Consumer Reports Health News


July 23, 2007

CONSUMER REPORTS HEALTH NEWS

Welcome to Consumer Reports Health News for health and medical journalists. Consumer Reports
covers issues pertaining to the efficacy and safety of prescription drugs and natural medicine, mental
health, diet and nutrition, food safety, and fitness online and in print. CR tests health and fitness products,
rates the effectiveness and affordability of prescription drugs, and evaluates the claims made by drug
companies and the health care industry—all without commercial agendas or advertiser influence.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Tildy La Farge at 914-378-2436.
TIPS FOR BETTER HYDRATION WHEN THE MERCURY RISES
The August issue of Consumer Reports on Health recommends that anyone who exercises intensely or for
a long period of time should consider weighing themselves before and after each workout. A quick
comparison will give people an idea of just how much water weight they’re losing. CR recommends
drinking an additional two cups of water for each pound lost, either during the workout or after. It’s
critical not to drink too much water, which can disturb sodium balance. As an additional or alternative
indicator, people can monitor their urine. If it’s dark yellow or amber, that’s a sign that fluids need to be
replenished.
FIVE MONEY SAVING STEPS FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Roughly 50 percent of Americans age 65 and up have at least three chronic illnesses. The August issue
of Consumer Reports on Health notes that there are many steps consumers can take to make living with
several chronic diseases easier. When multiple medications are prescribed, CR advises patients to
periodically review the list of drugs being taken with their doctor, in addition to other measures such as
keeping a schedule for taking drugs available in a convenient place. CR recommends five money saving
tips:
1. Look for generics. Check Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs online at
www.ConsumerReports.org/health to learn whether generics are more cost-effective than
brand name drugs for a given condition.
2. Compare prices. Check out CR’s Medical Guide at www.ConsumerReports.org/health.
3. Buy in bulk. Consumers should ask their doctor to prescribe 90-day supplies. Some
insurance companies have mail order programs that can also cut costs.
4. Check drug-assistance programs. People who are uninsured should ask their state or
local health care office or local senior center about programs that provide prescription
drug assistance. Check the Internet for programs offered by drug companies
(www.pparx.org) or pharmacy benefit managers (www.rxoutreach.com).
5. Check federal programs. By visiting www.cms.hhs.gov, consumers can find out if
they’re eligible for drug savings from Medicaid or Medicare.
ONE MINUTE CONSULT: STEPS FOR BETTER WALKING
Women are willing to put up with a lot of discomfort when it comes to shoes. A recent study finds that
90 percent of women wear shoes that are too narrow for their feet. And 8 out of 10 women report that
they have foot pain. The wrong shoe can lead to a variety of foot problems such as bunions, hammer
toes, pinched nerves, heel pain, callouses, and ingrown toenails. How do you find the right shoe? Follow
these simple steps:
o Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are largest
o Fit to your largest foot (2/3 of people have one foot larger than the other)
o Allow a thumb’s breadth from the end of your largest toe to the tip of the shoe
o The shoe should be comfortable the moment you slip it on. You shouldn’t need a “breakin”
period.
o Save those high heeled pointy-toed shoes for special occasions and try to wear them for
short periods, no longer than three hours.
Log on to www.ConsumerReports.org/health for the full report about cruel shoes.
HOME COOKING IS HEALTHIER
Regularly eating at home rather than dining out—whether it’s fast food or filet mignon—can lead to
better nutrition and a smaller waistline. Log on to www.ConsumerReports.org/health to find out more
about healthy eating. And if you go out to eat, CR has numerous tips for avoiding meals that are laden
with fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
CONTACT:
Tildy La Farge 914-378-2436 (dir) or 917-656-8982 (cell)
mlafarge@consumer.org
AUGUST 2007© Consumers Union 2007.
The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports on Health® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. CU supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.