Posts Categorized: News

National BPA Protections May Come This Year

The Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), would ban BPA (Bisphenol A) in food packaging and reusable food containers. Scientists consider BPA to be an “endocrine-disrupting compound” because the body responds to it like estrogen. Multiple studies link BPA to precocious puberty, neurodevelopmental problems, cardiovascular disease and Type 2… Read more »

The Dangers of Smoking Alcohol

It seems some people are always looking for a new way to get drunk. Now, some teens and college students resort to smoking alcohol rather than drinking it. The idea is to get bombed and save calories—thus the term “drunkorexia.” Using various techniques, smoking or “vaporizing” alcohol delivers it to the bloodstream via the lungs,… Read more »

A Rosy Future for Hepatitis C Treatment

Most people with hepatitis C don’t know they carry the virus and that they are susceptible to cirrhosis, liver cancer–even liver transplant. But with a diagnosis, there is hope. Hepatitis C is curable, unlike such other common blood-borne viruses as hepatitis B and HIV. And recent advances in hepatitis C treatment mean more customized therapies… Read more »

Vegetarian Cafeteria Tackles Childhood Obesity

The Active Learning Elementary School in Flushing recently became the first public school in the country to offer solely vegetarian food in the student cafeteria. The initiative is part of a citywide effort to promote healthy habits that counteract childhood obesity. The hope is that other schools will also re-evaluate their meal plans and adopt… Read more »

Why Some Women Choose Preventive Mastectomy

Angelina Jolie recently underwent preventive mastectomy, she revealed today in a New York Times op-ed piece. The actor/director underwent the procedure because the combination of a “faulty” BRCA1 gene and a family history of cancer put her at high risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Preventive mastectomy (also called prophylactic or risk-reducing mastectomy)… Read more »

The Cinnamon Challenge: A View from the ER

As a physician who has helped teens in the Emergency Department because they took “the cinnamon challenge,” I have witnessed the dangers of this stunt. The consequences are not pretty. And yes–it can kill you. The so-called “challenge” involves trying to swallow a tablespoonful of cinnamon powder in under 60 seconds without drinking anything. Without… Read more »

What’s Your Emergency Preparedness Plan?

When a disaster hits, we often hear about heroic efforts to save lives during the emergency. Whether responding to an attack, an accident, a natural disaster—even a mishap that doesn’t make headlines—it’s inspiring when one person who’s in the right place at the right time makes all the difference. Preparation is key, because we never… Read more »

Good Reasons to Raise the Smoking Age to 21

Since most smokers began their tobacco addiction as teenagers, New York City officials recently proposed legislation to raise the smoking age to 21. The proposed law could prevent young people from picking up their first cigarette–and avoid smoking’s negative health consequences. Another policy has already decreased adolescent smoking initiation by restricting the point of sale… Read more »

A Healthcare Proxy Is Easy, Free–and Protects Your Medical Choices

When you file your taxes, don’t forget what you owe yourself—peace of mind. On April 16, National Healthcare Decision Day, designate a healthcare agent so your medical care follows your wishes, values and beliefs. Fill in a healthcare proxy form to allow anyone you choose–a relative or loved one–to act as your healthcare agent in… Read more »

Annette Funicello’s Multiple Sclerosis Battle

This past week, we learned Annette Funicello, 70, the former Mouseketeer and pop culture icon, passed away. Complications from multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disease she battled during the past 25 years, factored into her death. According to news reports, Ms. Funicello traveled to Italy to undergo an alternative treatment for MS. Known as… Read more »