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Health tips

Dark chocolate: A recent study by Italian researchers may add new meaning to those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that are a favorite of Valentine sweethearts. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate every day can reduce the inflammation that leads to heart disease, according to the study, which was published in the September issue of The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers at Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy, and the National Cancer Institute of Milan found that people who eat dark chocolate regularly have lower levels of C-reactive protein in their blood, an ...

Fitness corner: Start shoulder maintenance 101 right now

There’s no reason to wait for an injury to pay attention to your shoulders (particularly the rotator cuffs), your upper back and the muscles that assist them. Below, four experts offer advice about how to keep the shoulder healthy.

Parents remain confused about babies’ medicine

A new study shows parents widely hold the mistaken belief that they should use over-the-counter cough and cold medicines on babies under age 2, despite doctors and federal health officials advising against it as far back as 2006.

Surprising number of teens think they’ll die young

CHICAGO — A surprising number of teenagers — nearly 15 percent — think they're going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior, new research suggests.

Bulk up with a diet that’s high in fiber

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Six months ago, Don Stahlhut of Oakland, Calif., went on a high-fiber diet per the suggestion of his nutritional coach. Stahlhut, 65, had a family history of heart failure and was taking three medications for high cholesterol.
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How to care for your bones throughout life

DALLAS — Bones are the body's first lines of defense. They protect the brain, heart and lungs and anchor the muscles. They keep us mobile. And all they ask in return is our support to keep them strong: good nutrition, weight-bearing exercise, calcium and Vitamin D.
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Consumers devouring nutrient-spiked foods, drinks

MILWAUKEE — From heart-friendly margarines to sugary cereals that strengthen bones, once-demonized foods are being spiked with nutrients to give them a healthier glow — and consumers are biting, even on some that are little more than dressed-up junk food.

Flu’s not the only ill that might merit a preventive shot

All the vaccine buzz is about the H1N1 virus right now, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding Americans to make sure ALL of their vaccinations are up-to-date. The CDC encourages adults to guard against vaccine-preventable diseases such as shingles, human papillomavirus (HPV), tetanus, meningitis, whooping cough and pneumococcal disease.
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Most kids’ meals still far from healthful, group warns

ORLANDO, Fla. — Even though children’s nutrition has received lots of attention the past few years, you’re still more likely to find chicken fingers and fries on kids’ menus than wraps and salads. Ninety-seven percent of major restaurant-chain children’s meals were deemed unhealthful in a recent report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer-advocacy group.
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Health by the numbers, lots of numbers

MINNEAPOLIS — Jared Sieling’s first experiment was on his diet. For weeks, he diligently recorded everything he ate until the data revealed a nutritional gap: not enough protein. Next, he strapped on a device to monitor his activity level. The numbers revealed the software engineer was a slug, averaging fewer than 1,000 steps a day — well below the recommended 10,000-step mark.

Boxing helps Parkinson’s patients fight back

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — “Right uppercut! Harder, harder, harder!” At T3 Health and Fitness in Cooper City, Fla., physical therapist Craig Marks barks instructions as he spars with William Defreitas, who swings wildly and charges forward with more jabs.

H1N1 spreads quickly and to more people

SEATTLE — It’s known that swine flu is a fairly contagious disease. What’s been less clear is just how quickly the H1N1 virus gets transmitted in homes and schools — and how effective vaccines would be in containing a widespread outbreak.

Fitness Corner: When you exercise, don’t forget to breathe

My favorite thing about yoga classes — other than the part at the end when you get to lie down and act like a corpse — is that the instructors always remind me to breathe. Pretty much without fail, whenever I get the cue “Don’t hold your breath,” I am. And as soon as I go for a deep, belly-expanding inhale, I feel amazingly able and at ease.

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Latest plan reloads health care battle

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s call for an overhaul of the nation’s health care system gained fresh momentum with the introduction of long-delayed Senate legislation to rein in spiraling medical costs and require nearly everyone to carry health insurance.