Well: A Doctor on Schedule, Rarely on Time

Photo Credit James Yang The minute I got on that bus, I knew I was in trouble. The driver sat at the stop just long enough to miss the green light. Then he inched along till he missed the next light and the one after that. He stopped at every stop even though not a soul was waiting. The 20-minute trip to work stretched to a half-hour, then longer. I was late, late, late. But this was a driver with a mission, clearly way ahead of schedule and trying to…

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Well: Think Like a Doctor: The Tired Gardener Solved!

On Thursday, we challenged Well readers to solve the case of a previously healthy 67-year-old gardener who abandoned his garden one summer, alarming his wife and adult children. For weeks this vibrant and energetic man had been the last one out of bed — something his family had never seen before. And his days were interrupted each afternoon with a fever that left him shaking and pale. More than 300 readers suggested diagnoses for this classic presentation of an unusual disease, and a couple dozen of you nailed it. The…

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The Future Issue: You, Only Better

The event was billed as a cutting-edge biohacking event, but it was tame compared with what goes on at the fringes of this community. Seven months earlier and about two hours away, in Tehachapi, a much more extreme clique of biohackers gathered to share the recent discoveries from their world at a gathering called GrindFest. These are the real transhumanists, the kind of people who implant magnets under their skin and embed microchips in their bodies to replace key cards. Asprey’s ethos is not so dissimilar — he wants to…

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Well: For a 7-Minute Workout, Try Our App

Photo Credit Got seven minutes? We’ve got the app. Today The New York Times is offering a free mobile app for the popular Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the new Advanced 7-Minute Workout. The workouts, reported by Gretchen Reynolds, our Phys Ed columnist, can now be installed on your smartphone or tablet, or used on your desktop computer. The app offers a step-by-step guide to both 7-minute workouts, offering animated illustrations of the exercises, as well as a timer and audio cues to help you get the most out of your…

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Well: Exercising a Fat Dog (and Yourself)

Photo Credit Illustration by Ben Wiseman From the Well archives. The chubby, inert pet dog has become a familiar household sight in richer countries. And yet there lies a possible boon to the out-of-shape among us. A recent study suggests that being told one’s pet is dangerously overweight might provide the impetus that gets an owner moving. It might seem that having a pet dog would result in considerable physical activity, and that’s true, broadly speaking. A 2013 review of studies related to dog ownership concluded that as a group,…

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Scaling Back: A New Policy Disagreement Between Clinton and Sanders: Soda Taxes

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have a new issue to disagree about: the wisdom of a soda tax. A tax on sugary soft drinks, like the one proposed in Philadelphia and endorsed by Mrs. Clinton last week, divides the left. It can be seen as achieving an admirable public health goal of less sugar consumption or as a very regressive tax that falls more on the poor than the rich, since the poor tend to drink more soda. While not the biggest issue the two candidates have tussled over, it…

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Early Puberty in Girls Raises the Risk of Depression

When girls come in for their physical exams, one of the questions I routinely ask is “Do you get your period?” I try to ask before I expect the answer to be yes, so that if a girl doesn’t seem to know about the changes of puberty that lie ahead, I can encourage her to talk about them with her mother, and offer to help answer questions. And I often point out that even those who have not yet embarked on puberty themselves are likely to have classmates who are…

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Well: War Wounds That Time Alone Can’t Heal

No doubt in the course of your life, you did something, or failed to do something, that left you feeling guilty or ashamed. What if that something was in such violation of your moral compass that you felt unable to forgive yourself, undeserving of happiness, perhaps even unfit to live? That is the fate of an untold number of servicemen and women who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other wars. Many participated in, witnessed or were unable to help in the face of atrocities, from failing to aid an…

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Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast

I don’t eat breakfast. It’s not that I dislike what’s offered. Given the choice of breakfast food or lunch food, I’d almost always choose eggs or waffles. It’s just that I’m not hungry at 7:30 a.m., when I leave for work. In fact, I’m rarely hungry until about lunchtime. So, other than a morning cup of coffee, I don’t eat much before noon. This habit has forced me to be subjected to more lectures on how I’m hurting myself, my diet, my work and my health than almost any other.…

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You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar

You may know there’s added sugar in your Coke or cookies. But did you know that it’s in your salad dressing, pasta sauce and bread? The Food and Drug Administration came out Friday with its new template for nutrition labels. One big change was the addition of a line for “added sugar,” to be placed below a line for total sugar. The change is designed to distinguish between sugars that are naturally occurring in a food — like the milk sugar in a plain yogurt — and the sugars that…

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