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Tuesday
Aug192014

Study Says New Moms Need to Take Care of Their Health

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Women who are thinking about having a child should take heed of a new study out of the University of Minnesota.

Based on research conducted on 2,400 women who gave birth around the nation in 2011 and 2012, it was found that a third of the new moms were in poor health.

What's more, women with health issues were also 30 percent less likely to breastfeed than those in better condition. Breastfeeding has been shown to provide numerous benefits to babies and infants.

According to Dr. Katy Kozhimannil, the study's lead author, new moms with health problems that include obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes tend to be non-white, lower income, unmarried without support and receiving medical care funded by the state.

Of the women in this category who try to breastfeed, Kozhimannil says that many just give up and resort to expensive formulas.

She says her study is hopefully a wake-up call to the medical community at-large to go beyond just counseling women with special needs about the importance of breastfeeding and staying in better health.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug192014

Public Perception of Jobs Also Influences Views on Parenting

Fuse/Thinkstock(IOWA CITY, Iowa) -- Your job may be holding you back from being as good a parent as you can possibly be. Or at least, that's what some people think.

That's the finding of University of Iowa researchers, who say that the public's views of particular workers perceived as aggressive, weak, or impersonal may needlessly add more stress.

Researcher Mark Walker says the study conducted with co-author Mary Noonan shows "the cultural meanings of a person's occupational and parental identities could impact the psychological well-being of working parents."

Essentially, the low opinion people have of certain workers make them feel they won't be good parents either.

Those occupations include attorney, salesperson, laborer, receptionist, police officer or politician.

However, teachers, doctors, registered nurses, principals and professors are viewed more favorably by the public, and therefore are seen as better parents.

One solution, according to Walker, is if employers in certain "stress" fields could potentially provide more targeted mental health resources for those in "at risk" occupations.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Owners, Employees of California Slaughterhouse Charged for Distributing 'Adulterated' Meat

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The United States Attorney for the Northern District of California announced an indictment against one of two owners -- and two employees -- of the now-defunct Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, California slaughterhouse.

According to the indictment, Jesse Amaral Jr., 76, a co-owner of the slaughterhouse, and employees Eugene Corda, 65, and Felix Cabrera, 55, allegedly conspired to distribute, "adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat." Documents released by the U.S. Attorney's Office indicate that between 2012 and Jan. 2014, Amaral told Cabrera to "process" cattle that had been condemned by a United States Department of Agriculture veterinarian. Cabrera then instructed employees to remove stamps from cattle carcasses that read "USDA Condemned" and distribute over 100 condemned cattle.

Additionally, Amaral and co-owner Robert Singleton, 77, are accused of instructing employees to circumvent standard inspection procedures. That action allegedly led to the distribution of approximately 79 diseased cattle.

Amaral is also accused of fraudulently charging farmers "handling fees" based on lies regarding the distribution of their cattle which had either died or been deemed condemned, despite the fact that the cattle had been sold for human consumption anyway.

The illegal actions reportedly led to the recall of over eight million pounds of beef products in February.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Ebola Outbreak Worsens with Reports of Looting, US Scare

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Ebola outbreak continues to spiral out of control amid reports of looting at a Liberian health center and the isolation of a traveler from Sierra Leone in the U.S.

The virus has killed at least 1,145 and sickened 982 more, according to numbers released Friday by the World Health Organization. An updated outbreak toll is expected soon.

The outbreak is already the deadliest on record and has shown no signs of slowing. About 42.5 percent of all Ebola deaths since the virus was discovered in 1976 have occurred since March 2014, according to WHO data.

Here are some things you should know about the outbreak as fears continue to mount in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and beyond:

More Americans Tested for Ebola


A 30-year-old woman in New Mexico is being tested for Ebola, according to state officials.

The woman had recently traveled to Sierra Leone and arrived at the hospital with a sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fever, according to the New Mexico Department of Health, which is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rule out Ebola.

Potential Ebola patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland and an undisclosed hospital in Ohio have all tested negative for Ebola over the past several weeks. The CDC had sent a health alert to hospitals across the country urging them to ask patients about their travel history to help identify potential Ebola cases.

As of Aug. 5, the CDC had tested blood samples for six possible Ebola patients in the United States. They were all negative.

Officials Request Exit Screenings at Airports, Seaports

The World Health Organization on Monday requested exit screenings at international airports, seaports and land crossings in all countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

“Any person with an illness consistent with [Ebola virus disease] should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation,” WHO said in a statement. “There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.”

Ebola symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain and sore throat before they progress to vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Some people may also experience bleeding.

The WHO Ebola Emergency Committee advised against international travel or trade restrictions at this time.

Officials Say Outbreak Is ‘Vastly’ Underestimated

The Ebola outbreak is already the deadliest on record, and WHO officials say the impact may be far worse than reported.

The number of known infections -- currently 2,127 -- “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” according to staff at outbreak sites.

The agency said it's scaling up its response in "recognition of the extraordinary measures needed, on a massive scale, to contain the outbreak in settings characterized by extreme poverty, dysfunctional health systems, a severe shortage of doctors, and rampant fear."

Governments Are Reviving the ‘Cordon Sanitaire’

Officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have implemented a “cordon sanitaire” or sanitary barrier -- a cross-border isolation zone designed to contain people with the highest infection risk.

The tactic, used to prevent the spread of plague in medieval times, literally blocks off an area thought to contain 70 percent of the epidemic. But some experts say there’s little proof that isolation zones can prevent the spread of disease.

“It may not be sufficiently structured so it can prevent people from leaving,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Fearful Communities Are Shunning Survivors

An estimated 47 percent of people infected in the outbreak have survived the virus, according to WHO data. But they face fear and shame from their communities.

The Ebola virus can only be spread through contact with bodily secretions such as blood, urine or sweat. But misinformation is rampant in areas hardest hit by the virus, health officials said.

Drug Companies Are Rushing to Provide Treatments

The growing outbreak has left pharmaceutical companies scrambling to test drugs that could treat and prevent the infection.

There is currently no drug approved to fight Ebola, but WHO has allowed medical professionals to use experimental or untested medications in a last ditch effort to save lives.

One drug, an experimental serum known as ZMapp, has been used to treat three patients: American health workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, and a Spanish priest. Brantly and Writebol survived but the Spanish priest did not.

Another drug, an Ebola vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institute for Health, is scheduled to be tested on humans for the first time in September.

FDA Warns Against Fake Ebola Treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people to avoid fake Ebola treatments and vaccines being sold online. The agency said products claiming to protect people from the infection began popping up online after the outbreak began in March.

“There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola,” the agency said in a statement. “Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited."

"There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet," the FDA added. "By law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Mandy Ingber on Jennifer Aniston's Vacation Prep, Tips for Healthier Life

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mandy Ingber says Jennifer Aniston "is in amazing shape all the time," but when she is preparing for a romantic trip like the one she is on with fiancé Justin Theroux in Bora Bora, there are a couple things she does to "tighten up."

Aniston and Theroux recently jetted off to the tropical destination to celebrate the two-year anniversary of their engagement and Theroux's 43rd birthday.

Ingber has a slew of celebrity clients who come to the renowned yoga instructor to get an amazing body like Aniston, 45.

"Jen's a very consistent exerciser and eater," Ingber told ABC News. "But when she has something she needs to focus a little more on, she just tightens it up a little bit."

For example, before a trip where she is showing off her fine physique, she will cut down on the snacks.

"She won't have the extra chips," Ingber added. "It's kind of like just being disciplined, she's like anyone else that she goes through those times when she can lose a little but pretty much, she's always in great shape."

As far as how the yoga routine changes, Ingber said it's about the cardio.

"We up the cardio a little bit, if she's looking to sort of trim down," she said. "So we add a little more cardio to the yoga, but also what she puts into her body is essential. That really is 80 percent of it...it's not a big deal if you have a bite of this or that if you are mostly eating well."

Ingber said for Aniston or anyone for that matter, there's no way to spot reduce, so it's all about being more disciplined and getting into shape overall. But like any women, the Friends icon definitely has areas she likes to focus a little on.

"She focuses on butt exercises for sure, I'll add some squats into the yoga routine," Ingber said. "For me, there's no better thing to lift your butt than squats. Pretty much, that's gonna do it...she likes to focus on that like most women. Most of us want that area a little higher."

She continued about Aniston, "she's an incredibly inspiring woman, an incredibly positive person, it's so obvious, everyone that works around her is doing really well, it's a lot because of her positivity is very contagious."

Ingber spoke to ABC as part of her collaboration with Silk soy milk, including five tips to get into shape for all people.

One of these tips include hydration with water, something Aniston has been a promoter of for years.

"Jen is definitely somebody that has encouraged me to hydrate, she is a hydrator from way back in the day," Ingber joked. "That's definitely one of the tips I use because I have so much more energy when I drink. When you stay hydrated, you’re not as hungry. Sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're actually thirsty."

Ingber recommends you drink half your weight in ounces of water. "So if you're 140 pounds, then 70 ounces a day," she said.

"The next tip is energizing with a 20-minute yoga flow," she added. "The cardiovascular of yoga, it gets the heart pumping, all the blood to the extremities, it synchronizes the breath with the movement. I recommend 20 minutes of a yoga flow, incorporated into your day."

She also recommends a more plant-based diet, especially when it comes to getting your daily protein. She stresses you don't have to be a vegetarian, but lean toward plants for protein.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Cancer Drug Reverses Baldness Caused by Alopecia in Small Study

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A drug approved to treat a rare form of leukemia reversed hair loss caused by alopecia, a small study found.

The drug, ruxolitinib, helps reduce inflammation caused by disease. But it also helped three alopecia sufferers regrow full heads of hair within five months, according to the study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

“We still need to do more testing to establish that ruxolitinib should be used in alopecia," said study author Dr. Raphael Clynes, director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology at Columbia University in New York City. "But this is exciting news for patients and their physicians."

It’s not yet known if ruxolitinib can restore other types of hair loss.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that leads to patchy hair loss. It is not the same as male pattern baldness, which has its roots in genetic and hormonal causes.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Ebola Patient Reunites with Husband Through Isolation Glass

SIM(ATLANTA) -- Nancy Writebol, one of two American Ebola patients, was reunited with her husband on Sunday, sharing a tender moment through the isolation glass at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

“We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again,” David Writebol said in a statement. “She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words.”

Nancy Writebol was working for the aid group SIM in Liberia when she contracted the virus, which has killed 1,145 people in West Africa. She was evacuated to Atlanta on Aug. 5, shortly after the other American Ebola patient, Dr. Kent Brantly.

David Writebol returned from Liberia a week ago but was placed under quarantine in North Carolina out of an abundance of caution. Since he has not shown any symptoms of the virus since his wife’s diagnosis three weeks ago, he was cleared to visit her in Atlanta.

“She is continuing to slowly gain strength, eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other,” he said.

Brantly, who is also recovering at Emory University Hospital, said he is “continuing to heal.”

“I hold on to the hope of a sweet reunion with my wife, children and family in the near future,” he said in a statement Friday.

Both Brantly and Nancy Writebol received the experimental drug known as ZMapp.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Diabetic Teen Kicked Out of New Jersey Drive-In Movie

iStock/Thinkstock(VINELAND, N.J.) -- A diabetic teenager was kicked out of a drive-in movie theater because he brought in some candy, violating the theater's policy against outside food.

"Have someone tell me no, because of a really dumb reason. It's just really humiliating," 16-year-old Ben Weidner told ABC News.

Weidner has Type 1 diabetes and says he always carries around a backpack containing insulin, an EpiPen, a juice box and candy. The candy is for when his blood sugar suddenly drops.

But when Weidner tried to go to the Delsea Drive-In in Vineland, New Jersey, he was not allowed inside because outside food and drinks are not allowed.

Dr. John Deleonardis, the owner of the drive-in movie theater, and a pediatrician, says that his concession stand has several diabetic-friendly foods available.

"My time shouldn't be occupied at the box office, trying to explain to people that we have a website. It tells you about this," Deleonardis told ABC News. "If you don't want to go to that, don't come."

Weidner said he thinks the theater should consider diabetics when enforcing their "no outside food or drink policy," but Deleonardis says the medical condition should not be an exception to the rule.

"Sorry your kid has an affliction but what can I tell you?" Deleonardis told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

But Weidner's father, Phil Weidner, says, "It's just ignorant and unacceptable. Just because he feels people are going to take advantage of him by bringing food in."

Deleonardis told WPVI that he has no plans to change his policy.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

Iowa Students to Wear Heart Rate Monitors

iStock/Thinkstock(DUBUQUE, Iowa) -- Students going back to school in Dubuque, Iowa, are going to find it a little harder to slack off in gym class.

Public middle and high school students will have to wear heart rate monitors in gym class to make sure they are actually being physically active.

"It will be a large portion of their grade, because we want to grade them on what they're actually doing in our class," Dubuque Schools Athletic and Wellness Director Amy Hawkins told ABC News.

Teachers will use the information collected from the heart rate monitors to write report cards.

"It really takes the opinion out of things," Hawkins said. "You know it's not really 'I think your kid is doing this and this in class.'"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug182014

The Do's and Don'ts of Digital Flirting

iStock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) -- Flirting is certainly an art form, and one that has taken on new dimensions due to texting.

As it happens, people who receive these texts are pretty particular not only about the content of the messages sent but how they're conveyed.

Stanford University students who developed the chat app Omlet conducted a survey of 1,000 adults and young people on "Digital Flirting Rules," and the number-one turnoff for both men and women is "Funky or very informal spelling."

"Lack of punctuation and grammar" was the second biggest irritant for the ladies, while guys complained about "Multiple exclamation points in chat messages."

Using a lot of slang, such as LOL, also isn't inadvisable if you're trying to make an impression.

Here are women's five biggest digital flirting turnoffs and disapproval ratings:

  1. Funky or very informal spelling -- 73 percent
  2. Lack of punctuation and grammar -- 59 percent
  3. Excessive slang -- 54 percent
  4. Messages during sleeping hours -- 51 percent
  5. All lowercase words -- 50 percent

Men's five biggest digital flirting turnoffs and disapproval ratings:

  1. Funky or very informal spelling -- 58 percent
  2. Multiple exclamation points in chat messages -- 47 percent
  3. Lack of punctuation and grammar -- 46 percent
  4. All lowercase words -- 41 percent
  5. Excessive slang -- 40 percent

Meanwhile, emoticons and emojis apparently hit the right spot when it comes to flirting. Thirty-one percent of men and 38 percent of women enjoy receiving them, according to the researchers.


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