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Health

Mindfulness helps obese children lose weight and decrease anxiety

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spukkato/iStock(NEW YORK) — There may be a new secret ingredient to the tried and true methods of diet and exercise for weight loss. A new study has shown that mindfulness can aid in weight loss for obese children who also have anxiety. “Childhood obesity not only leads to chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, it also leads to poor self-esteem and depression,” said Dr. Mona Degan, a primary care physician practicing in Los Angeles. Food choices and activity levels have long been associated with children that are obese, but stress, depression and anxiety are also found in as many as 87% of obese children. Stress and anxiety are even worse when children are put on a diet, according to the study, so it can be important to treat the body and the mind. Researchers tested the effects of mindfulness on stress levels for eight weeks using self-reported surveys and charted changes in appetite and the amount of weight lost in children with obesity and anxiety. The term “mindfulness” incorporates psychological techniques focused on attention, body awareness,

China launches coronavirus tracking app as death toll surpasses 1,000

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nito100/iStock(NEW YORK) — The Chinese government launched an app to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the death toll from CoViD-19 in the nation spiked to more than 1,000 and the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 40,000. The smartphone app, dubbed the “close contact detecter,” aims to let people know whether they are at risk of catching the disease based on if they have been in close proximity with someone who has it. While it has courted some privacy concerns, some experts say those are currently outweighed by public health benefits amid what the World Health Organization has dubbed a global health emergency. The app was designed by three Chinese government agencies — the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission and the China Electronics Technology Group Corporations — and unveiled Monday in a report from Xinhua, the state-run news agency, on the National Health Commission’s website. “These new apps are helpful, but we’re all waiting to see if it can do much to reduce the spread,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of

'Insulin or death': New Hampshire voters gripped by skyrocketing drug prices

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Gina Sunseri/ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) — A quiet struggle over the skyrocketing price of insulin is turning the 2020 election into a referendum on survival for many New Hampshire families. “It is insulin or death,” said Stacey Patterson of Pembroke, New Hampshire, of the 100-year-old drug. “There’s no other treatment for Type 1 [diabetes]. There’s nothing you can do. If it’s $1,000, I’m going to pay $1,000, because I have to. There’s no other choice for me.” Dependence on life-saving prescription drugs, especially insulin, has dominated discussion on the campaign trail, as skyrocketing prices force families to confront political candidates over solutions. “It is terrible,” said Brittany O’Donnell, chapter leader of New Hampshire Insulin4all, a nonpartisan grassroots network of people struggling to afford the drug. “It’s fear. It’s dependability. Everyone’s leaning on each other for tips and tricks on how to afford these things, how to obtain these things.” Insulin prices have jumped nearly 300% in the last decade, according to the American Diabetes Association. The drug has been used to treat diabetes since 1922, but lax regulation and market pressures

Thirty acronyms that child predators use to communicate with our kids

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agil73/iStock(NEW YORK) — Tuesday, Feb. 11, is Safer Internet Day, a day to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. The day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues that reflect current concerns. And while most parents know what LOL and TTYL stand for, it turns out there’s a lengthy list of other, lesser-known-to-adults acronyms that child predators use to communicate with kids. For example: do you know GNOC? It stands for Get Naked on Camera. ABC News’ Good Morning America reached out to the experts at the Child Rescue Coalition, an organization that aims to protect all children from sexual exploitation, to find out what parents need to know when it comes to predators and those seemingly harmless acronyms. The group gave GMA a list of 30 that should sound the alarms if a parent sees their child using it. The group’s advice: “Make sure to have open conversations with your children about what rules you want to set, and clearly let them know that you will check their phone and all the

Three brothers under age 5 all diagnosed with same type of cancer

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Angie Rush(ATLANTA) — Three young brothers are all sharing the same fight after being diagnosed with eye cancer. Tristen, 5; Caison, 3; and Carter Rush, 7 months, are being treated for retinoblastoma. Tristen received his diagnosis in April 2014. Caison was diagnosed in October 2016 and Carter in January of this year. “It was surprising, but we knew that the chances were 50/50,” mother Angie Rush of Atlanta told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I had been told by doctors most of my life that because of the genetic mutation with the retinoblastoma that I have in both eyes I had a 50/50 chance of passing it on.” Rush said she too was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at just 6 weeks old, but is healthy today. Her boys are receiving chemotherapy once a month, along with eye checks and laser treatments. Dr. Thomas Olson, director of the solid tumor program at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, confirmed the cancer the brothers have is hereditary. “That being said, it is very rare for all three

Mom who used to judge stay-at-home parents says, 'I get it now'

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Kyryl Gorlov/iStock(NEW YORK) — Anyone who thinks being a stay-at-home mom is easy should just ask a stay-at-home mom. Because just like being a mother who works outside the home, staying at home full-time has its challenges, too. In a post shared 73,000 times on Facebook, 25-year-old Bridgette Anne Armstrong of Winona, Minnesota, shared the many reasons why her role is “lonely and overwhelming.” Armstrong is mom to 18-month-old daughter Riley Anne and told ABC News’ Good Morning America she “just hit a breaking point” prior to the post. “It was just a day where my child and I both woke up early, in a bad mood, and the day just fell apart from there,” she said. “Diaper blowouts, crying, screaming, and just realizing how exhausted I was and how isolated from a world outside of motherhood I really had become.” Her post read in part: “You can’t do anything by yourself; go to the bathroom, enjoy a cup of coffee, read, hell you can’t even scrub the shit out of pants for the 3rd time in a day without

HIV-positive airmen fighting to stay in the Air Force in first-of-its kind case

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Gam1983/iStock(NEW YORK) — LGBTQ advocates are preparing to go to trial against the U.S. government over its policies on HIV-positive service members. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two young Air Force members who said they were discharged after being diagnosed with HIV in contravention with military rules that do not call for automatic dismissal due to the medical condition. This is especially true, they say, in light of treatments with commonly available medications that allow the virus to be rendered undetectable and therefore not transmittable. The service members notched a victory in January when a federal appeals court upheld an injunction that allowed the case to move forward, but Lambda Legal, one of two advocacy groups representing the men, said the battle is just beginning. “This is a major victory, but there is more fight ahead,” Scott Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, said. “Our adversary in this case is the military itself and its current leadership, which seems not to be willing to actually accept or grapple with what these changes in the medicine

Funeral home enlists puppy to join 'grief support team' and comfort families

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sshepard/iStock(FRANKLIN, N.C.) — A North Carolina funeral home is adding a new member to its grief support team — Mochi, an 8-week-old Bernese mountain dog. In a post shared on Facebook, Macon Funeral Home introduced Mochi as a dog “who loves people and loves to sleep.” Mochi is currently training at Macon Funeral Home in Franklin, North Carolina, to offer unique emotional support to grieving people, said Mochi’s owner, Tori McKay. “The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very loyal, affectionate and gentle animal, and has always been my choice for a potential grief therapy dog,” McKay, who also works at Macon Funeral Home as the office administrator, wrote in a blog on the funeral home’s website. “They have a history of being excellent therapy and support dogs, which comes from their kind disposition and laid-back personalities.” McKay said she has dreamed of having a grief therapy dog at the funeral home for a decade to bring any element of comfort to funeral visitations. After celebrating her 30th birthday, she decided to follow through with it. “I wanted to make this

US coronavirus 'protocols are sufficient,' acting Homeland Security secretary says

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3D Rendering – Gilnature/iStock(WASHINGTON) —  Chad Wolf, the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News in an interview that the U.S. has in place “sufficient” protocols to combat the coronavirus. When asked for details on any information sharing between the U.S. and China, Wolf said he didn’t have specifics. “I think we’re getting pretty good cooperation out of China,” he continued. “The U.S. is sending over experts — medical experts — as well as financial help. So it’s an all-team effort.” Before inquiring further on information from China, Wolf added, “We’re just trying to address the virus and medical concerns.” Travelers arriving in the U.S. will be screened, asked a series of questions and have their travel data analyzed. “It’s a really robust screening protocol, again, that we do each have at air, land and sea ports of entry,” he said. At least 564 people have died from the virus among more than 28,000 reported cases, according to the World Health Organization. DHS is taking direction from the Centers for Disease Control, but that’s subject to

Try this self-care challenge: Push-ups and planks every day in February

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capdesign/iStock(NEW YORK) — Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OB-GYN, is encouraging everyone to do planks and push-ups in February. The plank and push-up challenge is the self-care challenge of the month in Ashton’s new book, The Self-Care Solution, which features a different self-care challenge for every month of the year. “This challenge is all about something that can be done in seconds or minutes literally anywhere,” Ashton told Good Morning America. “I picked it because I wanted it to be able to be done anytime, anywhere by anyone.” “If you’re an elite athlete, there’s a challenge in there for you,” she said. “If you’ve never done one single push-up and you’ve never held a plank for more than one second, there’s a challenge in there for you too.”Here’s how to get started The challenge is to simply take time to do both push-ups and planks every day in the month of February. For push-ups, find your baseline and up the number daily The first step is to find your baseline, or how many push-ups