Stories We're Following this Week

News + Insights from Around the Web + The Patient's Playbook Bottom Line

Here's Why It's So Hard to Keep
the Extra Weight Off

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"There are no doubt exceptional individuals who can ignore primal biological signals and maintain weight loss... but for most people, the combination of incessant hunger and slowing metabolism is a recipe for weight regain."

—A study of "The Biggest Loser" contestants found that 13 out of 14 gained most
of the weight back and their metabolisms plummeted. (NYT)

Bottom Line: Research suggests that for every pound we lose, our bodies work extra hard to gain it back, in part, by slowing metabolism and decreasing the levels of hormones, like leptin, that make us feel sated. Two important take-aways here: 1. This biological imperative to maintain an unhealthy weight means that healthy eating habits in childhood are crucial;  2. A concerted weight-loss effort should be monitored and guided by your doctor. As one researcher in the story notes, "The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology—not a pathological lack of willpower affecting two-thirds of the U.S.A.”

Your Doctor's Being Sued for Malpractice? Here's When to Worry

"One malpractice claim means essentially nothing... Three malpractice cases, five malpractice cases, eight malpractice cases, at some point, you start to wonder."

—A very small number of doctors are responsible for the vast majority
of medical malpractice payouts. (Consumer Reports)

Bottom Line: Medical error claims the lives of 400,000 Americans a year—but it's not all the fault of negligent caregivers. Mistakes can happen at every step of care, and often they have more to do with a lack of communication and coordination—areas where we, as patients, can and must take greater control. The lessons and decision-making tools in The Patient's Playbook can help everyone to choose the best doctors and avoid becoming a medical error victim. 

The Empowering Story of One Woman's Conscious Journey Toward Alzheimer's


"What she wished for more than anything was for people with Alzheimer’s not to have to live in shame but in nobility and to be able to learn ways to carry on." 

—Geri Taylor and her husband allowed a writer to follow them for several years as they
laid out plans for the future and agreed to live as fully as possible in the now. (NYT)

Bottom Line: More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer'sBy 2050 that number is projected to triple. It's a disease that will touch all of us at some point in our lives, whether through a loved one's experience or our own. Geri Taylor's astute observations about how others react to her illness are reason enough for everyone to read this poignant portrait of a family that's facing a daunting future with eyes wide open.

How to Get a Decent's Night Sleep
After a Night of Drinking


"If you’ve ever had a few drinks before bed and found yourself sleeping deeply, then shallowly, waking and falling asleep again all night, that’s because of the 'rebound effect.'"

—Experts give practical tips on drinking and sleeping (Lifehacker)

Bottom Line: Even just two drinks can ruin a good night's rest and make you feel terrible the next day. Preparation is key and this clever article provides sound advice on enjoying your evening without ruining your morning.