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Daily Rounds: Health Cost Containment Dream Team; Bowl-Size Key To Diet; Latte To Laundry Detergent; Steroids Stunt Growth

This article is more than 8 years old.

Ex-Obama Advisors Seek Health Care Cost Control — (AP, via The Boston Globe) — "Under the proposal, the major public and private players in each state would negotiate payment rates with service providers such as hospitals. The idea is to get away from paying for each individual test and procedure. Negotiated rates could be based on an entire course of treatment. Payments would have to fit within an overall budget that could grow no faster than the average rise in wages. The spending limits would be enforced by an independent council, but crucial details need to be spelled out. In Massachusetts, for example, budget-busting providers will be required to file plans with the state laying out how they'll amend their spendthrift ways. The federal government would provide grants to states interested in developing their plans. Tanden joined a brain trust of former administration officials floating the proposal recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. The group included Peter Orszag (former budget director), John Podesta (transition director), Donald Berwick (first Medicare chief), Ezekiel Emanuel (Orszag's health policy guru), and Joshua Sharfstein (former No. 2 at the Food and Drug Administration). Also on board was former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Obama's first pick to shepherd his health care overhaul."Lifesize, A Weight-Loss Strategy From An Unlikely Pair (The New York Times) — "Mr. Kates said that to lose weight, it didn’t matter what you ate, — in fact, he insisted that Mr. Berkowitz not limit himself to grilled chicken and vegetables — but it was how much you ate. Mr. Berkowitz remained unconvinced, but took note of the portion sizes that Mr. Kates showed him with his hands. The next day, Mr. Berkowitz began to wonder if Mr. Kates might actually be right. “So I run out and I get clay,” Mr. Berkowitz said. “According to his measurements, my wife and I make bowls.” They took the bowls to Color Me Mine, a pottery studio, and fired them up. “I put a big ‘M’ under one bowl for meat. A big ‘C’ for carbs, and ‘D’ for dairy, because that’s how they’re divided. I started eating that way. My energy was up and the weight started falling off.” He ultimately lost 46 pounds. Mr. Berkowitz was intrigued by the simplicity of Mr. Kates’s plan. Unlike Weight Watchers, which also advocates portion control, there was no need to add up points or know how many grams of fat were in a piece of food. Also, Mr. Kates’s portion sizes were bigger than those of other diets Mr. Berkowitz had seen. Mr. Berkowitz saw a business he could sell. And by now he had gotten over Mr. Kates’s tattoos. Within a few weeks, he decided to put off a film project and work with Mr. Kates on what would become Lifesize, figuring it would take six months to a year."

Starbucks Grounds, Unsold Food To Become Laundry Detergent (The Lost Angeles Times) — "Rather than dump its coffee grounds and unsold baked goods into landfills or incinerators, Starbucks is trying to be more productive with its food waste – by transforming it into plastic and laundry detergent. At a biorefinery set up by the City University of Hong Kong, scientists are testing some of the 4,500 tons of stale pastries and coffee bean bits produced annually by Starbucks Hong Kong, according to the American Chemical Society. The organic matter is blended with a mixture of fungi, where enzymes break down carbohydrates in the food into simple sugars. The concoction is then sent to a fermenter, where bacteria convert the sugars into succinic acid – a material that can then be formulated into a range of products — including detergent."

Inhaling Steroids Stunt Growth, But Only A Little Bit (Reuters) — "Adults who took inhaled steroids as children to control their asthma may be shorter than they otherwise would have been, but only by a little, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Results of a long-term asthma study found that children who used an inhaled steroid before they entered puberty were about a half-inch shorter as adults than those who did not take the drugs. Doctors have known since the 1990s that inhaled steroids taken for asthma can delay growth, but researchers had believed these children would eventually catch up."

This program aired on September 3, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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