Your Health

Your Health

The Diet Soda Trap?

You might call it the if-I-drink-diet-soda-I-can-eat-a-cookie effect. 

According to Johns Hopkins research published in the American Journal of Public Health, overweight or obese Americans who drink diet sodas consume about the same amount of calories each day as their counterparts who drink regular sodas—but more of the dieters’ calories come from food.

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Choose Your Primary Care Physician

Here’s useful info and a checklist to help you with this important decision

Did you know that Americans spend more time figuring out what new car to buy than they do choosing a doctor? That was one of the findings of recent research conducted by Harris Interactive, which involved more than 7,600 U.S. adults in 27 metropolitan areas.

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BART and Bike to Nature

Minimize your carbon footprint — and your waist size — with a BART-bike adventure to one of these Bay Area beauty spots

Alameda Creek Trail and Coyote Hills Regional Park

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Mind-Boggling Mazes, Bay-Area Style

Get those neurons working in your brain and gain a new perspective on cool ways to have fun

Sometimes getting lost is entertaining! And there’s no better way to get disoriented than to step into a maze. As the weather changes in the fall, opportunities abound for this out-of-the-ordinary activity, with seasonal mazes popping up throughout the Bay Area. So gather the crew and check out some of these local mazes, which are sure to pose a challenge for kids and adults alike.

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The Great Water Myth

Quick, how many glasses of water should you drink in a day? If the number eight came to mind—as in eight, eight-ounce glasses—then you’ve heard of one of the most common health myths. “There isn’t a specific recommendation for water intake,” says dietitian Ruth Frechman, founder of "On the Weigh." “Everyone has different needs depending on body temperature and level of activity.” (The Institute of Medicine recommends about 9 cups of total fluid a day for women and 13 cups for men, but much of this fluid is absorbed from drinks other than water and food.)

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Physical Fitness for the Young at Heart

Staying active is easy in the Bay Area—no matter your age or physical inclination

It's time for the whole family to get active: you'll build healthier bodies, bond and have some fun along the way. Following are a few good-for-you options in your vicinity that can keep your crew—from tots to grandparents—healthy and fit.

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Does High Blood Pressure Lead to Memory Trouble?

High blood pressure (hypertension) doesn’t just increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It could also dull your memory, according to research published in the journal Neurology. Scientists compared the blood pressure of more than 4,000 people in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was taken when they were in their 50s, with readings taken again in their mid-70s. Brain scans showed that those who had hypertension in middle age had less gray matter and got 10 percent lower memory scores. Those who developed hypertension at an older age were at risk for brain lesions.

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Great Garden Strolls

These oases tucked into the folds of Bay Area urban life offer opportunities for fun and tranquil activities, including walking, volunteering, meditating and connecting with nature 

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
With its diverse collection of 13,000 plant varieties from around the world, the garden—located on a hillside above the university—promises a horticultural adventure and healthy hike. On a clear day, trek to the top and enjoy spectacular views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge from the Garden of Old Roses.

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Why Do Elephants Rarely Get Cancer?

Researchers say the answer lies in the genes. Can humans devise a similar solution? 

Elephants can boast a long list of credits to their fame: They’re the largest land-based animals on Earth; their memory rivals that of dolphins, apes and humans; and most intriguingly, they rarely get cancer. This last fact has puzzled scientists for decades, but now, they might have an answer.

According to a study published in JAMA, elephants have 20 copies of a tumor-suppressing gene called TP53. By comparison, humans have only one copy of the gene.

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Go on AlertSF

Sign up online to get San Francisco emergency warnings via wireless text or email 

Did you know that San Francisco residents and visitors can get alerts about city emergencies (tsunami warnings, flooding, citywide disaster info, traffic disruptions) sent automatically to their wireless devices and email accounts? Just go online to register for free at, a program of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management. 

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