What Happens When We Separate Families

Over the past several months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – has been separating parents and their children seeking asylum at the U.S. border. In the vast majority of cases, these children have been taken to care institutions while their parents are detained in jail. [Read more…]

Why Do Youth Self-Injure?

Self-injury is defined as harming oneself on purpose, but without the intention of committing suicide. Research finds that about 17 percent of adolescents harm themselves intentionally. Girls are more likely to begin injuring themselves at a younger age, and use more serious forms of self-injury. Boys are more likely to injure themselves when they are high or drunk, or when they are in a social setting. [Read more…]

What We Know About E-Cigarettes and Health

Since their debut in 2004, electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes have steadily grown in popularity. Approximately 9 million U.S. adults regularly use e-cigarettes, and that includes a growing number of teen-agers. In 2015, one in six high school students reported using an e-cigarette in the past month. [Read more…]

What We Know About Fasting For Weight Loss

Fad diets come and go as often as trains in a busy station and many suggest completely different approaches to weight loss. Protein-based diets encourage participants to forgo processed foods and carbohydrates. Programs like Weight Watchers prescribe a healthy diet with a variety of foods but restrict calories for weight loss. And plant-based diets eliminate animal products including meats and dairy foods. [Read more…]

How much alcohol is too much?

A glass of wine with dinner. A beer at a barbecue.

For decades, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines advised that drinking in moderation would not lead to medical problems for healthy adults and may even improve heart health. But a new analysis published last month in the British journal The Lancet calls into question the idea that an alcoholic drink or two a day is harmless. At the same time, critics say the review does not account for other factors – such as diet, exercise, and socioeconomic status – that may influence a person’s overall health. [Read more…]

How to Prevent Older Adults From Falling

Falls are a serious problem among older adults. Approximately one in every four people over age 65 fall each year, and 20 percent of those lead to a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury.  Falls are the most common reason that older adults are admitted to the hospital. [Read more…]

When Parents Read to Kids, Everyone Wins

It’s no surprise that when parents read to their kids, it helps them succeed in school. [Read more…]

What’s the Best Way to Treat Mental Health Problems in Kids?

No one knows for sure, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 13 and 20 percent of youth ages 3 to 17 experience a mental health problem each year. This includes diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders and Tourette syndrome. [Read more…]

What Do We Really Know About Mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness is in the media constantly. We’ve written about it several times on the Evidence-based Living blog. Many people see meditation as a magic bullet that can reduce pain, relieve depression, and sharpen our focus. [Read more…]

The Evidence on Melatonin for Insomnia

If you have ever experienced insomnia, you know the agony of trying to fall asleep when your body simply will not cooperate. It is a common problem; an estimated 10 percent of people living in Western society are diagnosed with a significant sleep disorder and another 25 percent experience problems most days with sleeping or feeling tired during the day. [Read more…]

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