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Daily Rounds: Binge-Eating Men; Partners Take On Reform; Blind Mice Can See; The Cosmo Fantasy

Binge Eating Among Men Steps Out of the Shadows (The New York Times) — "But while binge eating is challenging for women who suffer from it, the perils are perhaps greater for men, who rarely seek treatment for what many believe is a “women’s disease.” Unlike bulimia and anorexia, binge eating does not even have a distinct listing in the current D.S.M., as the diagnostic guide for mental health professionals is known. “Guys generally don’t come forward for any reason,” said Ron Saxen, 49, author of “The Good Eater,” a memoir of his struggle with binge eating, which began when he was about 11. At his worst, Mr. Saxen was consuming 10,000 to 15,000 calories’ worth of Big Macs, French fries, chocolate milkshakes, candy bars, ice cream and M & Ms, often within an hour-and-a-half window."

Mass. Health Reform: An Academic Providers Perspective (Health Affairs blog) — "I’ll close with a real-life vignette from the best day of the summer, June 28, when the Supreme Court allowed most of the Accountable Care Act to remain intact. I was seeing patients that morning; my medical assistant and I were both checking the web constantly, awaiting the outcome. Shortly after we received the good news, one of my patients arrived, a 70 year old retired businessman who was a half hour late. He was perspiring from rushing to get there, and his blood pressure was 155/90. “I know why my blood pressure is high,” he said. “I was so worried about what the Supreme Court was going to do. I really was. If they had voted the legislation down, it would have been a terrible thing for the country.” I told him that I agreed, and that I, too, was relieved. But then I pointed out that he had gained three pounds since our last visit, and that might also have something to do with his increase in blood pressure. And I told him about our web-based Patient Portal that might help him and me work together better to control his blood pressure and watch his weight. Increasing use of our Patient Portal is one of our 20 tactics. I just checked – he hasn’t enrolled yet. I am going to bug him to do so."

Blind Mice Given Sight After Device Cracks Retinal Code (Bloomberg) — "Blind mice had their vision restored with a device that helped diseased retinas send signals to the brain, according to a study that may lead to new prosthetic technology for millions of sight-impaired people. Current devices are limited in the aid they provide to people with degenerative diseases of the retina, the part of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses to the brain. In research described today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists cracked the code the retina uses to communicate with the brain.The technology moves prosthetics beyond bright light and high-contrast recognition and may be adopted for human use within a year or two, said Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and the study’s lead author."

Help For Health Plan Shoppers (The Wall Street Journal) — "This fall, consumers choosing health insurance will see something new: a four-page summary that is supposed to work like the nutrition-facts box printed on food packages. Starting Sept. 23, the document, a requirement under the federal health overhaul, will have to be provided to workers going through their employers' open enrollment, the period when they are able to select their health-insurance coverage for the coming year. It will also be available to folks shopping for individual plans online, or through agents and insurer call-in numbers. The summaries will be posted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at healthcare.gov, as well. The document, formally known as a summary of benefits and coverage, follows a detailed form mandated under U.S. regulations. The idea is to help consumers choosing among health plans get a consistent picture of each one—much the way dieters can weigh the calories-per-serving, fat content and fiber level of different cereals."

Helen Gurley Brown, Who Gave Cosmopolitan Its Purr, Dies At 90 (The New York Times) — "Ms. Brown tossed the children and the Jell-O, though she kept the diet advice with a vengeance. Yes, readers would need to land Mr. Right someday — the magazine left little doubt that he was still every woman’s grail. But in an era in which an unmarried woman was called an old maid at 23, the new Cosmopolitan gave readers license not to settle for settling down with just anyone, and to enjoy the search with blissful abandon for however long it took. Sex as an end in itself was perfectly fine, the magazine assured them. As a means to an end — the right husband, the right career, the right designer labels — it was better still. In Ms. Brown’s hands, Cosmopolitan anticipated “Sex and the City” by three decades. Gone was the housewife, apron in tow. In her place was That Cosmopolitan Girl, the idealized reader on whom Ms. Brown and her advertisers firmly trained their sights. Unencumbered by husband and children, the Cosmo Girl was self-made, sexual and supremely ambitious, a potent amalgam of Ragged Dick, Sammy Glick and Holly Golightly. She looked great, wore fabulous clothes and had an unabashedly good time when those clothes came off."

This program aired on August 14, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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