A Grocery Store Exodus Is Turning Rural Towns Into Food Deserts, But Some Are Fighting Back
Residents of small, rural towns where it can be challenging to get food are opening community-run markets as a way of combating the problem. In other public health news: IVF, anxiety, suicide, cyberharassment, the "war on drugs," cancer, and more.
The New York Times:
Farm Country Feeds America. But Just Try Buying Groceries There.
John Paul Coonrod had a banana problem. The only grocery store in his 1,500-person hometown in central Illinois had shut its doors, and Mr. Coonrod, a local lawyer, was racing to get a community-run market off the ground. He had found space in an old shoe store, raised $85,000 from neighbors and even secured a liquor license to sell craft beer. But then his main produce supplier fell through. (Healy, 11/5)
Most IVF 'Add-Ons' Rest On Shaky Science, Studies Find
In the 40 years since the world’s first “test tube baby,” fertility clinics have cooked up nearly three dozen such “add-ons,” or supplementary procedures. Like immune therapy for supposed genetic incompatibility, they’re not essential to IVF. Instead, clinics offer procedures such as “assisted hatching” and “embryo glue” and “uterine artery vasodilation” as purportedly science-based options that increase the chance of having a baby. Except there is little to no evidence that the vast majority of IVF add-ons do any such thing, conclude four papers published on Tuesday in Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (Begley, 11/5)
The Washington Post:
Worrying Or Feeling Anxious A Lot Can Be A Sign Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
“Worry has consumed my life. I have worried about everything and everybody, and am always preparing for the possibility of things going wrong,” said Marla White, a 55-year-old publicist from Los Angeles. She is not alone. A 2018 Gallup poll found that 45 percent of Americans said they felt worried a lot, more than in any year since 2006. (Kecmanovic, 11/4)
Tragedy Of Teen Suicide Recurs
Inspirational notes adorn the walls of Kandice Kennedy’s home. “The thought of losing you was terrifying,” reads one, handwritten on a paper heart. “ … I won’t know what to do. ”It was from her daughter, Zaria, who had agonized as she watched Kennedy undergo treatment for breast cancer. The girl also hosted a “Think Pink”-themed party for her mom’s birthday two years ago, and invited friends to leave their own messages of support and encouragement. (Windes, 11/4)
She Was Called The N-Word And Given Instructions To Slit Her Wrists. What Did Facebook Do?
You can call someone the n-word and give her graphic instructions on how to kill herself, and you won't get kicked off Facebook. Or you can tell a mother you hope her son gets raped, and you won't get kicked off the world's most popular social media platform. Or you can tell a mother whose 5-year-old daughter has died that "if your kids keep dying it's god trying to tell u u don't deserve them." (Cohen, 11/1)
The New York Times:
Is The ‘War On Drugs’ Over? Arrest Statistics Say No
Despite bipartisan calls to treat drug addiction as a public health issue rather than as a crime — and despite the legalization of marijuana in more states — arrests for drugs increased again last year. According to estimated crime statistics released by the F.B.I. in September, there were 1,654,282 arrests for drugs in 2018, a number that has increased every year since 2015, after declining over the previous decade. Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime and property crime have continued to trend downward. (Stellin, 11/5)
The Washington Post:
For Some Cancer Patients, Monitoring Symptoms Can Extend Their Lives
There’s an inexpensive, widely accessible and markedly effective approach to cancer care that’s as close as the tips of our fingers. It’s not a new drug, type of radiation or surgical breakthrough with a slew of unwelcome side effects. It’s also not a cure, but it is surprising for its simplicity. It’s a matter of regularly answering a few questions about symptoms. (Ornes, 11/4)
Even A Little Running Cuts Risk Of Premature Death, New Study Shows
Wondering whether it's worth going for a little jog? Get those sneakers on -- a new study shows that any amount of running lowers the risk of premature death. In an analysis of 14 previous studies -- from the US, UK, China and Denmark -- the group of researchers from institutes in Australia, Thailand and Finland concluded that increased running participation "would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity." (Sullivan, 11/4)
North Carolina Health News:
Tick Disease That Killed Former Senator Is Rare
The virus carried by a tiny tick that caused the death of former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has never been reported in North Carolina, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get here someday. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of tick-borne diseases are increasing and spreading throughout the country, including ticks carrying the Powassan virus. Hagan, who served as a U.S. senator from North Carolina between 2009 and 2015, died at age 66 after battling serious health complications for three years. Her funeral was Sunday in Greensboro, where she lived for decades. (Barnes, 11/5)
Too Much Screen Time Changes Brains, Says Cincinnati Children's Study
Young children who get more screen time than doctors recommend have differences in parts of the brain that support language and self-regulation, a study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has found.It's not clear how the changes affect a child's development, the researchers said. (Saker, 11/4)
Kaiser Health News:
Record Number Of Legionnaires’ Cases In 2018 Risk Lives, Cause Cleanup Headaches
Cases of Legionnaires’ disease reached a record high in 2018 — a more than eight-fold increase since the numbers began to climb nearly two decades ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday 9,933 cases in 2018 of Legionellosis, which includes both Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease made up the vast majority of cases, according to the CDC. (Weber, 11/5)