Despite calls to start over, US health system covers 90%

America’s much-maligned health care system is covering 9 out of 10 people, a fact that hasn’t stopped the 2020 presidential candidates from refighting battles about how to provide coverage, from Bernie Sanders’ call for replacing private insurance with a government plan to President Donald Trump’s pledge to erase the Affordable Care Act and start over. The politicians are depicting a system in meltdown. The numbers point to a different story, not as dire and more nuanced. Government surveys show that about 90% of the population has coverage , largely preserving gains from…

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Paleo diet may be bad for heart health

New research has found that people who follow the Paleolithic, or Paleo, diet have high levels of a blood biomarker tied to heart disease. The finding raises some red flags about this type of diet, which, the researchers suggest, is not balanced enough to ensure good health. Following the Paleo diet could threaten heart health, a new study finds. The Paleolithic diet — often known as the Paleo diet, for short — claims to emulate what the ancestors of modern humans used to eat. People who follow a Paleo diet…

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‘Toxic stress’: Addressing mental health needs in Sierra Leone

Kroo Bay is a slum in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Roughly 7,000 people live on the densely populated 50-acre area with no access to electricity, running water or sewage system. Harsh living conditions like these often lead to child neglect, violent abuse or sexual exploitation. OLIVIA ACLAND/AL JAZEERA Freetown, Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone witnessed a decade-long civil war and the worst Ebola outbreak ever, leaving hundreds of thousands traumatised in one of the world’s poorest countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 percent of the country’s population of seven million has mental health problems.…

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Insurers may deny health cover to diabetics dependent on insulin

I am 40 years old and have a health plan from my employer. I have diabetes and am planning to take a separate health insurance for myself. Will the new health plan cover diabetes? —Asif Rehman Buying an independent health insurance, despite having a group insurance cover, is a good move. Consider a sum insured equal to your annual income. Opt for a plan with high no-claim bonus. You can accrue this bonus while you are still covered under your employer’s policy. Diabetes will be considered a pre-existing illness for your new plan. For…

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9 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Pears

Pears are sweet, bell-shaped fruits that have been enjoyed since ancient times. They can be eaten crisp or soft. They’re not only delicious but also offer many health benefits backed by science. Here are 9 impressive health benefits of pears. Share on Pinterest 1. Highly nutritious Pears come in many different varieties. Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears are among the most popular, but around 100 types are grown worldwide (1Trusted Source). A medium-sized pear (178 grams) provides the following nutrients (2): Calories: 101 Protein: 1 gram Carbs: 27 grams Fiber: 6 grams Vitamin C: 12%…

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More evidence that ultra-processed foods could harm health

Previous research has suggested that consuming high levels of ultra-processed foods, such as packaged snacks and soda, could harm health. Two new studies confirm this notion and provide more evidence of the associated cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risks. Eating processed foods may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. Numerous studies have linked a high consumption of ultra-processed foods with a raised risk of chronic conditions. Cancer, type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis are just a few of the outcomes associated with consuming processed foods. Some studies have also suggested that consuming processed meat…

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Children from disadvantaged backgrounds at higher risk of obesity

Children with mothers with high levels of education accumulated three minutes more vigorous activity per day than those with low levels of education. Kids from disadvantaged backgrounds at higher obesity risk (Representational Image)  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock Washington DC: Children from disadvantaged backgrounds indulge in lower levels of vigorous physical activity, researchers suggest. This lack of physical activity exposes them to obesity. According to a recent study, children who belong to disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including some in Pakistan and Bangladesh, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity. The…

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Fighting for humane mental health treatment

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. When Faraaz Mahomed surveys the global health landscape, one area jumps out at him, an area where stigma and misinformation maintain a grip, where outdated attitudes hold sway, and where coercion is a routine part of treatment: mental health care. Mahomed, graduating this spring from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s doctor of public health program, has spent the last three years focused on how mental health care is provided around the world, particularly in resource-poor…

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Why Employers Pay Too Much For Health Care

Did you know that employers are paying hospitals more than twice as much as what Medicare pays? At some hospitals they are paying four times as much. Those are the findings from a new study by the RAND Corporation. It wasn’t always so. In fact, as recently as 2000, private payers were paying only 10% more than Medicare. Since then, the gap has been growing by leaps and bounds. What makes this especially surprising is that it has happened at a time when employers have been getting increasingly aggressive about controlling health care costs.…

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Two Key Health Datasets Differ, Reveal Incorrect Reporting By States

New Delhi: India’s progress on public healthcare has failed to keep up with its economic growth over the past decades, putting a binding constraint on the economy, Niti Aayog’s 2018 report, ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’, said. Ranking states and union territories (UTs) on a Health Index, the report noted that compared with India’s economic progress and achievements, its rates of improvement in health outcomes have remained lower than those recorded in developing countries with comparable levels of spending on health. This, along with the middle-income trap that a member of the Prime Minister’s…

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