Each month, it seems, we discover a new reason to appreciate the billions of bugs hanging out in our bellies. Why? They are far more influential than we ever thought.
As our colleague Rob Stein reported in his Guts and Glory series, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tracts and on our skin may be doing everything from guiding the workings of our minds to helping us either fend off or become more predisposed to certain diseases.
School lunches have never been known for culinary excellence. But to be fair, the National School Lunch Program — which provides free or reduced lunches to about 31 million kids every day — has never aimed to dazzle as much as to fill little bellies.
But many moms-to-be and breastfeeding women have been turned off of it, in part due to concerns about the potentially harmful effects of mercury in some types of fish.
An analysis by the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency released Tuesday found 1 in 5 pregnant women were not eating any fish for long periods of time during pregnancy. And 75 percent of women were eating fewer than 4 ounces per week.
When it comes to choosing between sodas and juices in the beverage aisle, the juice industry has long benefited from a health halo.
We know that juice comes from fruit, while soda is artificial. In particular, the sugars in juice seem more "natural" than high fructose corn syrup — the main sweetener in so many sodas. After all, we've gotten rid of most of the soda we used to offer kids at school, but we still serve them lots of juice.
If you follow the news on nasty, contagious norovirus, you might assume that the place you're most likely to get it is on a cruise ship. For one, there was that outbreak earlier this year when a group of passengers got sick with severe vomiting and diarrhea on a Royal Caribbean boat.