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Follow These 3 Rules That Let You Eat More and Lose Weight

For some people, buzzy meal plans like Whole30 and the ketogenic diet are the only things that motivate them to overhaul their eating habits. For others, diets can be seriously problematic. That’s one reason New York City–based nutritionist Brooke Alpert, RD, wrote The Diet Detox. An anti-diet guide to making healthy food choices, the book provides “ten simple rules to help you stop dieting, start eating, and lose the weight for good.”

According to Alpert, diets don’t work because they have expiration dates; you’re only supposed to be on them for a fixed amount of time. When they end, so does your weight-loss success. A better idea, she believes, is to follow a meal plan that helps you develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Here, three bite-size pieces of nutrition advice we ate up from Alpert’s new book.

RELATED: 3 New Breakfast Rules You Should Follow, According to an RD

Have protein and fiber at every meal

Rule number one of Alpert’s eating plan is to include these nutrients at every meal. Why? Protein helps prompt metabolism and fills you up, so you’re less prone to overeating later. Fiber puts the brakes on the body’s absorption of sugar, making you more likely to use glucose for energy rather than store it as fat, she states.

Not sure what to nosh on to get optimal protein and fiber all day long? Alpert recommends an omelette (protein) with spinach (fiber) and cheddar cheese or chia pudding (protein) with berries (fiber) for breakfast. For lunch, try chicken (protein) with a big crunchy salad (fiber), followed by sauteed shrimp (protein) over zucchini noodles (fiber) and tomato sauce at dinner.

RELATED: 14 Protein-Packed Grain Bowl Recipes

Clock your meals

Stable blood sugar levels are at the core of sustained weight loss, Alpert believes. So allowing seven or more hours to go by between lunch and dinner isn’t advised; your blood sugar will plunge, driving you to eat too much in response. Instead, eat a meal or snack every four hours to keep blood sugar in check and avoid hanger (which will likely cause you to overeat).

Also smart: leave at least 12 to 14 hours between dinner and breakfast the following day. Animal studies suggest that when mice are put on restricted feeding schedules (for example, are only given a 9-12 hour window to eat a day’s worth of meals), they develop less body fat compared to mice that can eat whenever they want, even if both groups consume the same amount of calories.

RELATED: Your ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Could Have More Sugar Than a Dessert. Here’s How to Fix It

Eat fat

“Fat does not make you fat,” writes Alpert. Not only does this satiating macronutrient fill you up faster than refined starches, but studies also show that adding healthy fats to your diet can positively impact insulin levels and reduce your type 2 diabetes risk.

Apart from trans-fatty acids like those found in processed vegetable oils, all fats are fair game—even the saturated kind, states Alpert. Include at least one small serving of fat at every meal, say by blending avocado into your morning smoothie, tossing sunflower seeds in your salad, and cooking your veggies in coconut oil.

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US government to shield health workers under ‘religious freedom’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is seeking to further protect the “conscience and religious freedom” of health workers whose beliefs prevent them from carrying out abortions and other procedures, in an effort likely to please conservative Christian activists and other supporters of President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday it will create a division within its Office of Civil Rights to give it “the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.”

Healthcare workers, hospitals with religious affiliations, and medical students among others have been “bullied” by the federal government to provide these services despite existing laws on religious and conscience rights, the top HHS official said.

“The federal government has hounded religious hospitals…forcing them to provide services that violate their consciences,” Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said. “Medical students, too, have learned to do procedures that violate their consciences.”

Some of the services at issue include abortion and euthanasia, according to HHS documents. Politico reported on Wednesday that the protections would extend to care for transgender patients seeking to transition.

Democrats criticized the move as a denial of healthcare for women and others, while legal and medical ethics experts said that such exemptions have legal limits and would be challenged in court.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray said in a statement she was “deeply troubled” by reports of the new division and that “any approach that would deny or delay health care to someone and jeopardize their well being for ideological reasons is unacceptable.”


The division would enforce the legal protection and conduct compliance reviews, audits and other enforcement actions to ensure that health care providers are allowing workers with religious or moral objections to opt out.

As the division seeks to back exemptions, it is likely to face legal and ethical challenges.

“There will be challenges to any step along the way for any expansion of religious exceptions,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She said such challenges would be “pretty strong.”

Hamilton said that while courts had frequently upheld religious exemptions in recent years, they have recognized limits. For example, she said, courts have rejected a church’s bid to be exempt from federal marijuana laws, and a Pennsylvania order of nun’s effort to avoid eminent domain.

Professionals take an oath to serve people who are sick, Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison explained. They are also the only ones licensed to provide those services and must do so without discrimination, she said.

“When the director of the office of civil rights is quoted as saying that ‘No physician should have to choose between helping a sick person or following their personal conscience,’ the director is simply wrong. That choice was made the moment they became physicians,” she said.

Charo and other medical ethicists raised concerns about patients who may be denied medically necessary, legally protected care because it might violate an individual physician’s beliefs.

“What protections exist if a doctor can choose not to take care of me because of my gender or my sexual orientation or because I have an ectopic pregnancy and don’t know it and I‘m at a Catholic hospital and it’s the only hospital in town?” said Dr. Lainie Ross of the University of Chicago’s MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.

The American Medical Association declined to comment on the policy because it has not seen a written proposal. However, the American College of Physicians said the new policy “must not lead to discrimination” against any category or class of patients.

The HIV Medicine Association called the policy “regressive” and said it shifts the foundation for medical decisions “from sound scientific practice to healthcare providers’ personal beliefs.”

Asma Uddin, a fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and a Muslim, spoke at an HHS press conference about the need for protection against what she said was a variety of ways Muslim women patients are forced to violate their conscience, particularly with respect to modesty.


  • Trump move on healthcare religious freedom prompts discrimination fears

The creation of the new HHS division is in accordance with an executive order signed by Trump last May called “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” The order was followed by new rules aimed at removing a legal mandate that health insurance provide contraception.

Several proponents of the changes cited the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns which runs care homes for the elderly, which had challenged a legal mandate under Obamacare, the common name for former President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law.

In October, HHS introduced rules that would let businesses or non-profit organizations lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from that mandate that employers provide contraceptives coverage in health insurance with no co-payment.

Planned Parenthood said the move was the latest example of the Trump administration’s efforts to block women, transgender people and other communities from access to care.

Americans United for Life, a group that opposes abortion rights, said the HHS had taken a strong step forward to allow individuals and organization to exclude abortions or other services that violate their conscience.

Additional reporting by Caroline Humer, Jilian Mincer and Brendan Pierson in New York, and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Alistair Bell

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Florida sets to declare PORN a public health risk ‘because it causes physical and mental illness’

Florida could brand pornography a public health risk after a resolution was given overwhelming approval from the state House of Representatives committee on Thursday.

Spearheaded by Republican Representative Ross Spano, the resolution claimed that research has found links between pornography and ‘mental and physical illnesses,’ among a host of other societal and individual ills. 

The resolution passed by 18 to one in the House, where the sole dissenter, Democrat Dr Cary Pigman, was also the only medical doctor on the committee.  

Bill sponsor Spano initially wanted to have have pornography dubbed a state public health crisis – a status held by the opioid epidemic – in Florida, but the resolution passed by deeming adult material a ‘risk’ instead.

An attendee at the annual Exxxotica porn convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where porn may soon be considered a public health risk, admires life-like sex dolls 

An attendee at the annual Exxxotica porn convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where porn may soon be considered a public health risk, admires life-like sex dolls 

The resolution states that pornography is a public health risk from which Florida needs to ‘protect the citizens of [the] state’ through ‘education, prevention, research and policy change.’ 

Spano – who is running for attorney general as well – and the resolution’s other 17 supporters see pornography as a growing risk in an age of ever-advancing technology and access to media. 

Through ubiquitous screens, ‘children are exposed to pornography at an alarming rate’ which is contributing to their ‘hypersexualization.’ 

Spano’s concern over porn stemmed in part from his worry over his own son, local news station WFSU reported.  

‘I asked my child, “Well when did you first?” He said, “I was probably ten.” And I said, “Well how did you..?” And he said, “An older kid showed me. An older kid in the neighborhood,”‘ Spano told the station. 

In the resolution, he cites research finding that 27 percent of young adults ‘report that they first viewed pornography before the onset of puberty.’ 

The resolution says that porn has ties to a wide-ranging slew of adverse health effects, including low self-esteem, eating disorders, normalizing violence and abuse of women and children, marital problems and that it is ‘potentially biologically addictive, resulting in the user consuming increasingly more shocking material to satisfy the addiction.’

In fact, psychologists and psychiatrists have considered adding porn to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), but it was once again excluded from the book’s fifth edition. 

In a recent interview, New York psychologist Dr Ari Tuckman told Daily Mail Online that ‘porn can be easy to blame as the cause, but it’s really part of the problem’ when it comes to relationships.  

Research has shown that watching pornography earlier tends to be linked to having sex younger, and small studies suggest that exposure at a young age may affect men’s attitudes toward women. 

Adult film actress Lisa Ann, who stars in the pornographic film Nailin' Pailin, performed at a pre-Republican Convention party at a Florida gentlemen's club in 2012

Adult film actress Lisa Ann, who stars in the pornographic film Nailin’ Pailin, performed at a pre-Republican Convention party at a Florida gentlemen’s club in 2012

But Pornhub’s recently released statistics revealed that more and more women are watching pornography, which Dr Tuckman says indicates a move toward greater sexual empowerment and freedom for women. 

The porn industry has been a boon to the Florida economy, and Florida has historically been a boon to the porn industry. 

The Exxxotica Porn Convention descends upon Fort Lauderdale every year, and Orlando and Miami both ranked in the top-ten cities for porn consumption in 2012. 

On the other hand, the state also has a bad track record of child pornography cases.

Ultimately, most experts say that research on porn is inconclusive at best, and often suffers from poor methodology.  

But whether porn falls into the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ category, Dr Pigman asserted that, either way, it doesn’t fall into the ‘biggest’ category. 

‘I keep thinking about the other things that are public health hazards which involve a far larger number of people,’ he told WFSU. 

‘I am a practicing physician. We have problems with hypertension, with obesity, with diabetes, with Zika,’ Dr Pigman said. 

He also noted that other sexual health issues, like the transmission of HIV and STDs have been on the rise. 

While transmission of HIV is down in most of the country, HIV has seen an eight percent uptick in the last three years in Florida, and a new case of Zika was reported as recently as November.  

Of porn, Dr Pigman said: ‘I’m not sure that we need to spend legislative time enunciating a particular complaint when we have others that are far more pressing.’ 

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Putting on just 6lb at Christmas can harm your health: Small weight increase found to affect the heart and immune system

  • Team found the body changed dramatically at a molecular level with weight gain
  • Changes found included an increase in bacteria living in the gut 
  • Also found an increased risk for a type of heart failure
  • However the damage caused was mostly undone when the weight was shed

Colin Fernandez for the Daily Mail



Putting on a few pounds at Christmas may seem part of the tradition.

But it is enough to cause drastic changes to your health, a study has found.

Scientists studied the effects of a ‘small amount’ of extra weight from feeding people a richer diet over several weeks.

They found adding just six pounds affected the heart, immune system and boosted the numbers of harmful bacteria living in the gut.

However, many will be pleased to hear, the researchers discovered that when the weight was shed most of the damage was undone.

Scientists found that adding just six pounds affected the heart, immune system and boosted the numbers of harmful bacteria living in the gut

Scientists found that adding just six pounds affected the heart, immune system and boosted the numbers of harmful bacteria living in the gut

Professor Michael Snyder and colleagues from Stanford University published the results of their study in the journal Cell Systems.

Professor Snyder said: ‘The goal here was to characterise what happens during weight gain and loss at a level that no one has ever done before.’

‘There were a huge number of changes, just with the kind of weight you might gain over the holidays that just occurred.’

The team found that the human body changed in dramatic fashion at the molecular level – with changes in bacteria populations, a rise in inflammation, and molecular changes associated with heart disease.

When the study participants lost the weight, most of the body’s systems mostly reverted to their original, pre weight-gain, states.

The study was based on 23 participants. Thirteen were insulin-resistant, and 10 were insulin-sensitive, or able to process insulin normally; all had body mass indexes that ranged from normal to overweight.

Professor Snyder said: ‘In the end, we literally made billions of measurements.’

The participants received a high-calorie diet, and after 30 days they had, on average, added six pounds.

The changes found included an increase in bacteria living in the gut  and a higher chance of a certain type of heart failure

The changes found included an increase in bacteria living in the gut  and a higher chance of a certain type of heart failure

Changes they found included an increase in bacteria living in the gut associated with insulin resistance.

They also found a change in gene expression associated with an increased risk for a type of heart failure called dilated cardiomyopathy, which hinders the heart pumping blood efficiently.

Professor Snyder said: ‘That was quite surprising. I didn’t expect 30 days of overeating to change the whole heart pathway.

‘But this all fits with how we think of the human body — it’s a whole system, not just a few isolated components, so there are system wide changes when people gain weight.’’

‘For the most part’, after participants dropped the excess weight, their microbes, molecules and gene-expression levels bounced back to their normal levels.

Some changes to protein production in the body, associated with the weight gain did persist, Professor Snyder said. 

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Millions Bought Insurance to Cover Retirement Health Costs. Now They Face an Awful Choice

Long-term-care insurance was supposed to help pay for nursing homes, assisted living and personal aides for tens of millions of Americans when they became unable to take care of themselves.

Now, though, the industry is in financial turmoil, causing misery for many of the 7.3 million people who own a long-term-care policy, equal to about a fifth of the U.S. population at least 65 years old. Steep rate increases that many policyholders never saw coming are confronting them with an awful choice: Come up with the money to pay…

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The Next Hurdle for a Healthy Trump? Getting Some Exercise

Mr. Trump will be encouraged to lower the fat and carbohydrate content of his diet, and will be encouraged by his wife, Melania Trump; his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump; and his doctor to get moving.

“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part,” Dr. Jackson said.

Washington, a city populated by compulsively high achievers, often holds the mantle of the fittest city in the United States. So it is not surprising that the highest office in the land has drawn its fair share of fitness enthusiasts. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush and Bill Clinton ran. President Ronald Reagan lifted weights.

Other presidents were fitness fanatics. President George W. Bush was a frequent 6:45-mile runner who would challenge his Secret Service detail to join the so-called 100-Degree Club — a group of agents who could keep up with him in the heat as he zipped around his 1,600-acre Texas ranch.

“I really like to run,” Mr. Bush said of the habit.

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, brought in a trainer from Chicago to tailor exercise programs — the first lady’s signature platform goal was a program called “Let’s Move!” — and Mr. Obama would pester members of his staff to join in.

David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s former senior adviser, said in 2011 that the president had “always been on my butt about this, and as a result, my butt is a little bit smaller.”

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But outside many cart-assisted games of golf, Mr. Trump has declined to latch on to an exercise program. Fitness experts say persuading Mr. Trump to change his lifestyle will be a matter of figuring out what might motivate him to add small amounts of movement to his day, be it a stroll in the Rose Garden or a walk on the golf course.

“People are not inclined to do what they’re told,” Jessica Matthews, a senior health adviser at the American Council on Exercise, said in an interview. “When they come up with their own solutions, you’d be surprised how readily excited and how able they are to make that change and do it long term.”

This might be particularly true for Mr. Trump, a man known to balk when told what to do. Ted Vickey, a former director of the White House Athletic Center, a fitness complex for employees of the executive branch, said in an interview that Mr. Trump’s love of golf — and, perhaps, maybe a wearable fitness tracker like a Fitbit — could be the key to improving his exercise routine.


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“I’d say, ‘Mr. President, we could knock four strokes off your golf game if you exercised for the next three months,’” Mr. Vickey said. “And the Secret Service probably wouldn’t like it, but I’d tell him to walk the golf course rather than ride a golf cart.”

Whatever route he chooses, Mr. Trump has the ability to install whatever equipment he wants in the White House. (Past presidents used a converted bedroom on the top floor to work out in privacy.) Mr. Vickey, who said he was involved in helping get a treadmill installed on Air Force One for George W. Bush, said that Mr. Bush also at one point requested an elliptical machine to be installed near a private outdoor pool and cabana in the White House. The equipment was there within 24 hours.

Denise Evans, who worked at the White House Athletic Center during the Reagan, Clinton and George Bush administrations, said that she would recommend that the president limit his Diet Coke habit to one a day, and start small with exercise.

A Pilates instructor, Ms. Evans said that she would recommend the classes to Mr. Trump to strengthen his core — yet another asset when improving a golf game.

“I don’t think it has to be anything crazy,” Ms. Evans said. “We want to keep him around at least for the next seven years. I’m a big Trump fan.”

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Amazon is hiring a health privacy expert for ‘new initiative’

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Amazon is hiring a health privacy expert for 'new initiative'

Amazon is looking to hire an expert in a set of health privacy regulations known as HIPAA, according to a new job listing.

The company is looking for a professional who can “own and operate” the security and compliance aspects of a new initiative. The person will also ensure that it meets HIPAA business associate agreement requirements, meaning Amazon intends to work with outside partners that manage personal health information.

It is also hoping the new hire will provide a consultative resource for all health-care regulatory issues.

Amazon is the latest technology company, after Apple and Alphabet, to make moves in health care. As CNBC reported in spring 2017, the company strategized how it could carve out a slice of the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. It also has a health-care team at in Seattle, known by many names including “1492.”

One more immediate reason that Amazon might be looking for a health privacy expert is to augment its efforts to bring its Alexa voice assistant to health care.

The technology is not yet HIPAA compliant, which means developers aren’t able to record patients’ lab results or other types of health information in a clinical setting.

Amazon Web Services’ health lead acknowledged the gap in September at an event to promote Alexa in hospitals. “While Alexa and Lex (the technology powering Alexa) are not HIPAA-eligible, this (challenge) has provided us an opportunity to envision what is possible,” she said.

In the summer, Amazon hired Missy Krasner, herself an expert in health policy, who formerly ran Box’s health care initiatives.


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Doctor Declares Trump’s Health Excellent, With Perfect Score on Cognitive Test

But he did say that Mr. Trump’s weight is 239 pounds and that he is too sedentary. His cholesterol is too high, despite taking medicine to lower it, and Dr. Jackson said Mr. Trump would be increasing the 10-milligram dosage of Crestor to better control it.

At 6 feet 3 inches tall, Mr. Trump has a body mass index of 29.9, which is just shy of officially being obese. A New York driver’s license issued in 2012 listed him as 6 feet 2 inches tall, which would put him just into the obese category.

“The president, he and I talked,” Dr. Jackson said. “He would like to lose 10 to 15 pounds. We talked about diet and exercise a lot. He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both.”

Dr. Jackson said that despite expressions of concern, a cognitive test was not indicated for Mr. Trump and he had not planned to conduct one at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where the president underwent his annual physical on Friday.

“This has been the narrative for a while. He saw doing the physical as an opportunity to put some of that to rest,” Dr. Jackson said during a nearly hourlong question-and-answer session in the White House briefing room. “He actively asked me to include that in it, so we did.”

Dr. Jackson said that Mr. Trump received a score of 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a well-known test regularly used at Walter Reed and other hospitals.

The test is described as a “rapid-screening instrument for mild cognitive dysfunction” that focuses on “attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language” and other mental skills. It asks patients to repeat a list of spoken words, identify pictures of animals like a lion or a camel, draw a cube or draw a clock face set to a particular time.


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Dr. Jackson said the president did “exceedingly well” on the screening test, adding evidence to the doctor’s own assessment that the president has been “very sharp” during numerous interactions he has had with him during the past year.

Psychiatric experts said the brief, 10- to 15-minute screening test is not comprehensive and might not catch all patients with early stages of dementia. Dr. Bandy Lee, the author of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” which expresses concern about the president’s mental health, said in a brief interview that the president requires a full, detailed neuropsychiatric evaluation.

However, Dr. Jackson said he had observed Mr. Trump closely, often several times a day, for the past year, and was satisfied that the Montreal test is “sensitive enough” to have picked up serious cognitive issues if they were present.

Asked about a much-discussed episode in which the president seemed to slur his words during a televised speech in December about the Middle East, Dr. Jackson said that he and his team of a dozen specialists conducted several tests, including an ultrasound of his carotid arteries, to determine whether there might be a clinical explanation.

Dr. Jackson said that the tests all were normal, leading him to believe that the slurred words might have been caused by Sudafed, a medicine for nasal congestion, that he prescribed for the president. He said Mr. Trump does not wear dentures “of any kind,” a popular theory on Twitter for the slurred words.

In response to speculation on television and elsewhere that the president has mental health problems, Dr. Jackson said, “In my opinion, that’s just tabloid psychiatry.”

The president’s most fierce critics are unlikely to be satisfied by Dr. Jackson’s pronouncements, but even top aides to former President Barack Obama were quick to praise Dr. Jackson, who also served as the White House physician to Mr. Obama.

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“Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy,” Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, posted Tuesday on Twitter. “He and his team took great care of all of us for many years.”

Dr. Jackson said several times that he did not hold back any information about the president’s health or the medicines he takes. He said the president had urged him to be forthcoming.


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“He said, ‘I want you to get out there, and I want you to talk to them, and I want you to answer every question that they have,’” Dr. Jackson said, adding that Mr. Trump told Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, not to pull the doctor off the podium until reporters were finished.

Overall, Dr. Jackson repeatedly said he was impressed by the president’s health, saying tests revealed no evidence of cancer, lung problems, diabetes or joint problems. Tests of the liver, kidney and thyroid were all normal.

In addition to the cholesterol medicine, Mr. Trump takes small doses of aspirin for heart health and a small dose of Propecia, a medicine to treat male-pattern baldness.

Dr. Jackson said tests of the president’s heart indicated “excellent” cardiac health, especially for someone of his age. An echocardiogram showed that he had normal function of his main pumping chamber, at 60 to 65 percent. Mr. Trump also performed above average on a treadmill exercise test.

The president’s cholesterol was elevated, at 223, with an LDL measurement of 143 and an HDL level of 67. Dr. Jackson said that he hoped the higher dose of Crestor would help Mr. Trump lower his LDL to under 120 over the next year.

Dr. Richard A. Chazal, the immediate past president of the American College of Cardiology and the medical director of the Heart and Vascular Institute for Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla., called the report of Mr. Trump’s health “very reassuring.”

Based on the information Dr. Jackson provided about the president’s cholesterol, Dr. Chazal said the decision to increase the statin drug the president is taking is “thoughtful” and “a very reasonable approach.” Speaking of the remainder of the laboratory tests, “all else is very favorable,” Dr. Chazal said.

In December 2015, Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, Mr. Trump’s personal doctor, released a four-paragraph letter saying that, if elected, Mr. Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”


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Dr. Jackson declined to repeat that statement, saying that it was his job to “give you my assessment of President Trump today.

“And I’m not going to make any comparisons with presidents over the last 200 years or anything,” he said.

Dr. Jackson said the president sleeps only four to five hours a night, but he said he was not concerned about it. He said he rarely sees the president overly stressed, saying that Mr. Trump “has a unique ability to just get up in the morning and just reset. He gets up and he just starts a new day.”

Asked about reports that Mr. Trump watches numerous hours of television each day, Dr. Jackson said that, as far as he was concerned, “He can watch as much TV as he wants.”

But Dr. Jackson repeatedly expressed concern about the president’s sedentary lifestyle, noting that Mr. Trump does not have a “dedicated, defined exercise program.”

Still, he said that the president has “a lot of energy and a lot of stamina,” and he said he is asking for a nutritionist to consult with the White House chefs to cut calories and fat in dishes served to the president. But he said the president remains healthy.

“It’s called genetics,” Dr. Jackson said. “I told the president if he had eaten healthier over the last 25 years, he might live to be 200.”

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The Health-Care Industry Is Sick

I have ALS, a deadly, incurable neurological disease that is paralyzing my whole body, including my diaphragm. This makes it difficult for me to breathe while lying flat in bed. This month, my doctor prescribed me a Trilogy breathing-assistance machine, which would solve the problem (at least for now). Yet my insurance, Health Net, denied coverage, calling it “experimental.”

But Trilogy is normal standard of care. The doctor’s office told me they had never seen it denied in more than six years of prescribing it. I’m not alone in having my time and energy wasted; millions of Americans have had similar experiences with their insurance provider. Many have suffered or even died, because they didn’t get the care to which they were legally entitled. And, if we don’t fundamentally change our health-care system, there will be many more deaths. Instead of focusing on providing quality care, our system prioritizes shifting costs and maximizing profits.

But what if we had a system where all appropriate care was paid for smoothly and without struggle? We could save enormous amounts of time and money, allow doctors to do their jobs, and let patients focus on living more dignified and fulfilling lives.

My complaint about the denial of coverage on Twitter went a bit viral. I asked the Twitterverse what I should do about the problem: start a petition, file a complaint with the insurance commissioner, or maybe hold a protest. (The vote was a tie between launching a petition and filing a complaint.)

In the end, none of the options was necessary. Health Net called my doctor’s office. “We made a mistake,” they said. The machine will be covered.

I’m glad the problem got resolved. I’m looking forward to breathing and sleeping better at night. But I am outraged about this health-care system. There is zero chance Health Net would have moved so quickly if I didn’t have a Twitter following.

Millions of Americans are denied care every year. Few of them have megaphones to intimidate large companies into quick action. And so they suffer and spend their precious hours fighting with profit-seeking, opaque bureaucracies.

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So I have some questions for Health Net about what the company did to me and what it is doing to its other customers. I believe it has a moral obligation to all of us to answer these questions publicly.

  1. Why was my Trilogy deemed experimental? By whom?
  2. Are the first-line decision-making employees given incentives or instructions to deny coverage when possible?
  3. How many times did Health Net use “experimental” as a reason to deny coverage in 2018? How many times did it use another reason to deny coverage?
  4. How many times did Health Net customers appeal a denial of coverage in 2018? How many of those customers ultimately obtained coverage?
  5. Following this episode, does Health Net plan to adopt any changes to its policies or practices in order to reduce the frequency of improper denials like mine?
  6. What is Health Net’s best estimate of how the 2017 tax-code changes will impact its tax liability and net profits in 2018–20?
  7. How much money did Health Net spend on federal lobbying (directly or through intermediaries) in 2017? On what issues?
  8. What was the total compensation for each member of Health Net’s executive-level leadership in 2017?
  9. Approximately how much money will my Trilogy ventilator cost Health Net?
  10. Does Health Net believe that health care is a human right?

You can tell from the evolution of my questions, I believe that Health Net’s behavior is a symptom of a broader sickness not just in our health-care system but in our political economy. The flaws in the for-profit health industry derive from and exemplify the most inhumane aspects of capitalism: how the constant pursuit of lower costs and higher revenue incentivizes the erasure of the individual, and of her dignity, from the firm’s consideration. And thus from consideration by the body politic.

It’s an unjust way to run a health-care system. It’s an unjust way to run a country.

And the Republican Party is trying to make it worse. Republicans spent all of 2017 trying to deregulate the health-insurance industry, making it even easier for companies to abuse consumers. Their tax scam kicks out one of the three legs of the ACA stool—the individual mandate, which requires people sign up for insurance—and destabilizes the entire system by removing 13 million people from coverage. And just last Thursday, the Trump administration announced that it would impose unreasonable work requirements for people who need Medicaid—a backhanded way to make it harder for people to access benefits.

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Americans are outraged. We see what is going on. More than at any other point in my life, the American people are ready for significant change to our economy and our politics. This year, millions of us will take to the streets and the halls of Congress to demand a very different country. We will say #HandsOff our Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and food stamps. We will work indefatigably for a #BlueTsunami2018. And then, throughout 2019 and 2020 we will resist, organize, and vote. In 2021, when we have built the foundation for a political revolution, we will win #MedicareForAll and end this inefficient, for-profit health-denial system. And then we will start to roll back the power of money in our democracy.

Through this collective struggle, we will transcend our individual limitations. And we will all breathe freely soon.

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Citing health, Stavros Anthony ends Nevada congressional bid – Las Vegas Review

Councilman Stavros Anthony leaves the clerk's office after filing his paperwork to run for Las Vegas City Council representing Ward 4 on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at Las Vegas City Hall. (Bizuayehu  ...Councilman Stavros Anthony leaves the clerk's office after filing his paperwork to run for Las Vegas City Council representing Ward 4 on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at Las Vegas City Hall. (Bizuayehu  ...

Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony is backing out of the race for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, clearing the way for former Rep. Cresent Hardy to take a run at the seat.

In statement released Monday, Anthony cited health concerns as the reason for bowing out.

“In November I had to admit myself into Centennial Hills Hospital for three days due to an elevated heart rate. My doctor has advised me that an exhaustive campaign, travel around the state of Nevada, and weekly trips to Washington DC if I were to win, would exacerbate my condition,” Anthony said. “As a result, I will no longer be a candidate for Congress in Nevada’s 4th district or any other office in 2018. I will continue to serve on the Las Vegas City Council and finish my term.”

In 2014, Hardy unseated then-incumbent Rep. Steven Horsford during a red wave. He served one term before losing to Democrat Ruben Kihuen in 2016 by a margin of 49-45 percent. Kihuen is not running for re-election.

“Councilman Anthony is a friend and I was proud to stand with him. Peri and I’s thoughts and prayers remain with Stavros, Bernadette and their family,” Hardy said in a statement Monday morning.

Hardy had initially decided against running for any office in 2018 after toying with the idea of running in the adjacent 3rd District, which represents Henderson and southern Clark County. But when Kihuen announced that he would not seek re-election following several accusations from women accusing Kihuen of sexual harassment, Hardy’s interest in his old seat piqued.

“I have been heartened by the outpouring of support and encouragement I’ve received from countless Nevadans,” Hardy said. “In the coming days, I’ll be discussing a potential candidacy with my family and will be making a decision very shortly. This is a critical time for our country, but for America, and for Nevada, no challenge is too great.”

Several Democrats have committed to running to replace Kihuen, including state Sen. Pat Spearman, while others like Horsford and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee have said they are considering jumping into the race.

Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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