Health & Science

The Salt
4:57 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Navajos Fight Their Food Desert With Junk Food And Soda Taxes

A price comparison of Spam and fresh fruit in a grocery store in Navajo Nation. According to the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance, the vast majority of the inventory at reservation stores would be considered "junk food" under the new tax law.
Courtesy of Denisa Livingston

More than 30 cities and states across the country have attempted to tax soda. Nearly all have failed.

Now, a community of about 250,000 people has found a way to tax not just sugary beverages, but also junk food. At the same time, it's making fresh produce more affordable in one of the hardest regions in the U.S. to buy it.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Margaret Hamburg Ends Six-Year Run As FDA Commissioner

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:12 pm

Margaret Hamburg ended her run this week as one of the longest serving Food and Drug Administration commissioners in recent decades. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with her about her accomplishments and challenges while in office.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Health
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Germanwings Crash Highlights Workplace Approaches To Mental Health

Last week's plane crash in the French Alps has focused attention on what Lufthansa knew about the co-pilot's mental health condition. Airlines and other employers have to navigate a thicket of issues that balance an employee's rights to privacy against the potential risk and safety issues that a mentally sick patient could pose.

Health
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Arizona Requires Doctors To Say Abortion Pill Is Reversible

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:12 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Trading Walkathons For Ice Buckets, Charities Try To Hold On To Donors

A big crowd turned out for the March of Dimes walkathon in Gainesville in early March. But overall, the March of Dimes' March for Babies raised $3.5 million less in 2014 than it did the year before.
Elizabeth Hamilton Gainesville Sun/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:12 pm

Springtime means outdoor charity events, and there are plenty to choose from.

You can walk, run, bike, swim or even roll around in the mud to raise money for a cause. But some of the bigger, more established events aren't doing as well as they used to, and charities are trying to adjust.

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Goats and Soda
3:41 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

A Virus In Your Mouth Helps Fight The Flu

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Hidden inside all of us are likely thousands of viruses — maybe more. They just hang out, harmlessly. We don't even know they're there.

But every once in a while, one of these viral inhabitants might help us out.

Young people infected with a type of herpes virus have a better immune response to the flu vaccine than those not infected, scientists at Stanford University report Wednesday. In mice, the virus directly stops influenza itself.

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Shots - Health News
3:11 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Diagnosing A Sinus Infection Can Be A DIY Project

This is what the inflammation of sinus infection looks like in a false-color X-ray. It hurts even more in real life.
CNRI Science Source

Sinus infections are miserable, and it's hard not to want to run to the doctor for relief. Rethink that, the nation's ear, nose and throat doctors say.

Most people who get sinusitus feel better in a week, the doctors say, and many of those infections are caused by viruses. Getting an antibiotic isn't going to help.

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Shots - Health News
10:09 am
Wed April 1, 2015

To Avoid Surprise Insurance Bills, Tell Exchange Plan When You Move

If you thought more experience with the heath insurance marketplaces would cut down on confusion about them, you'd be wrong. The questions about how they work keep pouring in. Here are answers to some of the latest queries.

I purchased health insurance in Ohio through the marketplace in April. I then moved to Missouri and applied for marketplace coverage there that began in October. I had assumed that the Ohio marketplace would cancel my coverage there, but that didn't happen. What should I do?

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Shots - Health News
3:53 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Tobacco Firm Seeks Softer Warning For Cigarette Alternative

Will this maker of snus, an alternative to cigarettes, be allowed to claim it is less harmful?
Swedish Match

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:30 pm

The Food and Drug Administration is weighing whether to allow a tobacco company to do something it's never done before — claim that one of its products is less risky than cigarettes.

The company, Swedish Match of Stockholm, has applied to the FDA to designate its General brand of snus (rhymes with "loose") as safer than other versions of tobacco.

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