WBUR Staff

Rachel Zimmerman

CommonHealth Co-host, WBUR

Rachel Zimmerman worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 10 years, most recently at the Boston bureau covering health and medicine. She’s also written for The New York Times, the (now-defunct) Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the alternative paper, Willamette Week, in Portland, Oregon, among other publications. She is the co-author of The Doula Guide To Birth (2009), published by Bantam/Random House. In 2008, she spent the year as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Rachel lives in Cambridge with her two daughters.

Recent stories

Study: Well-Water Can Raise Arsenic Levels In Formula-Fed Babies

February 27, 2015
Donald Clark/flick

Families who use water from private wells, especially in areas where arsenic can be naturally high, can be exposed to high amounts without realizing it.

The Buffet Phenomenon: Researchers Find More Food Choices Linked To Fatter Mice

February 24, 2015

This is why I hate buffets: Too many food choices make my head spin. For weight control, I prefer the out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach — keep the oversized muffins and pepperoni pizzas out of the house altogether.

Debating Vitamin D: Leading Docs Still Wrangling On Best Dose For Patients

February 20, 2015
Suzanne Schroeter/flickr

There are several large clinical trials currently underway in the U.S., Europe and Australia looking at the health benefits and risks of higher doses of vitamin D. The first set of results should be out by late 2017 or early 2018.

Nutrition Panel: Cut Down On Sugar To Combat Obesity, Chronic Disease

February 19, 2015
(Mel B via Compfight)

A new report says about half of all American adults have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. The culprit: poor diets, too many calories and physical inactivity.

Study: For Sleep Problems In Older Age, Try Mindful Meditation

February 17, 2015
(Fairy Heart/flickr)

New research suggests that “mindfulness meditation” practices can improve sleep quality for older adults with moderate sleep disturbances.

Report: More College Freshmen Say They’re ‘Frequently’ Feeling Depressed

February 05, 2015
Chrissy Hunt/flickr

In 2014, students’ self-rated emotional health dropped to 50.7%, its lowest level ever and 2.3 percentage points lower than the entering cohort of 2013.

Dream On: New, Age-Specific Sleep Recommendations For Better Health

February 03, 2015
sleeping teen

This is the first time that the best sleep practices have been categorized specifically by age, from newborns to seniors.

Sugar On The Brain Circuit: Mice Seeking Sweets May Hold Key To Compulsive Overeating

January 29, 2015
When certain neurons are activated, the mouse starts to lick the floor.  (Courtesy Kay Tye, MIT)

Researchers say the work may ultimately provide a target for the treatment of compulsive overeating and sugar addiction in humans, without interfering with the clearly critical drive to eat for survival.

How 3D-Printing Helped A Little Girl With A Rare Facial Defect

January 27, 2015
Violet Pietrok/youtube

Violet Pietrok was born nearly two years ago without a nose. Her eyes were set so far apart that her mom compared her vision to a bird of prey’s. There was a gap in the skull behind her forehead.

Frostbite, Hypothermia And Other Fun Facts To Remember On Blizzard Day

January 27, 2015

If you’re like us, you’ve already cooked some kind of elaborate breakfast, chosen the morning movie lineup and set up the Let’s Dance Wii. And it’s not even 8 am. Here are a few health tips for when you’re ready to venture out.

At 45, Caught Between Mammograms

November 17, 2009

New research says most women under 50 don’t need routine mammograms. That’s confusing news to a 45-year-old woman whose recent mammogram turned up a calcification.

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