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Your Shrink, Analyzed

Bravo

‘LA Shrinks,’ premiering tonight on Bravo, promises to show what therapists are really like. Rachel Krantz speaks with three therapists to find out what they’re really thinking.

Television’s newest experiment in reality programming, LA Shrinks, premieres tonight on Bravo. The show promises to go behind the scenes to show what therapy—and the personal lives of therapists themselves—is really like. While trying to decode one’s own complexes is nothing new, exactly what’s goes on in your therapist’s mind during sessions is another story. Rachel Krantz spoke with three therapists—including LA Shrinks cast member Eris Huemer—to find out if they’re really listening, what they wish they could tell us, and, yes, if they’ve ever wanted to set us up on a date.

Sequester Danger

Cuts Could Kill Cancer Patients

Phillipe Huguen/AFP/Getty

Experts at leading cancer organizations say expected cuts from the sequester will mean dramatically less money for critical cancer research—and patients not having access to lifesaving treatments.

The growing chorus of pols and pundits who dismiss President Obama’s warnings about the sequestration cuts as fearmongering should talk to cancer researchers. Leaders at several esteemed cancer organizations interviewed for this story all say virtually the same thing: the cuts will have a profoundly negative and long-lasting impact on cancer research and cancer patients.Why? Because the proposed reductions in nondefense discretionary funding will result in deep slices at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—whose main responsibility is conducting and funding cancer research.

TAKE ACTION, FDA

Our Food Is Killing Us

Alan Marler/AP

Legislation has been drafted giving the FDA authority to help prevent foodborne illnesses and deaths. But much of our food supply remains unsafe, with at least 310,000 Americans annually going to early graves from diet-related conditions—and the FDA doesn’t have the clout or will to help to change it.

The 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act, for which rules finally were drafted last week, is inarguably a victory for those of us who want to eat our spinach salads and cheeseburgers without the worry of ingesting deadly foodborne bacteria. This long overdue legislation finally gives the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees about 80 percent of our food supply, authority to help prevent outbreaks instead of just reacting to them. Yet if the goal is a safe food supply, this law barely scratches the surface.

Infectious

L.A.’s Tuberculosis Scramble

Damian Dovarganes/AP

An outbreak of the respiratory infection has hit the city's homeless population—and some 300 high-risk individuals are still at large. Christine Pelisek on the challenges of rooting out the disease in seedy Skid Row.

Los Angeles is scrambling to contain an outbreak of tuberculosis in the city’s seedy Skid Row area, which has become a giant Petri dish for the highly contagious bug.So far, at least 60 homeless people living in shelters in the area have contracted the bacterial respiratory infection since 2007. Thousands more who inhabit Skid Row—known for its cardboard boxes, porta-potty outhouses, and camping tents that line the sidewalks—may have been exposed.

LIFE-SAVING DIET?

Eat Like a Greek

Ina Peters/Getty

A rigorous new study confirms that a diet rich in produce, nuts, olive oil, and wine significantly reduces risks of cardiovascular disease. Lizzie Crocker breaks down the tasty findings.

When a major clinical trial is cut short because it would be “unethical to continue,” it’s safe to say the findings could be life-changing for participants. In the case of a monumental new study measuring how a Mediterranean diet—versus a low-fat diet—affected heart disease among people at high risk, the results were so clearly in favor of the former that researchers ended the trial early.We’ve long seen correlations between longevity and people who eat like the Greeks, but we’ve never before seen research that shows just how much their diet—as opposed to genetics and lifestyle—factors into their heart health.

Sweet and Lowdown

Seek the Hidden Sugar

George Doyle/Getty

Things like ketchup have added sugar that can add up. Diana Le Dean searches for the silent killers and suggests alternatives.

In her new book, “Yes You Can: The Achievable Diet,” Diana Le Dean talks about her method for losing weight and staying fit while still eating what you love. In this chapter, called “Sugar’s Stealthy Assault,” she talks about hidden sugars you should probably avoid but creep up on you despite your best efforts.As you probably know, addiction to sugar is a leading cause of obesity and a host of other health problems. Sugar detox begins by simply not adding sugar to your already well-sugared foods.

Ahem

The Other Big Vaccine Lie

Toby Talbot/AP

Whooping cough is deadly, on the rise, and preventable with a vaccine. These are the facts, despite a spate of stories that distort a new study. Amanda Schaffer reports.

Earlier this month, the New England Journal of Medicine published an eye-catching report, noting that new strains of whooping cough had turned up in 11 patients in North Philadelphia. Since then, dozens of news spots, blog posts, and even resources for doctors have fretted over the emergence of “vaccine-resistant pertussis.”There’s only one problem: these headlines are all wrong.The vaccine almost certainly offers protection against the new strains.

Doctor’s Orders

How Sick Is Lady Gaga?

Dave J Hogan/Getty for Coty Beauty UK

Citing a little-known condition called synovitis, the pop star has canceled her latest tour. Should the little monsters be worried? Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on what’s strange about the diagnosis.

Lady Gaga fans weren’t happy to learn a new word this week: “synovitis.” That’s the reason the Mother Monster gave for cancelling the remaining dates on the American leg of her global stadium tour. Gaga said she had a tear in her right hip and would need surgery. The announcement sent her legions of followers scurrying to various sources to determine just what on earth synovitis is and why Lady Gaga (née Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) of all people should have it.

article

This Is Your Brain on TV

Diane Diederich, via Getty

A new study finds watching TV lowers male sperm count. But from killing you softly to changing your dreams, Rachel Krantz breaks down the other ways the boob tube is altering your mind.

TV will rot your brain. It’s a mother’s refrain as tried and true as “You’re going out in that?!” and “Don’t forget to take a sweater.” But as it turns out, Mom may have been understating this one. Researchers are only just beginning to understand the effect television has on the brain, and what they’ve found so far sure isn’t good. From decreasing your chances of procreating to cutting years off your life, here are the top six ways our beloved television may be pulling a HAL 9000 on us.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Dying for Pot in N.J.

Julio Cortez

With only one legal dispensary for medical marijuana in New Jersey, the sick are lining up in wheelchairs. Three years after medical cannabis was legalized in the Garden State, the fight to make it available has only just begun.

Most nights, 52-year-old Marta Portuguez wakes up crying from pain—jolted out of sleep by horrifying muscle spasms that occur without warning. “I cry my eyes out,” she tells The Daily Beast. “It feels like someone is chopping up my legs with a machete or burning them with a torch from the inside out.” Diagnosed with 11 illnesses over the course of 9 years—including severe fibromyalgia and gastroparesis—the former Comcast executive and mother of 6 now knows only 2 levels of pain: excruciating and unbearable.

5 Secrets for Better Health Care

Johns Hopkins Hospital surgeon Marty Makary shares the five insider tips to getting top-notch medical care. First stop? The internet.

  1. Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? Play

    Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?

  2. The Number: $5.7 Billion Play

    The Number: $5.7 Billion

  3. The War on Waxing? Play

    The War on Waxing?

Books

Healthy Reads

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

The famous Grant Study tracked hundreds of Harvard men from youth to death to determine what predicts contentment.

Waste

Has the War on Cancer Failed?

Unlikely Cures

An Epidemic of Absence

A Selfish Read

What Richard Dawkins Reads

Nicomachean

How to Be Ethical