A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles in Health

Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos
Wednesday, 8 Apr, 2009 – 0:51 | 4 Comments
Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos

Frustrated with the world? Stressed by the times we live in? Fine, but don’t take it out on your kids by feeding them junk.
According to the latest research from the It’s All Mom’s Fault Department, …

How to destroy a health-care program when it’s needed the most
Tuesday, 7 Apr, 2009 – 0:59 | One Comment
How to destroy a health-care program when it’s needed the most

If a tree falls in a dead-red county and takes out a health-care program that sees almost a quarter million visits a year, would anyone hear it?  Would anyone notice before hospital emergency rooms become …

New insights into the mind’s workings as scary as they are exciting
Monday, 6 Apr, 2009 – 0:55 | Comments Off
New insights into the mind’s workings as scary as they are exciting

If there were a medication that would make you forget downing one too many at the company holiday dinner and laying one on the boss’s better half, would you take it? Would you slip it …

Snoring can cause impairments – no kidding
Saturday, 4 Apr, 2009 – 22:21 | Comments Off
Snoring can cause impairments – no kidding

Add another item to your running list of “reasons I fear my child will grow up to be a serial killer.”
A new study from Finland indicates that young children who snore have more problems with …

Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not
Wednesday, 1 Apr, 2009 – 12:38 | One Comment
Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not

When we last left Pulmicort, the asthma medicine popular for children was about to become a generic after Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals got permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to produce it. British …

The obesity epidemic might start earlier than we think
Tuesday, 31 Mar, 2009 – 2:27 | Comments Off
The obesity epidemic might start earlier than we think

Researchers have known for years that overweight toddlers are more likely to grow into overweight teens, who in turn have a greater risk of becoming overweight adults.
The problem might start before even preschool, though.
New research …

Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault
Monday, 30 Mar, 2009 – 2:49 | Comments Off
Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault

The headline – Feeling stressed? You can combat the worry line – was enticing enough that I clicked.
It included some interesting anecdotal nuggets about how the economy has taken its toll on our health – …

It’s official: No one knows where food comes from
Sunday, 29 Mar, 2009 – 0:15 | 2 Comments
It’s official: No one knows where food comes from

Befuddled by exactly where that yogurt you’re about to eat came from?
You’re in good company. According to a report released Friday, even federal inspectors with access to an array of government and industry records were …

‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come
Sunday, 15 Mar, 2009 – 23:49 | Comments Off
‘Pretend I’m not allergic’ – there’s now hope that day could come

Next to “bop brother over the head” and baseball, “pretend I’m not allergic” is Big Guy’s favorite game.
Boots will sit with their toy cash register as his brother orders at McDonald’s. “I’ll have chicken nuggets, …

If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge
Saturday, 14 Mar, 2009 – 9:20 | Comments Off
If the FDA can’t do better than mass confusion, put someone else in charge

Food and Drug Administration left hand, meet the Food and Drug Administration right hand. You two need to talk.
Right hand says we’ll look at banning children’s cold medicine because some parents misuse it. The reason: …

Add an inhaler to that TIVO package
Wednesday, 11 Mar, 2009 – 23:04 | Comments Off
Add an inhaler to that TIVO package

Funny how a study that tells us what we largely already know – sitting around can hurt your health – can trigger such skepticism.
That’s how some have reacted to a British Medical Association journal article …

Misery loves company – and I have a lot of it
Friday, 6 Mar, 2009 – 20:57 | 2 Comments
Misery loves company – and I have a lot of it

I am officially sick of coffee.
I bought a pound of my favorite this week – Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend, the formula so stout mere mortals spew it – and it hasn’t fazed me. I had …

In good conscience, conscience clause had to go
Saturday, 28 Feb, 2009 – 0:07 | Comments Off
In good conscience, conscience clause had to go

You really have to wonder what George W. Bush was thinking (pausing for uproarious laughter to end in 3 … 2 … 1 …) when he enacted the Provider Refusal Rule during his final hours …

It might take a village to diet, too
Thursday, 26 Feb, 2009 – 0:12 | Comments Off
It might take a village to diet, too

The good news from this month’s New England Journal of Medicine: Regardless of whether you go Atkins or South Beach,if you cut calories you will lose weight.
The bad news: You’ll likely regain eventually.
That’s according to …

Turn down that noise! Huh?
Monday, 23 Feb, 2009 – 0:12 | 2 Comments
Turn down that noise! Huh?

The only surprising thing about a new University of Colorado, Boulder study is that who ever wrote the press release thought it was surprising.
“New iPod Listening Study Shows Surprising Behavior of Teens,” the headline reads.
The …

New proof of what we know: Moms don’t take care of themselves
Tuesday, 10 Feb, 2009 – 1:51 | Comments Off
New proof of what we know: Moms don’t take care of themselves

We confide our fatigue to friends over the office water cooler and vent it to the world at large via social media: I’m exhausted, burned out and need a nap.
We blog about ignoring our own …

A marketing ploy that’s partly true: Eat our pizza, but less of it
Saturday, 7 Feb, 2009 – 10:51 | Comments Off
A marketing ploy that’s partly true: Eat our pizza, but less of it

Here’s strange advice from an executive with a fast-food chain: Don’t pig out on our food.
That’s in essences what  Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said in an interview this week.
“Pizza’s actually healthy for you if …

Trying again to stop deals that delay generic drugs
Wednesday, 4 Feb, 2009 – 23:53 | 2 Comments
Trying again to stop deals that delay generic drugs

If a conspiracy falls in the forest and everyone within a country mile hears it, are big companies still guilty of cheating the public?
The Federal Trade Commission thinks so. It joined California Attorney General Jerry …

And baby makes 14 – I don’t get it
Friday, 30 Jan, 2009 – 23:03 | 4 Comments
And baby makes 14 – I don’t get it

I understand having one baby and stopping right there.
We almost did just that because of my age – 39 – when Big Guy was born. There were many who questioned our decision, in fact, when …

If the salmonella doesn’t make you sick, Peanut Corporation of America will
Thursday, 29 Jan, 2009 – 0:09 | One Comment
If the salmonella doesn’t make you sick, Peanut Corporation of America will

So much to be outraged over in the peanut-butter recall, so little time.
So let’s just hit the high spots, first with the Cliff’s Notes of what can be considered nothing less than a massive systemic …

3-plus years of silence a new low for even the FDA
Wednesday, 28 Jan, 2009 – 0:59 | Comments Off
3-plus years of silence a new low for even the FDA

Food and Drug Administration to-do list for Tuesday:

Write news release about the dangers of Venom Hyperdrive 3.0, a diet drug that contains a controlled substance.
Add five company statements to the list of products recalled as …

How a 7-year-old law surprised the auto industry
Tuesday, 27 Jan, 2009 – 3:02 | Comments Off
How a 7-year-old law surprised the auto industry

Did auto makers fall for the conspiracy theories that President Bush would declare martial law just before the election and remain in office forever?
Not that they could be faulted for fantasizing about that. Up until …

Food allergies are not just hysteria
Sunday, 18 Jan, 2009 – 11:10 | 3 Comments
Food allergies are not just hysteria

It started with an article in British Medical Journal in which an American doctor claimed parents are in the grip of a “nut hysteria” that is fueling irrational fears about allergic reactions to peanuts.
The doctor, …

Everything I need to know about SCHIP I learned from a mechanic
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 0:36 | Comments Off
Everything I need to know about SCHIP I learned from a mechanic

I don’t know which scared me more the day I swerved my Ford Escort off the freeway just in time to see the engine ignite: The flames shooting from the hood or my stepdad’s predictable …

Here’s hoping the new FDA head has bigger worries than cold medicine
Tuesday, 13 Jan, 2009 – 0:58 | 4 Comments
Here’s hoping the new FDA head has bigger worries than cold medicine

I was one of those parents today. The kind the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gets verklempt about every autumn as it considers, yet again, banning kiddie cold medicine. The kind of heartless momma who …

Giving COBRA some fangs would help ease the bite of unemployment
Friday, 9 Jan, 2009 – 0:49 | 4 Comments
Giving COBRA some fangs would help ease the bite of unemployment

I took a gamble and won, which is odd for me. I’m usually so unlucky I haven’t come out ahead on so much as a lottery ticket in close to a decade.
We decided in November …

Fudge a factor in the obesity epidemic – and not just the kind on ice cream
Sunday, 4 Jan, 2009 – 23:44 | 4 Comments
Fudge a factor in the obesity epidemic – and not just the kind on ice cream

How to kid yourself about the obesity epidemic without even trying:

Say “it’s just baby fat” as the baby approaches kindergarten.
Pretend that Pull-Ups made for kids up to 125 pounds are for potty-training teens.
Believe a pediatrician …

Maybe we should start calling it a cup of Josephine
Saturday, 27 Dec, 2008 – 10:21 | 6 Comments
Maybe we should start calling it a cup of Josephine

Dad’s always described himself as a wannabe coffee drinker.
He’ll go out with friends and try mightily, but no matter how embarrassingly much cream and sugar he loads in, he still winds up shaming himself by …