Health Care Reform
The new health care reform bill was passed on March 21. The Doctors explain how the new legislation will affect you:
Within the First Year of Implementation:
• Children are able to remain on their parents' insurance policies until the age of 26
• Insurers won't be able to impose exclusions on coverage for children with pre-existing conditions
• Lifetime or restrictive annual limits on benefits are eliminated
• When someone becomes sick, insurers cannot rescind policies to avoid paying bills
• Beginning July 1, 2010, a 10 percent tax will be added to indoor tanning services
• Most Americans will be required to have acceptable health insurance coverage, or pay a penalty
• Businesses with 50 or more employees must offer coverage, or pay a fine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 67 percent of Americans are overweight, and according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 86 percent could be overweight or obese by 2030.
In his TV show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is determined to change these alarming statistics. He sets his sights on Huntington, West Virginia — dubbed the unhealthiest city in America — and stages a food intervention to put residents on the road to wellness.
"The show, basically, was my opportunity to go into the eye of the storm, really, which was Huntington, West Virginia," Jamie says. "Why would I not take the opportunity to do this in the United States? I think America's ready. I think the parents in America are fed up with the statistics and the bad news. I think they want tools and information."
In his show, Jamie helps people of all ages learn how to prepare and eat balanced meals and cook with fresh, natural, unprocessed ingredients, whether at school, work or home. "People just don't know enough about where their food comes from," he says.
With more than 30 diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease, Jamie says that it is vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Jamie visits the Edwards family, an overweight household that is in desperate need of a health intervention. He teaches the family to use fresh ingredients to cook healthier meals and provides them with a trainer to get them moving.
"First, we had to teach [the Edwards'] how to shop," he says. "The changes we made saved them $150 a week. That's $8,000 a year. What we did was we taught them the other part of the supermarket, the part of the supermarket that they were scared of. The [part] with green stuff."
In addition to helping the Edwards', Jamie also visits a Huntington elementary school to show students, teachers and parents how much fat is consumed in one year at the school. "It's a good place to start," he says. "It's a good age. It's an age where children's habits, and likes and dislikes are really started and formed. It's also an age where kids are at their most malleable."
Jamie adds that healthy eating begins at home, and it's as simple as making fresh, healthy home-cooked meals. "When people go from a life of processed food to mainly a life of fresh food, I've seen families change," he says. "I've seen their health change, their weight change, their exam results change, their self-esteem change and for the moms and dads, even their sex life changes!"
Nearly 24 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, a disease in which the body does not properly produce or process the hormone insulin. Although there is no cure for diabetes, many serious consequences can be avoided if it is properly managed.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths, or tumors, in the uterus. The fibroids are comprised of muscle cells and tissue that grow in and around the walls of the uterus.
Three out of four women will develop fibroids at some point in their lifetime. Though the cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, research shows that African-American and overweight women are at greater risk to develop them.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids:
• Heavy periods
• Prolonged periods
• Pelvic pain
• Frequent urination
• Back pain
To remove the fibroids, treatment options include surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy, myomectomy, laparoscopy and uterine artery embolization. The MR-guided focused ultrasound is a new, noninvasive, incision-less treatment option for uterine fibroids.
"The most significant advantage [of the MR-guided focused ultrasound] is that we've gone from minimally invasive to essentially non-invasive, so there's no cutting, no stitching, no general anesthesia," OB/GYN Dr. Millie Behera says. "There's very little downtime and minimal risk of complications. These women are usually up and about either the same day or the next day, doing their usual activities and errands. It's a huge advantage for women who don't want to take weeks to recover or to incur significant risks from other procedures."