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The Couple that Tries to Lose Weight Together May Not Lose Weight Together

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two brains are bet­ter than one when it comes to tack­ling cer­tain things, but a new study indi­cates that when it comes to weight loss, a person’s chance of shed­ding pounds is greater when they don’t team up with a partner.

In a study pub­lished in the jour­nal Eat­ing Behav­iors, researchers assessed 50 over­weight duos who made New Year’s res­o­lu­tions to lose weight, and found those who dieted together gen­er­ally failed separately.

The researchers found that when a per­son was suc­cess­ful in reg­u­lat­ing his or her diet and was able to eat health­ier, that made their part­ner less con­fi­dent in con­trol­ling his or her own food portions.

Accord­ing to study author Jen­nifer Jill Har­man, peo­ple “feel less con­fi­dent achiev­ing their goals when they see oth­ers suc­ceed­ing at the same goals.”

For het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples, com­par­ing weight loss can be even more frus­trat­ing, espe­cially for women. Research at the Mayo Clinic has found that men tend to lose weight and keep it off eas­ier than women because guys have more mus­cle, which helps burn off more calo­ries and increase their metabolism.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Parents Should Buy Teens Newer, Safer Cars

dolgachov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Par­ents buy­ing their teenage chil­dren cars should open up their wal­let and opt for a new car instead of a used one, researchers say.

A study con­ducted by the Insur­ance Insti­tute for High­way Safety, and pub­lished in the jour­nal Injury Pre­ven­tion, looked at national data on dri­vers between the ages of 15 and 17 and dri­vers aged 35 to 50 who were killed in car acci­dents. The biggest dif­fer­ence, the study found, was the age of the cars.

An over­whelm­ing major­ity — 82 per­cent — of the teenagers killed in crashes were dri­ving vehi­cles that were more than six years old. Even more strik­ing, 48 per­cent were dri­ving vehi­cles 11 years old or older.

Those older cars, researchers say, were less likely to have safety fea­tures, such as elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and side air bags, which might have cut the rate of teens killed in crashes. In fact, researchers say, the rate of fatal crashes for teens is about three times that for adult drivers.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Report Names Most, Least Prepared States for Infectious Disease

Spotmatik/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new report named the most and least pre­pared states in the coun­try when it comes to infec­tious disease.

The report, put out by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion, used ten indi­ca­tors of pre­pared­ness to judge the states. At the top of the list of best pre­pared states? Mary­land, Mass­a­chu­setts, Ten­nessee, Ver­mont and Vir­ginia. On the other end of the spec­trum, Arkansas fin­ished at the bot­tom of the list.

Among the indi­ca­tors used in the report are prepa­ra­tion for emerg­ing threats, vac­ci­na­tions, healthcare-associated infec­tions, sexually-transmitted infec­tions, food safety, core capa­bil­i­ties, inte­gra­tion of health care and pub­lic health and lead­er­ship and account­abil­ity. A state suc­cess­ful in a given indi­ca­tor would receive one point.

The top five states, TFAH said, received just eight out of 10 pos­si­ble points, while Arkansas received just two.

Among the biggest prob­lems, the report indi­cated, were that just 14 per­cent of states vac­ci­nate at least half of their pop­u­la­tion and only 16 states per­formed bet­ter than the national stan­dard­ized infec­tion ratio for central-line-associated blood­stream infections.

The full report can be found here.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


What to Know About European Union's Obesity Ruling

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Europe’s high­est court ruled on Thurs­day that obe­sity can, under cer­tain cir­cum­stances, be con­sid­ered a dis­abil­ity, tak­ing a step for­ward against obe­sity dis­crim­i­na­tion, experts say.

The Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice heard the case of a child-care worker iden­ti­fied in the rul­ing as “Mr. Kaltoft,” who claimed he had been fired from his job because of his weight. The court ruled that although obe­sity was itself not a dis­abil­ity, it can cause cer­tain hin­drances that can be con­sid­ered a disability.

In the past, employ­ers have said with respect to obe­sity, ‘Well, this is their fault,’” said Ted Kyle, chair­man of the non­profit Obe­sity Action Coali­tion, which is head­quar­tered in Florida. Until now, employ­ers did not feel oblig­ated to accom­mo­date obese employ­ees in the work­place because they deemed that being obese was a per­sonal choice, Kyle noted.

He said var­i­ous genetic and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors are at play when it comes to obe­sity, and that employ­ers are real­iz­ing they can’t dis­crim­i­nate peo­ple based on weight.

The Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice ruled that it was for the national court to deter­mine whether Kaltoft’s obe­sity qual­i­fies as a dis­abil­ity — anal­o­gous to the U.S. Supreme Court toss­ing a case back to a lower state court to hash out the details.

Though we have the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act in the United States, Rebecca Puhl, deputy direc­tor at the Rudd Cen­ter for Food Pol­icy and Obe­sity at Yale Uni­ver­sity, said obe­sity only meets the def­i­n­i­tion of dis­abil­ity in some cases. In most cases, it does not meet the def­i­n­i­tion and the legal cases that hinge on obe­sity as a dis­abil­ity are gen­er­ally not successful.

The plain­tiff must prove that his or her obe­sity is dis­abling or per­ceived to be dis­abling by oth­ers,” Puhl said.

Kelly Brownell, a pro­fes­sor at Duke University’s Stan­ford School of Pub­lic Pol­icy, said although some peo­ple may not want to be labeled as hav­ing a dis­abil­ity, he thinks the move is pos­i­tive and puts Europe ahead of the United States.

My per­spec­tive on this is that it’s a good idea because there’s very clear research show­ing that over­weight peo­ple are dis­crim­i­nated against in most set­tings where there have been stud­ies,” Brownell said, point­ing toward stud­ies in edu­ca­tion, health care and employment.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Medical Miracles that Happened in 2014

Sec­ond Sight(NEW YORK) — Mod­ern med­i­cine has always been capa­ble of amaz­ing things, but 2014 was an espe­cially remark­able year.

Much of what hap­pened over the past 12 months wasn’t even pos­si­ble just a few short years ago. Some occur­rences, like the ones that fol­low, might even qual­ify as miracles:

Bionic Eye­sight

In Octo­ber, a North Car­olina man became one of the first peo­ple in the world to receive a bionic pros­thetic eye implant. After being blind for over 30 years, doc­tors were able to restore a lim­ited amount of his sight.

The wire­less device works by pick­ing up light through a tiny cam­era and trans­mit­ting the light into the nerves of the retina which then send sig­nals to the brain. The Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia researchers who devel­oped the tech­nol­ogy call it basic but “a huge leap forward.”


The 2014 World Cup soc­cer tour­na­ment began with a kick by a para­plegic man in a mind-controlled exoskeleton.

As we go after the world cup, we would like to exam­ine a num­ber of other move­ments,” said Miguel Nicolelis, one of the 100 researchers who helped develop the robotic suit as part of the Walk Again Project.

3D Printed Body Parts

This was the year print-on-demand body parts became a viable real­ity. From the pros­thetic hand printed for under $10 by high school­ers to the cus­tom “bionic arm” 3D printed for a 6-year-old boy, sci­en­tists and cit­i­zens alike printed up a sub­sti­tute for just about every joint in the body. Sci­en­tists also exper­i­mented with bio-printing organs as well.

Mir­a­cle Babies

This was a ban­ner year for mir­a­cle babies. Con­joined twins sur­vived and thrived in Dal­las, a rare “Ghost Baby” born with­out 80 per­cent of her blood was saved, and there was a break­through stem cell treat­ment in the so-called “bub­ble baby dis­ease,” a rare con­di­tion that leaves its young vic­tims with­out a work­able immune system.

Mir­a­cle Moms

When a 40-year-old woman’s heart stopped beat­ing for 45 min­utes dur­ing labor, doc­tors were about to call her time of death. Sud­denly they spot­ted a blip on the heart monitor.

I remem­ber see­ing a spir­i­tual being who I believe was my dad,” Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro said of the inci­dent which hap­pened in Novem­ber. “I remem­ber the light behind him and many other spir­i­tual beings.”

Incred­i­bly, her heart started again on its own, doc­tors said. She suc­cess­fully deliv­ered a healthy baby girl, Taily, by cesarean.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Why Drew Barrymore Waited to Lose the Baby Weight

Mark Davis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Drew Bar­ry­more and her hus­band Will Kopel­man wel­comed their sec­ond child, a daugh­ter Frankie, this past April and only now is she start­ing to worry about shed­ding the extra baby weight.

It took nine months to build. It should take nine months to get off,” she told Peo­ple mag­a­zine of wait­ing to focus on drop­ping the weight. “I wanted fet­tuc­cini alfredo. I didn’t want a barbell.”

As for those moth­ers that imme­di­ately get in the gym right after giv­ing birth, Bar­ry­more doesn’t want to hear it.

I was like, ‘Don’t talk to me about how fast and fab­u­lous you are or it came off.’ That was not my expe­ri­ence. I’m hav­ing to work my ass off until I even think about get­ting it off,” she added.

Frankie joins big sis Olive, 2, and with the fam­ily grow­ing, the actress, 39, says she is work­ing less and less.

The act­ing has to be less and less because it’s too time-consuming. I love it and I don’t want to aban­don it, but it can’t be at the fore­front right now,” she said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


How Rapper Rick Ross Lost 85 Pounds

Craig Barritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Rap­per Rick Ross is a music indus­try heavy­weight who has been known as much for his big hits as his impos­ing size. But he’s sport­ing a far slim­mer physique these days.

In an inter­view with ABC News’ Sara Haines, the “Hus­tlin’” rap­per who was born William Leonard Roberts II said he’d lost about 85 pounds in the past year through lifestyle changes and Cross­Fit workouts.

I just feel like I was at the point in my life where, you know, so many other pos­i­tive things were hap­pen­ing in my career, my life. And, you know, two years ago I suf­fered two seizures,” the 38-year-old said. “And, you know, I woke up from that. And I was like, ‘Wow.’”

He added: “I was just like, ‘I really need to, you know, re-evaluate what I’m doing.’”

The rap­per had embraced his more rotund shape. He famously appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone show­ing off his large bare belly.

He told Haines he had to change.

You know, I feel I’m fat boy for­ever. I’m going to always be a fat boy. But it most def­i­nitely was just some­thing I had to do, you know, for the bet­ter, you know. And I always enjoy my size. I love tak­ing my shirt off, run­ning around, you know … it was really a health issue for me,” he said.

He made some dras­tic changes, cut­ting back on his drink­ing, sleep­ing more and watch­ing what he ate.

Sodas was the first thing I cut out. Most def­i­nitely. That was, major­ity of my sugar. The way I ate, you know, fast food,” he said.

Now, on a typ­i­cal day, he’ll have three eggs with turkey bacon for break­fast, then he’ll do a workout.

That’s Ross­Fit, you know. I put a twist on that Cross­Fit,” he said, laughing.

Ross said he gets in three to four Cross­Fit work­outs per week, and admits that some peo­ple have ques­tioned the change, which can go against the stereo­type of rap­pers always liv­ing the high life.

To those detrac­tors, Ross has an answer.

I say, ‘Baby, you already know … I still got it. Ain’t noth­ing went nowhere. You just bet­ter with it, you know what I mean? And you know, every­thing really been going well,” he said.

Ross is forg­ing full-steam ahead musi­cally, churn­ing out album after album. His lat­est is Hood Bil­lion­aire, his sec­ond in seven months.

He said it’s a result of his pas­sion for music.

When Haines asked him whether the weight loss affected his music or his life, he replied:

Not at all, you know. My music just comes … from the heart,” adding that he drew inspi­ra­tion from all aspects of life, includ­ing the inter­view with Haines.

He jok­ingly told Haines he might rap about her.

I may actu­ally put your name, you never know, in a verse,” he said. “But, you know, every day I wake up, there’s some­thing new for me to feed on, or I see some­thing new that’s going on around me that I could make not just a punch line, but an actual topic for an incred­i­ble record.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Childhood Diseases Can Also Sicken Adults

ABC/Rick Row­ell(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Angelina Jolie missed the pre­miere of her movie Unbro­ken because she came down with chick­en­pox. Mean­while, more than a dozen play­ers from the National Hockey League were diag­nosed with the mumps.

Aren’t these child­hood ill­nesses? Yes they are, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t get them.

Dr. Aaron Glatt, a spokesman for the Infec­tious Dis­eases Soci­ety of Amer­ica, explains there are sev­eral fac­tors at work here, one being that vac­ci­na­tion rates have fallen across the coun­try, mean­ing the chances of being exposed to chick­en­pox, mumps, measles and whoop­ing cough have increased.

Right or wrong, the anti-vaccine move­ment that has gained strength over the years is putting more peo­ple at risk.

Another prob­lem is that vac­cines aren’t per­fect and if some­one has been immu­nized as a kid, the vaccine’s effect can wear off over the course of time. In other words, just become you didn’t come down with an infec­tious dis­ease as a child doesn’t mean you’ll never get sick if exposed to the dis­ease as an adult.

It’s believed that the NHL play­ers passed along the mumps to one another although it’s dif­fi­cult to ascer­tain how Jolie devel­oped chicken pox. How­ever, doc­tors know that since she’s got­ten sick, Jolie is more sus­cep­ti­ble to other dis­eases down the road such as shin­gles, which causes painful rashes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio