5 Things to Read on Improving Health

Everything from how to eat healthy on a budget to the negative effects of overuse of antibiotics can be found in this week’s roundup of reads on health improvement.

E-cigarette advertising still targets teens — and it’s effective

With names like Bubble Pop, Strawberry Cotton Candy and Peanut Butter Cup, smoking products for e-cigarettes and vapes seem to target children — and new research says young adults that watch ads for the products are more likely to try them. Kaiser Health News breaks down a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Women’s symptoms often ignored, misdiagnosed

Decades of gender bias and discrimination in scientific research and medicine have left clinicians with gaps in knowledge of how certain illnesses and medications affect women as opposed to men. “The medical knowledge that we have is just skewed towards knowing more about men’s bodies and the conditions that disproportionately affect them,” Maya Dusenbery, author of “Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick,” said in an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air. Read interview highlights here.

How to eat healthy on a budget: 11 tips

Diet choices have a huge effect on health, but eating nutritious food isn’t always affordable. A Vox.com reporter spoke with multiple food and nutrition experts and came up with 11 tips to eating healthy food while sticking to a budget. Find that info, plus a video on why eating healthy is expensive in America, here.

Can surgical masks actually keep you healthy?

They’re common sights in health care settings or crowded areas like airports, but antimicrobial facemasks are hardly a foolproof way to prevent illness, The New York Times reports. While one study showed wearing a mask can decrease the chance of getting sick by 60 to 80 percent, “most people fail to wear a mask faithfully enough to achieve this degree of protection.” Read the full piece here.

Antibiotics: A lifesaver, but increased use has risks

Worldwide, the use of antibiotics increased 65 percent between 2000 and 2015, a new report found — but increased use of antibiotics can open the door for more superbugs, or bacteria strains that can’t be killed by common drugs. “The more we use antibiotics, the more we are going to encourage the growth of these bacteria that are resistant to them,” the director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University told NPR.

Also, check out this MHCSW story on how unnecessary antibiotic use is dropping in the U.S.


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Interested in ways we can make the health care system work better?