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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff. Note: Some links may require subscriptions.

At a hospital’s teaching kitchen, patients get a taste of food as medicine

December 20, 2023
Tony McKoy, Jr. was ready to eat. Black chef’s hat on his head, apron tied on, the 5-year-old contemplated his favorite foods, prompted by his mother, Shaquana Peebles. “Pineapple!” he said, savoring its sweetness with his eyes closed while he imagined biting into one. Also, brownies made with black beans. PB&J. Spaghetti. Tony’s enthusiasm for food is a remarkable turnaround for a child who wasn’t growing as well as he should just a couple of years ago. “I really did not think that his pickiness would turn and involve wanting to be a chef and to learn about food and everything. It shocked me completely,” Peebles said as she held Tony’s one-month-old brother, Egypt, to her chest. “I’m making spinach, and he says, ‘Oh, this is so good.’ And I’m like, ‘Who are you?’”

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In U.S., physical health plummets after the pandemic

December 14, 2023
Key physical health metrics have notably worsened since before the COVID-19 pandemic, including obesity, diabetes and eating habits. The percentage of U.S. adults whom Gallup classifies as obese has reached an estimated 38.4%, up 6.0 percentage points since 2019 and just shy of the record high of 39.9% measured in 2022. A new high of 13.6% of respondents say they have been diagnosed by a medical professional with diabetes, up 1.1 points since 2019. The most recent results, obtained Aug. 30-Sept. 8, 2023, are based on 5,316 U.S. adults surveyed by web as part of the Gallup Panel, a probability-based panel of about 100,000 adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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Rise in U.S. life expectancy is ‘good news,’ but gains aren’t enough to wipe out COVID losses

November 29, 2023

Life expectancy in the United States rose in 2022, the first increase since the COVID pandemic began, according to new federal data. But those gains were not enough to compensate for the years of life lost to the virus, which remains one of the nation’s top causes of death.

From birth, the average American can expect to live 77.5 years, according to preliminary 2022 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That rise, based on information culled from death certificates, marked an increase of 1.1 years from the year before. Researchers found that fewer deaths linked to COVID buoyed much of the increase in U.S. life expectancy.

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