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Briefs: Obamas promote healthy eating

Michelle Obama serves meals to D.C.’s needy at Miriam’s Kitchen.

Associated Press

Michelle Obama serves meals to D.C.’s needy at Miriam’s Kitchen.

Obamas all for healthy eating

First lady Michelle Obama has quickly emerged as a champion of healthy living, praising community vegetable gardens, opening the White House kitchen to cameras and talking about feeding less fattening foods to her daughters. As the nation battles an obesity epidemic and a taste for processed foods, her message is clear: Fresh, nutritious foods are critical components of the diets of ordinary families. In the November issue of Parents magazine, the Obamas said they ditched juice boxes and processed foods a couple of years ago on the advice of their pediatrician when Malia, now 7, "was getting a little chubby," the president said. But even Mrs. Obama still faces the challenge of a child's palate. While extolling a dish of pureed spinach, olive oil and shallots, she admitted 10-year-old Sasha didn't go for it. No matter what you do, she said, "sometimes kids are like, 'It's green!' "

Detecting ovarian cancer early

Only about one-quarter of invasive ovarian cancers are detected in the early stages, when the disease is most treatable. Now, preliminary results from a large, continuing trial indicate that postmenopausal women screened for ovarian cancer by transvaginal ultrasound scan or by a blood test followed by a scan are more likely to have their cancers detected at early stages. While the results suggest that widespread screening for ovarian cancer may be feasible, researchers warn the benefits are far from clear. Many women in the trial had false positive results on screening tests that led to unnecessary surgeries and complications. And there is still no evidence that screening reduces the death rate from ovarian cancer, researchers said in the study of some 100,000 British women, published online Tuesday in the Lancet Oncology.

Prostate cancer screening doubts

As many as two of every five men whose prostate cancer was caught through a PSA screening test have tumors too slow-growing to ever be a threat, says a new study that raises more questions about the controversial tests. Because some treatments can cause incontinence and impotence, men whose tumors wouldn't have been a threat can suffer serious side effects for no gain. The new study "reinforces the message that we are overdiagnosing prostate cancer," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the study, published online Tuesday by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Times wires

On the Web

Get your daily dose of healthy news, including Irene Maher's Tip of the Day and the Personal Best blog, at

Briefs: Obamas promote healthy eating 03/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 5:53pm]
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