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.

New Painkiller Warning: What Does It Mean For You?

Ten years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the widely used nonaspirin painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen — including over-the-counter brands such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve — may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But new evidence has convinced the agency that the warning on these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) needs to be tougher. The FDA is now strengthening the wording to say that NSAIDs increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, even …

10,000 Reveal the 5 Secrets to Maintaining Weight Loss

Congratulations! You stuck with a healthy diet and have lost weight. Now comes what may be the hardest part: Keeping it off. That’s what many weight loss groups tell Brown University psychologist and weight loss expert Kathryn Marie Ross with the university’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, RI. Ross helps these groups find simple strategies for losing weight as well as keeping it off. The weight loss plan, for example, starts with cutting 500 calories a day, …

We Dislike Flossing So Much, We Lie About It

Tell the truth now: Are you really flossing your teeth every day? Or are you just lying about it to your dentist? If it’s the latter, you have company. A new survey finds that 27 percent of us lie through our teeth about flossing daily — and that figure is probably low, dental experts told NPR. For some reason, we just don’t relish yanking a thick thread between our tightly packed molars, digging out slimy, bad-smelling bits of food and making …

Planning a Trip? 6 Tips to Avoid Health Problems

You’re having a great trip and then, boom, you fall off your bicycle and break your leg. Just ask Secretary of State John Kerry, who did just that in France recently and had to cancel the rest of his European diplomatic trip. On the advice of his physicians, Kerry, 71, was flown back to Boston for medical treatment. But what happens if you have an accident or fall ill while abroad and you’re not an important government official? How can …

FDA to Food Industry: Get Rid of Those Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats have helped the food industry since the 1950s enhance all kinds of not-so-healthy processed food; the artery-clogging fats have also contributed for decades to the country’s No. 1 cause of death — heart disease. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration finally put a plan in place to ban trans fats from food — an anticlimactic move considering most food companies have reduced or eliminated trans fats thanks to a decade or more of pressure from health …

Two New Cholesterol Drugs Get Advisory OK, Despite Doubts

A federal advisory panel has recommended that two powerful new cholesterol-lowering drugs be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns that the drugs’ long-term effects are still being studied. The medications belong to a new class of biotech drugs that lower cholesterol in a different, more powerful way than statins, which have been the standard treatment to protect against heart disease for the past 20-plus years. Called PCSK9 inhibitors, they’re taken by injection every two to four weeks …