Chocolate Might Never Be the Same
The Atlantic » Health
by Yasmin Tayag
4d ago
Good chocolate, I’ve come to learn, should taste richly of cocoa—a balanced blend of bitter and sweet, with notes of fruit, nuts, and spice. My favorite chocolate treat is nothing like that. It’s the Cadbury Creme Egg, an ovoid milk-chocolate shell enveloping a syrupy fondant center. To this day, I look forward to its yearly return in the weeks leading up to Easter. Most popular chocolate is like this: milky, sugary, and light on actual cocoa. Lots of sugary sweets contain so little of the stuff that they are minimally chocolate. M&M’s, Snickers bars, and Hershey’s Kisses aren’t staples of ..read more
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The Sober-Curious Movement Has Reached an Impasse
The Atlantic » Health
by Haley Weiss
6d ago
At Hopscotch, Daryl Collins’s bottle shop in Baltimore, he happily sells wine to 18-year-olds. If a customer isn’t sure what variety they like (and who is, at that age?), Collins might even pull a few bottles off the shelves and pop the corks for an impromptu tasting. No Maryland law keeps these teens away from the Tempranillo, because at this shop, none of the drinks contains alcohol. The number and variety of zero- and low-alcohol beverages, a once-lagging category that academics and the World Health Organization refer to as “NoLos,” has exploded in the past five-plus years. The already grow ..read more
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Almost No One Is Happy With Legal Weed
The Atlantic » Health
by Jane C. Hu
1w ago
The legalization of cannabis in the United States—the biggest change in policy for an illegal substance since Prohibition ended—has been an unqualified success for approximately no one. True, the drug is widely available for commercial purchase, many marijuana-related charges have been dropped, and stoner culture has become more aligned with designer smoking paraphernalia featured on Goop than the bumbling spaciness of Cheech and Chong. But a significant part of the market is still underground, medical research is scant, and the aboveground market is not exactly thriving. Longtime marijuana ac ..read more
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The Coming Birth-Control Revolution
The Atlantic » Health
by Katherine J. Wu
1w ago
This article was featured in the One Story to Read Today newsletter. Sign up for it here. Within the next couple of decades, a new generation of contraceptives could hit the American market. One, a pill that blocks certain cells from accessing vitamin A, might be able to limit fertility without flooding the body with hormones; another is an injection that temporarily blocks up the reproductive plumbing. The method that’s furthest along in trials is a topical gel that promises to induce temporary infertility when smeared daily on the shoulders and upper arms—without affecting mood or libido. “O ..read more
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The Doctor Will Ask About Your Gun Now
The Atlantic » Health
by Nancy Walecki
2w ago
A man comes to Northwell Health’s hospital on Staten Island with a sprained ankle. Any allergies? the doctor asks. How many alcoholic drinks do you have each week? Do you have access to firearms inside or outside the home? When the patient answers yes to that last question, someone from his care team explains that locking up the firearm can make his home safer. She offers him a gun lock and a pamphlet with information on secure storage and firearm-safety classes. And all of this happens during the visit about his ankle. Northwell Health is part of a growing movement of health-care providers th ..read more
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The CDC Is Squandering the Breakthrough RSV Vaccine
The Atlantic » Health
by Katherine J. Wu
2w ago
When a new RSV vaccine for pregnant people arrived last fall, Sarah Turner, a family-medicine physician at Lutheran Hospital, in Indiana, couldn’t help but expect some pushback. At most, about half of her eligible pregnant patients opt to get a flu vaccine, she told me, and “very few” agree to the COVID shot. But to Turner’s surprise, patients clamored for the RSV shot—some opting in even more eagerly than they did for Tdap, which protects newborns against pertussis and had previously been her easiest sell. For once, expectant parents were the ones starting conversations about immunizations. E ..read more
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Daniel Kahneman Wanted You to Realize How Wrong You Are
The Atlantic » Health
by Daniel Engber
2w ago
I first met Daniel Kahneman about 25 years ago. I’d applied to graduate school in neuroscience at Princeton University, where he was on the faculty, and I was sitting in his office for an interview. Kahneman, who died today at the age of 90, must not have thought too highly of the occasion. “Conducting an interview is likely to diminish the accuracy of a selection procedure,” he’d later note in his best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. That had been the first finding in his long career as a psychologist: As a young recruit in the Israel Defense Forces, he’d assessed and overhauled the po ..read more
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A Drug Half as Good as Ozempic for One-30th the Price
The Atlantic » Health
by Daniel Engber
2w ago
“In my lifetime, I never dreamed that we would be talking about medicines that are providing hope for people like me,” Oprah Winfrey says at the top of her recent prime-time special on obesity. The program, called Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution, is very clear on which medicines she means. At one point, Oprah stares into the camera and carefully pronounces their brand names for the audience: “Ozempic and Wegovy,” she says. “Mounjaro and Zepbound.” The class of drugs to which these four belong, called GLP-1 receptor agonists, is the reason for the special. For a brief and telling mo ..read more
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No Parent Can Make Home-Cooked Meals All the Time
The Atlantic » Health
by Yasmin Tayag
3w ago
On Sunday evening, I fed a bowl of salmon, broccoli, and rice to my eight-month-old son. Or rather, I attempted to. The fish went flying; greens and grains splattered across the walls. Half an hour later, bedtime drew near, and he hadn’t eaten a thing. Exasperated, I handed him a baby-food pouch—and he inhaled every last drop of apple-raspberry-squash-carrot mush. For harried parents like myself, baby pouches are a lifeline. These disposable plastic packets are sort of like Capri-Suns filled with blends of pureed fruits and vegetables: A screw-top cap makes for easy slurping, potentially even ..read more
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It’s Not the Economy. It’s the Pandemic.
The Atlantic » Health
by George Makari, Richard A. Friedman
3w ago
Sign up for The Decision, a newsletter featuring our 2024 election coverage. America is in a funk, and no one seems to know why. Unemployment rates are lower than they’ve been in half a century and the stock market is sky-high, but poll after poll shows that voters are disgruntled. President Joe Biden’s approval rating has been hovering in the high 30s. Americans’ satisfaction with their personal lives—a measure that usually dips in times of economic uncertainty—is at a near-record low, according to Gallup polling. And nearly half of Americans surveyed in January said they were worse off than ..read more
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