Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • 6 Must-Know Facts About the Affordable Care Act

    Do you understand the Affordable Care Act?By: Eric Steinmehl

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is coming -- quickly. The new health insurance exchanges (think "insurance stores") open for business on October 1, and most of the law's other features will be fully in effect by the New Year. Do you understand how the big, sprawling, sometimes-bewildering law affects you? Here's a keep-it-simple guide.

    1. (Almost) Everyone Needs Health Insurance
    Maybe the most famous part of the ACA is the "mandate," the requirement that everyone have health insurance coverage. (Medicare, Medicaid, employer-provided plans and veterans' insurance all count.) The rule exists to get healthy people into the insurance market to keep rates affordable, and to keep people from running up medical bills they can't pay. If you choose not to buy insurance, you'll have to pay a tax penalty, which could eventually be as high as $2,085 per year or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher. There are exceptions to the rule, such as if your income is below a

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  • America's Top 10 Cities Where People Stress Less

    By: Rachael Anderson

    Find out if your city made the least-stressed list.How Stressed Are You?

    We're all familiar with stress, whether it's from taking on too many projects at work or battling traffic to pick up the kids from school. Whatever the source of your stress, the frequency with which you feel stressed and how you handle stressful situations can help -- or hurt -- your health.

    "High levels of continuous stress can raise your blood pressure, harm your immune system and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke," says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge® Test. On the flip side, a little stress is good for us. "We have higher performance levels with a little bit of stress than with no stress at all," says Dr. Roach. Being able to effectively manage stress can make your RealAge 2.4 years younger if you're a man and 1.1 years younger if you're a woman. That's why we factored stress into our RealAge Youngest & Oldest Cities in America Report.

    Find Out the True Age of

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  • Top 10 Cities with the Youngest Smiles

    Brush up on which cities have residents with the best smiles and oral health.By Rachael Anderson

    How Healthy is Your Smile?

    Do you smirk when someone takes your picture, or smile big and show off those pearly whites? If you do the latter, you probably have strong, bright, healthy teeth. Vanity aside, good oral health is also a sign of good overall health. "If you've got gum disease, you've lost your teeth, you see your gums aren't healthy or you have receding gums, those are all ways of telling you that your body doesn't have a good barrier to protect itself from the outside world," says Keith Roach, MD, chief medical officer for Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge® Test. "Chemicals, bacteria and inflammation in your mouth can damage your blood vessels, and that predisposes you to developing heart disease." But good oral care (brushing and flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups) can make your RealAge 0.6 years younger if you're a man and 0.5 years younger if you're a woman. That's why we factored a healthy mouth into our RealAge Youngest

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  • Dr. Oz Helps Make Apple Juice Safer

    In 2011, Dr. Oz reported on high levels of arsenic in apple juice. Now, the FDA announces new regulation on arsenic levels in apple juice.

    By Alison Ashton

    Your kids' apple juice is about to get a whole lot safer.

    In fall 2011, the team at The Dr. Oz Show investigated a surprising food safety concern: high levels of arsenic in apple juice. They sent samples of five top national brands of apple juice to an independent lab for testing.

    The results dismayed parents everywhere: Some samples had much higher levels of arsenic than the 10 parts per billion that the Environmental Protection Agency allows in our drinking water.

    Learn how arsenic gets into your family's apple juice.

    But, as Dr. Oz reported, the level of arsenic in apple juice wasn't regulated by the FDA, which is responsible for safeguarding the food we buy

    Until now.

    The FDA has just announced it is proposing a new limit on the acceptable level of arsenic to 10 parts per billion -- the same as drinking water. Apple juice that exceeds that level could be pulled from supermarket shelves and manufacturers could face legal action.

    The new

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  • Would You Know What to Do for Someone Having a Stroke?

    By Alison Ashton

    Country music star Randy Travis's recent stroke made headlines. Here's how to spot stroke symptoms.

    Did you catch the headlines about Randy Travis's recent stroke while being hospitalized for congestive heart failure?

    Because Travis was in the hospital at the time, he received immediate attention. Prompt treatment is crucial to minimize brain damage from a stroke, says Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, Sharecare's executive vice president of clinical strategy and an emergency room physician.

    But a stroke can happen anytime and anywhere. Would you know what to do for someone who might be having a stroke?

    First, you have to spot the symptoms of a stroke, which can be subtle. Sharecare cofounder Dr. Mehmet Oz shares three stroke symptoms to look for:

    • Ask the person to smile. If one side of her face droops, it may be a stroke.
    • Ask the person to raise both arms. If it's a stroke, one side will drift downward.
    • Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase, like "It's a nice day." Slowed, slurred or garbled speech is another stroke symptom.

    Call 911 immediately

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  • Heart Disease Alert! Top 10 Cities that Love Red Meat -- Too Much

    Discover the 10 worst cities for eating too much red meat.Discover the top 10 cities that love red meat -- too much.

    By Rachael Anderson

    Red Meat: A Recipe for Aging

    Who doesn't love a juicy steak or a burger hot off the grill? But when it comes to aging, too much of the red stuff is a bad thing. "Red meat is always harmful above a certain threshold," says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge Test. In fact, eating more than two servings of red meat a day (that's the equivalent of 6 ounces, or the size of two decks of cards) can make your RealAge 1 year older for men and 2 years older for women. That's why we factored red meat into the RealAge 2013 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America Report.

    Find Out the True Age of Your Body! Take the RealAge Test.


    Our Beef with Red Meat


    Red meat (defined as anything that walks on four legs, such as beef from cattle, and pork from pigs) is packed with saturated fat, which clogs your arteries, raises your LDL cholesterol and increases cancer risk. But a new study suggests another way in which red meat

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  • 10 Best Cities for a Happy Marriage

    Find out the top 10 cities for happy marriages.

    Happy Marriage: An Anti-Aging Secret?

    When it comes to living younger, marriage matters. But not if you're only married for the sake of the kids, or because staying married is easier than getting divorced. The real anti-aging benefits come from a healthy, happy and fulfilling union. In fact, a happy marriage can help make your RealAge up to 4.2 years younger if you're a man and 2.5 years younger if you're a woman. That's why we factored marriage into the RealAge 2013 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America Report.

    Is Your City Aging You?

    Why a Happy Marriage Helps Your Health

    "Marriage itself is usually our most important social interaction," says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge Test. Other social relationships are significant, but being married is the most fundamental and important of all. "Someone who is happily married has the lowest risk of heart disease, cancer, even car accidents," says Dr. Roach. "The difference is

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  • Top 12 Ways to Make Your RealAge Younger

    These 12 strategies will help you find your sweet spot. It's that place where you're giving your body what it needs, and it's repaying you by looking and feeling tip-top.

  • America's 10 Youngest Cities

    The couple in THIS city are living younger. Find out why.

    By Michael Roizen, MD, Sharecare Expert

    Is your city making you old? Or is it helping you stay young-no matter what the calendar says?

    Our 2013 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America report is out, with a list of the places where people are so healthy and fit it's like residents have erased the year on their birth certificate and penciled in a later one. The report also lists areas where you'd swear the inhabitants are older than their driver's license would lead you to believe, thanks to day-to-day choices that speed their decline.

    Sharecare analyzed health data generated by its patented RealAge Test to determine the Top 10 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America. Results from more than 250,000 people went into the calculations as we did the math on America's 50 largest metropolitan areas. The analysis included not just dietary and exercise habits but also cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and sleep patterns and anger-management skills-28 factors in all.

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  • Daphne Oz’s Recipe for Fun

    Chocolate Fudge Pops by Daphne Oz

    By: Lisa Davis

    Daphne Oz believes in indulgence. Yesterday, as her book, Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun, hit store shelves, the TV host and Sharecare expert shared with us her number one rule for healthy living: "I don't have rules," she told us. "If there's a rule I'm going to break it. And if it's a ruled-out thing, chances are it becomes taboo for me and I crave it even more."

    Find out Daphne Oz's Number One Health Rule

    Instead of following health commandments, the educator (and daughter of Sharecare founder Mehmet Oz, MD) makes sure her choices add value to her life. A dried-out cookie or fake-cream-filled pastry? Not worth the calories it'll add to her day or the damage its unhealthy ingredients might do to her body. A deliciously decadent dessert shared with a friend or loved one? That's nourishing, she says-a real investment in pleasure.

    Healthy Eating Made Easy

    Oz gave us a favorite recipe for a home-made fudge pop that's a great

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