps to reduce those fears is important. “Some kids are more anxious than others, and transitions like going back to school can be more difficult for them. Talking to them and preparing them ahead of time by doing things such as visiting the schools and meeting teachers can be beneficial.”

Bionic arm: Woman fitted with ‘i-limb’ appreciates every movement


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Weeks after becoming the first woman nationally to be fitted with an i-limb quantum bionic arm, Lizbeth Uzcategui continues to discover — and surprise herself with — what she can do.

The new, high-tech limb, made by Massachusetts-based Touch Bionics, allows the Fort Lauderdale resident to enjoy small movements that many people might take for granted. Things like giving a thumbs-up (or down), moving a computer mouse, shaking hands, opening up her new hand to rest her phone in it, or using the electronic thumb and index finger to pinch something.

Gut reaction: Fermented foods help create happy balance in digestive system


A little culture never hurt anyone. In fact, experts recommend it.

When it comes to overall health, bacterial cultures are a digestive tract’s best friend, they say.

Exercise strategies: How to overcome the top 5 fitness barriers


Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn’t easy. After all, there are plenty of potential hindrances — time, boredom, injuries, self-confidence. But these issues don’t need to stand in your way.

Darcy Reber, nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, shares practical strategies for overcoming common barriers to fitness.

Same-day delivery: Patients get a new hip or knee, go home in less than 24 hours


PITTSBURGH — Imagine going to sleep with chronic joint pain, waking up without pain and walking out of the hospital the same day.

For Daniel Currie, 57, of Franklin Park, Pa., this was no dream.

How much is that procedure? Patients advised to ask questions, shop around


When you walk into a coffee shop, you can see exactly how much a large coffee costs, and that’s for a purchase of less than five bucks. But when you walk into a hospital, there are no signs to explain the prices — and those are for purchases that often run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

“You would never go to the car dealer and say, ‘I’ll take the black one,’ while having no idea how much the car costs, and then three months later you get a bunch of illegible bills in the mail and that’s when you find out the leather seats cost you a thousand extra bucks,” said Rick Anderson, CEO of Smart Choice MRI.

Prescription for trouble: Some medications make seniors more vulnerable to heat


So far, 2015 hasn’t been a bad year for heat advisories, but the National Weather service has issued 18 heat advisories for Kenosha County since 2009, and this summer is long from over.

When we get hit with a heat wave, senior citizens are always at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses.

Study finds alcohol abuse on the rise


Across the nation, the number of people who have a problem with alcohol is going up. And despite explosive growth in the field of treatment options and recovery therapies, the proportion of those who seek to remedy the problem remains very low.

Earlier this month, the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry reported on a study revealing that 14 percent of Americans have what is now being termed as an “alcohol use disorder,” a 5-plus percent increase since the last survey was conducted in 2001.

Swimmer’s ear is a common summer malady


It starts with an itch in your ear that makes you crazy. But don’t give in to the urge to scratch it with a cotton swab.

It’s most likely acute otitis externa, an infection of the skin of the ear canal commonly known as swimmer’s ear.

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