WUOMFM

Health

Health

Ron Cruz / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. It harms nearly every organ in the body and is linked to health conditions like cancer, heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And when a mother chooses to smoke during pregnancy, she is harming not only her health, but the health of her baby. Smoking while pregnant increases the likelihood of preterm labor, ectopic pregnancy, and problems with the placenta. It also...

Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you were to ask a group of parents today if they agree with the idea of spanking their kids, you would probably get a mixed response. The issue of spanking remains widely debated , despite growing evidence that shows physical discipline can pose serious risks to kids. However, according to findings released Monday in the journal Pediatrics , the share of moms in the U.S. who spank their children - or who are willing to admit it - has declined significantly over the past 25 years....

Seth Werkheiser / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When I was a kid, one of the highlights of the school year was when a classmate would bring in cupcakes to celebrate their birthday. That has changed with my own daughter. Her elementary school only allows healthy birthday treats or an appropriate alternative, like pencils or stickers. And that's not unusual. Over the past decade , schools have cracked down on the consumption of sugary drinks and junk food . And in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented its Smart Snacks in...

baby feet
Gabi Menashe / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The rate of babies born prematurely in the U.S. worsened for the first time in eight years, according to the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card released this week. The U.S. preterm birth rate increased from 9.57 births per 100 to 9.63 per 100 in 2015. According to NPR : Overall, the national uptick earned the U.S. a C rating on an A to F scale. The March of Dimes researchers used data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics and assigned grades using a formula that...

Baby yawning
Jill M / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Parents should share a room with their babies for at least the first six months of their lives, according to updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The new report , published Monday in the journal Pediatrics , says sharing a room could reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths by as much as 50%. Optimally, infants should sleep in the same room as parents until they're one year old, the AAP says. The reasoning is that it's...

brunurb / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It's officially fall. The leaves are changing colors. Cooler temperatures on the way. And if you're like me, you're about to crank up the thermostat. But for many low-income families, the heating season presents a "heat or eat" dilemma. They are forced to choose between buying food and paying for utilities. In 2014, 69% of households reported choosing between paying for utilities and paying for food in the past year. Thirty-four percent reported making this choice every month, according to...

mom and son in front of house
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

It isn’t easy to kick a drug or alcohol addiction. In 2013, there were an estimated 21.6 million people with substance abuse disorders. Only 18% of them got any kind of treatment. If you’re a mother or a pregnant woman, getting clean can be even tougher. But there are an increasing number of programs that are trying to break down some of the barriers these women face. I drove to Richmond, Michigan to visit one program that's trying to make it easier for those women to get the help they need.

asthma inhaler
Christian Guthier / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

About 24 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma. And more than 6 million of them are children. The percentage of U.S. kids with asthma doubled in the 1980s and 1990s. And it continued to increase steadily until the trend changed in 2013, according to NPR . The prevalence of asthma peaked at 9.7% in 2011, and remained steady until 2013, when it decreased to 8.3%. Despite the decrease, racial disparities persist . One in six black kids suffers from asthma – the highest of any ethnic...

Parker Knight / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Child hunger is a problem that is widespread across the country. About 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. live in " food insecure " households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And if you follow State of Opportunity regularly, you know we've talked a lot about it. The gravity of the problem. Why it happens. How to fight it . Just last week, I told you about recent data from the USDA that shows while 2014-2015 marked the biggest one-year improvement in reducing food insecurity since the...

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School is back in session. That means millions of kids nationwide – about 500,000 in Michigan – who rely on free and reduced-priced school meals are once again receiving them. Those meals make a huge difference for the millions of families that struggle with hunger at home. But here's some good news. The number of U.S. households that had a tough time getting enough food dropped significantly between 2014 and 2015, according to a new report by the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research...

Pages