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Turkey Time

This Is Why Your Kid Is Fat

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A new study finds that today’s children aren’t nearly as healthy as their parents were at the same age. Is a time machine our only hope?

Just in time for Thanksgiving, here’s some evidence that suggests little Johnny shouldn’t have a second helping of potatoes.According to recent work by Australian researchers, today’s kids are, on average, 15 percent less physically fit than their parents were when they were the same age. This translates to a mile being run 90 seconds slower by a child now compared to a child in the 1960s. Chalk one up for the oldsters!  So what’s slowing down our youth? The authors speculate that the culprit is the sedentary lifestyle—that comfy world of fine TV, most excellent video games, and McDonald’s delivered to the front door.

Quantified Self

Find the Best Fitness Tracker

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There are dozens of fitness gadgets on the market that can measure movement, heart rate, elevation, and even body temperature. Here’s how to figure out which will work for you.

While no technology will ever replace diet and exercise, a new class of gadgets may provide key insights into your physical fitness. Known by a litany of terms—fitness trackers, health monitors, activity trackers, and wearables—there’s a growing cadre of tech toys that share a common goal: to get you into better shape.To know whether any of the trackers are worth your cash, let’s start with what fitness trackers do. Essentially, they are little gadgets users wear for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Eat Me

Up to Speed: The Cholesterol Mess

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So…can I eat that bacon or not? New guidelines and a glitchy online calculator have added new confusion to the cholesterol debate. Here’s what we know.

The only thing doctors like more than hearing themselves wax poetic on the intricacies, centrality, and difficulties of medical work is to give a major theatrical mea culpa where all can see – on the front page of The New York Times perhaps. A place where all can read, hear, and bear witness.   The latest entry in this long list of hyperbolic apologies revolves around an online calculator for determining cardiovascular (heart attack and stroke) risk and, by extension, the possible need for intervention.

Meningitis Scare

Princeton’s Slow-Moving Outbreak

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Seven cases of meningitis have been reported at the university, and now the board of trustees may recommend a new vaccine for students that’s not approved for U.S. use.

UPDATE: University officials said Monday that they would make a vaccine for the type B meningococcal bacteria—which hasn’t been approved for use in the U.S.—available to Princeton students, though not mandatory. Princeton University is in the midst of an odd, slow-motion outbreak of an unusual strain of the dreaded disease meningococcal meningitis. The situation is sufficiently dire that the Princeton Board of Trustees met over the weekend to decide whether to recommend that students receive a vaccine that is available in Europe and Australia but not approved for use in the United States.

Safety Issue?

Young, Fast, and Famous—With MS

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Trevor Bayne deserves praise for pushing ahead with his life and NASCAR career after his MS diagnosis. It seems fair, however, to ask whether he’s putting himself and others in danger.

Trevor Bayne, the 22-year-old NASCAR driver who announced Tuesday that he has multiple sclerosis, joins National Hockey League goalie Josh Harding  as an active athlete with MS carrying on with his life and career.We have not been told what symptoms Bayne and Harding have; surely maintaining their privacy is appropriate. But their illnesses and their courageous decision to live their lives emphatically and without interruption does raise a set of interesting questions.

Grey Matter

The Case of JFK's Missing Brain

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As the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death approaches, a new book claims that president’s grey matter was swiped from the hospital back in 1963. Let’s review the facts.

The world that surrounds the JFK assassination is, at baseline, so bizarre and so susceptible to any cockamamie idea that the news that the former president’s brain is missing seems like a standard news dispatch, a routine day at an office where alien abductions are greeted with a bored shrug.But the recent claim that the First Brain was swiped not by the CIA or the Cubans or Marilyn Monroe but by Kennedy’s own brother, the former attorney general of the United States, Robert Kennedy, has gotten enough mainstream attention to merit a thorough debunking.

Lauer Effect

‘Today’ Bends Over Frontward

NBC

Co-hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker had their prostates probed live on the air. Al Roker explains how they got the idea—and why it wasn’t about ratings.

If Matt Lauer’s and Al Roker’s live on-air prostate exams Thursday don’t win the morning for the second-place Today show, what other procedures are they prepared to undergo in the ratings battle against Good Morning America?“Here’s the deal—the reason we did this was not for ratings,” Today’s meteorologist and resident cutup told me after he and Lauer went behind closed doors to receive a rectal probe from Dr. David Samadi, chief of urology and robotic surgery at Lennox Hill Hospital Prostate Cancer Center and Lauer’s personal physician.

DRUGGED

Behind the Krokodil Panic

Jae C. Hong/AP

Relax! The home-brewed Russian drug isn’t invading America. Here’s how the media got duped into mistaking an old existing epidemic for a new outbreak.

“Zombie Apocalypse Drug Reaches U.S.,” read one headline. “Flesh-Eating 'Zombie' Drug 'Kills You from the Inside Out,” blared another.“The Most Horrifying Drug in the World Comes to the U.S.,” warned a third.They sound more like quotes from a horror movie trailer than headlines from Mother Jones, CNN, and Time, respectively, but the panic was real. Over the past several weeks, a wave of apparent users of Krokodil—a highly addictive morphine derivative brewed in rural Russia—appeared to herald a chilling new age in America’s drug wars.

Itchy

Ding Dong, You Have Lice

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Just in time in for Halloween, when kids share their wigs and costumes with reckless abandon, the louse has been added to a list of ‘superbugs.’ How spooked should parents be?

This Halloween there may be something more frightening out there than ghouls, haunted houses, or your daughter dressed up as Miley Cyrus. Lice.   Yes, the louse, that itchy creepy crawling little bug that has tormented school children and their parents and their teachers and their friends' parents and their teachers and et cetera for generations. For the last decade or two, these annoying invaders have become resistant to the various antimicrobials, lotions and grandma’s tricks for removal.

Will It Never End?

The U.N.’s Polio Panic

Razan Rashidi/AP

Polio has appeared in Syria for the first time in a decade—and the U.N. is scrambling to vaccinate millions of children in neighboring countries to contain the threat of a widespread epidemic.

The U.N. is preparing a huge region-wide polio vaccination campaign out of fear that the emergence of polio inside Syria is the beginning of a much larger epidemic.The World Health Organization announced Tuesday that polio had appeared in Syria for the first time since 1999, prompting an effort last week to vaccinate 1.6 million children inside the country. Before the Syrian outbreak, experts thought polio had been eradicated in all countries except for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Nigeria.

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