Health & Science

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why Gap Insurance Is Making A Comeback

Sep 13, 2016
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Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

When It Comes To Our Politics, Family Matters

Sep 12, 2016

It can happen anywhere: that moment when you gaze at the people around you and realize you simply can't understand their politics.

How can these people – be they our friends, colleagues or, worst of all, our spouses – believe as they do, when facts and reason clearly point in the opposite direction? How can they support political candidates whose views are so antithetical to our definition of common sense?

They're questions voters across the country have been asking a lot this election season – voters like Kate Burkett of Indiana and Tom Barnes of Maryland.

Kratom Advocates Speak Out Against Proposed Government Ban

Sep 12, 2016

Kratom is made from the leaves of a small tree native to Southeast Asia that is a relative of the coffee plant. According to David Kroll, a pharmacologist and medical writer, farmers and indigenous people have used it for hundreds of years as both a stimulant to increase work output and also at the end of the day as a way to relax.

The leaves are often brewed like a tea, or crushed and mixed with water. In the U.S., kratom has become popular among people coping with chronic pain and others trying to wean themselves off opioids or alcohol.

Karisa Rowland is one of them.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Former President Bill Clinton will take his wife's place at several campaign events in the next couple of days. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been recovering from pneumonia at home after abruptly leaving a Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony in New York on Sunday, where her campaign said she became overheated and dehydrated.

Hillary Clinton was due to appear at fundraisers in California on Tuesday and make an appearance for a campaign event near Las Vegas on Wednesday, where her husband will now go instead.

It's 3 a.m. and Whiskers has decided it's time for breakfast. He jumps up on your bed, gently paws at your eyelids and meows to be fed. Annoyed? Cat behavior specialist Sarah Ellis says you have only yourself to blame.

Ellis says that cat owners reinforce negative behaviors when they give in to them. "Cats are not necessarily born meowing and screaming at us for food, it's a behavior that they learned," Ellis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

The nation's opioid problem comes with staggering physical and emotional costs to patients and families. But the financial burden on the health system has been harder to peg.

A report set to be released Tuesday shows a more than thirteenfold increase in spending by health insurers in a four-year period on patients with a diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse.

Hillary Clinton's begrudging release of information related to her health on Sunday follows a pattern set by candidates and many who have won the Oval Office.

It is a pattern of secrecy and, in some cases, cover-ups that would be scandalous if they occurred on other issues of policy.

Jessica Stefonik is grinning. She's got a bounce in her step. Her cheeks are a little puffy and her speech is a bit thick.

"It feels weird right now, but I'll get used to it," she says.

What she's trying to get used to is the feeling of having teeth.

On the day we met, Stefonik, a mom of three from Mosinee, Wis., got a set of dentures to replace all of her upper teeth, which she lost over many years to disease and decay.

Stefonik is just 31 years old.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For some, there's a a glam factor attached to the vegan lifestyle. And these days, there seems to be a growing chorus singing the praises of the environmental and health benefits of a plant-centric diet.

Eid al-Adha, an important Muslim holiday, starts on Monday in many countries. The Festival of Sacrifice, which marks Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, involves days of feasting and celebration. But the holiday has health officials in some countries — Afghanistan, in particular — wringing their hands about health risks. It's the feasts that are the problem — specifically, the meat.

California Aims To Limit Surprise Medical Bills

Sep 11, 2016

When it comes to navigating the intricacies of health insurance, Cassie Ray considers herself a pro. She actually reads her policy, including the fine print.

So when the 57-year-old from Fairfield, Calif., needed routine follow-up surgery after a mastectomy, she did her homework. "I looked up on my insurer's network and made sure the outpatient facility that I was being referred to was in my network," Ray says.

A month later, she received an unwelcome surprise: a $580 bill for an out-of-network anesthesiologist.

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