Personal Health and Well-being

Candy Sagon writes about health topics for AARP. She previously was a reporter with the Washington Post and has written numerous articles on food, health and nutrition for national magazines.

CSPI’s Most Outrageously Unhealthy Restaurant Meals

Every year the Washington, D.C., consumer-watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) takes a look at menus from the country’s top chain restaurants and figures out which meals are so mind-blowingly unhealthy, they deserve some kind of dishonorable mention. Hence, this year’s list of “Xtreme Eating” meals — those with shocking amounts of calories, fat and sodium, which contribute to the nation’s problems with obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, said Paige Einstein, a registered dietitian who …

Jimmy Carter and His ‘Breakthrough’ Cancer Drug

Former president Jimmy Carter, who announced Thursday he has melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain, is being treated with two cutting-edge therapies that offer new hope to the 76,000 Americans diagnosed annually with this type of cancer. Carter, 90, explained in a news conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta that melanoma — most commonly occurring as skin cancer, but which can also cause internal tumors — had formed a mass in his liver, as well as …

New ‘Female Viagra’ Pill: Will It Help Older Women?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first medication designed to treat lack of sexual desire in premenopausal women, although some experts say it may be helpful for older women as well. The approval comes after a controversial lobbying campaign in June by the drug’s makers and other groups accusing the federal agency of gender bias in not approving a sexual dysfunction drug for women. The FDA denied the charge, saying erectile dysfunction drugs for men work far …

Paying More for Your Rx Meds? 7 Ways to Save

Has this happened to you lately? You go to refill one of your regular prescriptions at the pharmacy and the copay has gone up — a lot. That’s a nasty little surprise that’s happened to 1 in 3 Americans in the last 12 months, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,000 adults taking prescription meds. Those hit with sticker shock said they paid an average $39 above the usual cost for their prescription, with 1 in …

Asian Pears: A Natural Cure for Hangovers (and Constipation)?

We’ve all heard the so-called cures for a hangover: lots of water, greasy food, coffee, B vitamins, hair of the dog, blah blah blah. Not exactly scientifically backed stuff. But now Australian scientists think they’ve found a natural cure that’s more than just vague folklore. Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), announced on its news blog that it “stumbled upon” a great scientific finding: Asian pears can apparently ward off hangovers and lower blood …

Good and Bad News About Ovarian Cancer

Two new studies this week have upended some basic assumptions about ovarian cancer, questioning both the survival rate of this dangerous disease and the best type of chemotherapy to improve those survival odds. First, a new study, led by researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston, found that a potentially lifesaving treatment for those with advanced ovarian cancer is being used on less than half of patients. And second, researchers at the University of California, Davis say that …