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What's For Lunch?

Oct 10, 2011
Chion Wolf

Pizza...tacos...mystery vegetable.  Oooh, you want tater tots with that?

Yes, the iconic school lunch.  It has strangely changed very little over the years, and accomplishes a difficult feat.  It’s not thought of fondly by either nutritionists or students.

But all that may be changing.  

More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression, but fewer than half seek treatment.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Thursdsay/last week was National Depression Screening Day -- a push to get more people to the doctor's office. David Wheeler is a clinical psychologist at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield.

The Vegan Lifestyle

Sep 29, 2011
Elaine Vigneault, Flickr Creative Commons

Bill Clinton is a vegan. You'd think that would be a bigger story: one of humankind's most voracious carnivores swiching to the other extreme. For Clinton, it's probably all about heart health, although it may have helped that his daughter Chelsea was already a vegan. Veganism is increasingly popular among some of the bigshot of corporate capitalism. Steve Jobs, Steve Wynn, Mortimer Zuckerman, Russell Simmons.

Doctors may want to think carefully about the language they use when talking with parents about a child’s weight.  A new study by Yale University researchers finds that certain words reinforce negative stigma and may undermine important discussions about health.

Courtesy of Jackson Films

Advocates for sexual assault victims contend there's a backlog of untested rape kits nationwide. 

LGBT Health Care

Sep 19, 2011

There are an estimated 9 million gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the US.  

And statistics are not easy to find - as this population has not been accurately counted in the large national population based-surveys, including the census.

But one thing researchers and advocates do know is that our health care system does a poor job reaching out to serve their very specific needs.

More than 1,000 veterans from all over Connecticut were expected in Rocky Hill Friday for an annual event called Stand Down; it's an outreach event hosted by the state Department of Veteran Affairs to help veterans in need. Stand Down is in its 16th year, an event VA Commissioner Linda Schwartz looks forward to every year. Here, she is welcoming nursing students who volunteered at the event. "Hey, hey!' 'Hi Commish.' 'It's the Yale School of Nursing!"

Photo / Chion Wolf, WNPR

There isn't too much Colin McEnroe Show producer Patrick Skahill won't do for his job, and this month that includes giving up meat, dairy and all manner of animal products for an upcoming show on veganism. Follow along as Patrick heats the tofurky and goes through hard-core donut withdrawl. Add your questions, cheers, and complaints in the comments section. 

September 8, 2011

Here's a tip - if you don't want to be the center of attention at your neice's first birthday, DON'T announce you've gone vegan.

hweiling, creative commons

The numbers don’t do justice to the scope of Alzheimers Disease.

Insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is asking the state for an increase in the rate it charges for its individual health plans.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. According to a filing with the state insurance department, Anthem wants to increase rates by 12.9 percent for some of its policies.  Arielle Levin Becker covers healthcare for the Connecticut Mirror. "Anthem is asking for a 12.9 percent increase and it's across several different products that they offer, several different types of individual  market plans.

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team's senior writer Lisa Chedekel published a report on Massachusetts-based veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange in the United States. Read her article here.

In the years since they flew together out of Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts in the post-Vietnam War era, Wes Carter and Paul Bailey have stayed in close touch, swapping information about families, jobs, and their former crewmates in the 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

This year, the conversation took a strange turn: Bailey, who lives in New Hampshire, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. Two months later, Carter, a former Massachusetts resident who now lives in Oregon, got the same diagnosis.

stevendepolo, flickr

Last weeky we did a whole show about sugar.  We talked to author Gary Taubes who wrote an article for New York Times titled “Is Sugar Toxic?” After talking with him awhile, it seems as though he and the scientists he quoted had made a conclusion.  Their answer is “yes.”  

But we had a few listeners who weren't happy with Taubes’ claims. Today we get a response from The Sugar Association.

New Haven Food Truck Makes Its Rounds

Aug 22, 2011
Tim Cipriano

A mobile food truck is roaming the streets of New Haven this summer, handing out free meals to students from low income neighborhoods. The truck is reaching kids who might not otherwise get a healthy meal.  

The Betsy Ross School in New Haven is empty -- kids are out for the summer. But the parking lot outside -- that's buzzing. The New Haven School Food Truck has arrived.

Scared Sick

Aug 19, 2011

All the news about health and medicine we’re exposed to might lead some to healthier lifestyles...but to some people, all this information can cause a problem.

For hypochondriacs, a little knowledge about health and medicine can lead to a fear of everything that can possibly go wrong with their bodies.

Photo by Mykl Roventine (Flickr)

How much sugar do you eat? The U.S.D.A. estimates the average American consumes more than 3,500 pounds of sugar in their lifetime.

Sugar seems to be in or on everything. Cereal, coffee, yogurt, candy, ketchup and of course...soda. It certainly affects our health, and is seen as the main culprit in “epidemics” of obesity and diabetes.

But sugar has also impacted the course of history, changed the fate of empires, and affected millions.

Flickr Creative Commons, Monica's Dad

The famine in the Horn of Africa is getting worse by the day.

Somalia is suffering deeply from the 3 year drought with more than 3.5 million Somalis facing starvation.

An estimated 600,000 of the starving are children.

Disaster relief organization, AmeriCares - based in  Stamford, CT - recently shipped emergency aid to Somalia. Inside the shipment are enough medical supplies to care for roughly 15,000 people.

Flickr Creative Commons, eviltomthai

All of us know migraine sufferers.

Four Failing Lungs

Jul 27, 2011
spec-ta-cles

In 2010, there were 1,770 lung transplants performed in the United States -- the most ever in a single year.

For a person with Cystic Fibrosis, the transplant may extend life by years – or it could lead to continued suffering and rejection of the new organ.

Later in the program, we'll hear about the latest research into lung transplants and even artificial lungs.  But first we hear a documentary about two young people struggling with end-stage Cystic Fibrosis, and struggling with a decision about transplant.

"Model Workplaces" in Connecticut Not Always Safest

Jul 25, 2011
All rights reserved by LetMeTakeYourFotograf

In February 2007, David Gootkin came to the state Capitol in Hartford to testify in favor a bill prompted by his brother Robert’s death the year before at Covanta’s waste-to-energy plant in Wallingford. The bill, which eventually was adopted, requires that operators of solid waste facilities have at least two employees or a camera in the work area when waste is being fed into a hopper.

Big City Violence

Jul 14, 2011
Chion Wolf

The number of violent crimes in the US dropped significantly last year to the lowest rate in 40 years.

But then why haven’t Connecticut cities like Hartford and New Haven been able to join this trend?  

Tara Gulwell, Creative Commons

Here’s the misperception: Eating disorders affect white, middle and upper class women.  A new study says, “not true.”  

The study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, finds that Native American women are just as likely to suffer from binging and purging as white women.

vizzzual

Thirty years ago, food allergy was extremely rare. Today, about 5.9 million U.S. children under 18 suffer from this potentially life-threatening condition.

That’s 1 in every 13 children. Or, to look at it another way, one student per classroom has a food allergy. What’s more, nearly 2 out of every 5 affected children suffer from a severe food-allergy.

Many veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered some type of brain injury. In 2009, the U.S Department of Defense found up to 90,000 troops had traumatic brain injuries. They require specialized care to regain such skills as concentration and memory. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the VA hospital in Connecticut is one of several in the country that will participate in a clinical trial to help these veterans.

woodleywonderworks

We are all shaped by our genetic inheritance and by the environment we live in. Indeed, the argument about which of these two forces, nature or nurture, predominates has been raging for decades. But what about our very first environment—the prenatal world where we exist for nine months between conception and birth and where we are more vulnerable than at any other point in our lives?

The Science of Song

Jun 10, 2011
Horia Varlan, Creative Commons

Courtesy of Flickr CC By Laughing Squid

A marijuana decriminalization bill is headed to the Governor's desk.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the state Legislature approved a measure where adults will face a fine instead of jail time for possessing a half-ounce or less of pot.

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