Review Category : Health

Experts Warn of Risks of Some At-Home Chemical Peels

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Chrissy Dixon describes herself as having “some skin issues,” including “fine lines, large pores, and dark spots.”

To address those issues, Dixon, a beauty vlogger and cosmetologist, turned to an at home chemical peel containing 30 percent trichloroacetic acid, TCA, typically used by physicians and trained professionals. Dixon said she purchased the peel online for $25.99, a fraction of what a doctor might charge using a similar product.

“I knew it was going to burn,” Dixon said, admitting that, despite her familiarity with lower grade TCA peels at a salon, she wasn’t prepared for what she described as the considerable pain and uneven results caused by her do-it-yourself peel.

“My whole face started to flame up like it was on fire,” she said. “’My face is ruined.’ This is what’s going through my head.”

Chemical peels are designed to work by exfoliating and removing a part of the top layer of skin to reveal fresher skin for a more youthful appearance. Many products containing low concentrations of acid are sold through beauty retailers and drug stores and are often safe to use. However, some consumers, like Dixon, are opting for more potent peels and documenting their mishaps online.

When it comes to alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs, like salicylic and glycolic acids, a concentration of 10 percent or less is safe for home, and more than 30 percent should be reserved for a professional environment, according to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel.

But there is nothing to stop consumers from purchasing chemical peels with higher concentrations of acids online. ABC News’ Good Morning America was able to purchase six of the peels with higher concentrations online, including two vials of 100 percent TCA , which is a stronger acid that AHA’s.

The peels purchased online ranged in price from $15 to $200. The price for a professional chemical peel can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000.

Dr. Mark Abdelmalek, a Philadelphia-based dermatologist, and ABC News Medical Contributor, warns that several of the chemical peels purchased online by GMA should not be used without supervision.

“Acids work by destroying tissue and if you put more acid, you’re going to destroy more tissue,” he said.

The product that caused the most concern for Abdelmalek was the tiny vial of 100 percent TCA.

“I’ve never done a 100 percent chemical TCA peel, ever,” he said. “It’s just, I think, too dangerous.”

While the product is meant to be diluted with water, according to the instructions that the vial came with, Abdelmalek maintains even a diluted version has risks, especially as the product did not come with measuring tools to provide an accurate dilution.

“You have to be really careful about diluting this 100 percent to get it to a safe ingredient,” he said. “And I think that’s asking a lot of people to dilute this really strong acid in a very safe way and go ahead and put it on your face.”

A 30 percent TCA peel, like the one vlogger Chrissy Dixon said she used at home, is considered an aggressive treatment even by professional standards.

“It’s crazy to do that in a nonregulated environment,” said Dr. Michael Brown, a Virginia-based plastic surgeon who performs 30 percent TCA peels routinely in his practice but cautions against doing them at home. “If you get TCA into your eye, nothing good is going to come of that.”

Several dermatologists contacted by GMA report an uptick in injuries resulting from high-level acid peels performed at home.

“I have seen more complications related to both at-home peels as well as those performed by technicians without proper training or adequate experience,” said Dr. Diane Berson, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Berson said the desire to look younger is helping drive interest in do-it-yourself peels.

“Certainly as the ‘anti-aging’ market has grown along with consumer interest in products and procedures that can turn back the clock, more have jumped on this bandwagon,” she said.

GMA reached out to the companies that manufacture the peels purchased online by a GMA producer.

The maker of a 70 percent concentration of glycolic acid peel purchased by GMA said its product is safe to use at home, as long as the consumer follows the instructions — which would include a patch test to test skin sensitivity — and has gradually increased levels of glycolic acid in prior chemical peels.

Another company that manufactures a mixed acid peel purchased by GMA said it has a strict policy of selling exclusively to licensed medical practitioners.

“We work diligently to stop the distribution of our peel through online marketplaces,” the company said in a statement emailed to ABC News.

GMA could not reach the company from which the 100 percent TCA peel was purchased. While the chemical peels were significantly cheaper online, Abdelmalek warns there is a hidden cost to using peels intended for professionals.

“There’s a cost to just rolling the dice and I think a lot of this is just rolling the dice,” he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Fentanyl Deaths Have Spiked Across the US, With No Sign of Slowing Down

(Geneva Sands/ABC News) Drugs seized during a joint DEA raid in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sept. 13, 2016.(NEW YORK) — Morgan Gilman, 21, of Manchester, New Hampshire got in her car and drove three hours to buy a supply of fentanyl.

When she arrived, she took the “normal amount” and got back in her car to drive home, but not before an ominous warning from the seller: “Be careful, it’s stronger this time.”

The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital, handcuffed to the bed with the worst headache of her life.

“I was doing about 80 on the highway when I o.d.’ed behind the wheel,” Gilman said.

The car rolled four times, she was told. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt, but somehow managed to stay inside the vehicle.

She was in a coma, but awoke a few hours later with a broken back.

“My dad was crying. I had no idea why I was there,” Gilman said. “My first thought was like ‘What is going on?'” she said.

After the harrowing experience, she said she decided to end her drug use.

“I was tired of living in my car, I was tired of needing it, I was tired that the first thing I thought about when I woke up was how to find drugs,” she told ABC News.

Gilman’s car accident was this past spring and she said she’s now been clean for seven months.

But many people don’t survive. Gilman said her best friend died of a drug overdose. And fentanyl — the deadly synthetic opioid that is quickly catching up to heroin as one of the most abused drugs — has been killing people at extraordinary rates.

Morgan lives at ground zero for the fentanyl epidemic. In the small state of New Hampshire, where there are typically less than 20 homicides a year, more than 400 people died from drug overdoses in 2015, according to FBI crime data and New Hampshire officials. Around 70 percent of those were linked to Fentanyl, according to the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory.

The 2016 overdose deaths are expected to approach 500, according to New Hampshire’s lab. Final 2016 numbers aren’t yet available, as officials work through the backlog in drug processing.

Beginning in 2014, the state saw a huge spike in overdoses resulting in death, according to Timothy Pifer, Director of the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory.

“I’ve been involved in the forensic field here in New Hampshire for 27 years,” Pifer said, “and I lived through the crack epidemics and the methamphetamine, but we’ve never had deaths associated with it like we do now.”

He said he doesn’t believe it’s peaked yet.

The state lab receives about 750 new drug submissions every month, but can only process about 550, according to Pifer.

“Some days it feels like we’re shoveling sand against the tide in terms of getting the cases out,” he said.

While the Northeast has been hit hard, fentanyl is rapidly spreading across the United States.

The death rate from synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl, increased by about 72 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to a new CDC study. Law enforcement sources believe fentanyl is largely to blame.

For example, in Pennsylvania, there were 349 fentanyl-involved deaths in 2014, and 913 deaths in 2015, according to the DEA. In North Carolina, fentanyl-related deaths, went from 165 in 2014 to 226 last year. And that jumped to 321, according to the preliminary data for 2016 in the state.

In Florida, these deaths were up nearly 70 percent from 2014 to 2015. In Massachusetts they were up 20 percent during the same time period.

On New Year’s Eve, police in Methuen, Massachusetts were dispatched to a residence for a report of a baby in distress.

The ten-month-old child was transported to the hospital where she stopped breathing twice and had to be revived by staff, according to the Methuen Police Department.

Hospital tests indicate that the baby had fentanyl in her system, according to police.

“It’s heartbreaking to say the least. I mean it’s a 10-month-old baby,” said Lt. Michael Pappalaro.

The baby has since been released into the custody of a family member at a different residence and the incident is still under police investigation.

In an unrelated event two days later, Methuen police arrested a man who was allegedly in possession of $1.2 million dollars worth of fentanyl.

Police chief Joseph Solomon told ABC News that the fentanyl situation in his city is “horrible.”

The drug has become a major threat for law enforcement as well.

Fentanyl, which is used legally by medical professionals as a painkiller, is approximately 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and 25 to 40 times more potent than heroin, according to the DEA. Contact with just a few grains of the drug can kill.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent a video warning, featuring two investigators from Atlantic County, NJ that accidentally ingested the drug after a seizure, to police around the country warning of its dangers.

“I felt like my body was shutting down,” one of the officers said in the video.

DEA agents are forced to wear cumbersome protective suits with oxygen tanks to make arrests and raid buildings.

The suits are so difficult to maneuver in that agents can only wear them for up to 15 minutes at a time, before they need a break.

“If anything can be likened to a weapon of mass destruction in what it does to a community, it’s fentanyl,” said DEA Deputy Administrator Jack Riley.

Fentanyl is being produced secretly in Mexico and is also being imported directly from China, according to the DEA.

“People on the west coast in Silicon Valley working on the new iPhone, I think the Sinaloa cartel is working on the next product they’re going to market to the addiction base in the United States. That is just how sophisticated they are,” he said.

Cartels are marketing it to dealers, who are pushing it on populations with opioid addiction, resulting in death.

“That’s how hell-bent they are, on making a buck. And I got to tell you, across the country, they don’t care who dies,” he said.

The drug is cheaper and easier to make then heroin, which requires a growing season.

Some people seek out fentanyl, while others don’t realize what they are selling, buying and using.

Natasha Symonds, 26, overdosed just six days before she spoke with ABC News — it was her third overdose.

Symonds used heroin for years, but had never heard of fentanyl until the first time she wound up in the hospital.

“It ended up in what I was doing and I didn’t even know,” she said about the fentanyl.

But that wasn’t the end. She moved out of her house, disconnected from her family and continued to use.

Like Morgan, she also overdosed while driving. The person she was driving with got her help.

“I woke up this time in a different city that I’ve never really been in,” she said.

She was told that despite the dose of Narcan — a drug used to revive opioid overdose victims — she almost didn’t wake up again.

After that she sought help.

“You don’t know what’s in your stuff every time you do it. And you think you know. But one day you’re going to pick it up and you’re going to do it and you’re not going to wake back up again,” she said.

She says she’s been clean for 90 days.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Grandfather, Grandson Share New Year’s Day Birthday 53 Years Apart

(Courtesy Amanda Connell) Angus Connell, is pictured here with his grandfather, Leon Longan. Angus was born at Mason General Hospital in Shelton, Washington, Jan. 1, 2017. Longan was born 53 years ago on Jan. 1, 1964 in the same facility, back when it was under the name Shelton Hospital. (SHELTON, Wash.) — A baby was born this past New Year’s Day at a hospital in northwestern Washington where, coincidentally, his grandfather was also born 53 years earlier.

The grandfather, Leon Longan, was born on Jan. 1, 1964, at Shelton Hospital in Shelton, Washington, according to Virginia J. McCarty, CEO of McCarty and Associates, a firm that handles marketing for the hospital, which was renamed Mason General Hospital in 1968.

Longan’s grandson, Angus Connell, was born at the same hospital this past Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, McCarty told ABC News Wednesday.

In addition to being born on the same day at the same hospital, Longan and Angus also both share the distinction of being the first babies born at the hospital in their respective birth years, McCarty said.

Angus’ mother, 31-year-old Amanda Connell, told ABC News that she never planned to have her son born on the same day as her father, but she was “very happy” about the “incredible coincidence.”

Connell added that she has multiple other family members that have a birthday in early January.

“My dad was the ‘New Year’s Baby’ in 1964, one of my little cousins is his birthday buddy too, another little cousin was born on the 2nd of January and my middle daughter was born on the 3rd of January,” she said. “It’s pretty crazy.”

Connell also said that her family usually has a “big group New Year’s Day birthday party every year,” and this past New Year’s Day, the “whole party showed up at the hospital.”

“Everyone was very excited,” she said. “We certainly have a lot to celebrate.”

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Sisters Reunite With Long-Lost Mother After Four Decades: ‘Miracles Do Happen’

(Courtesy of Mark Szarmach) Sisters Starla Medlock and Jeannie Toomey reunited with their mother for the first time in four decades in Kansas City on Tuesday.(NEW YORK) — A very special and long-overdue family reunion is taking place this week in the Kansas City area.

Two sisters, Starla Medlock and Jeannie Toomey, reunited with their mother for the first time in four decades on Tuesday, embracing each other as tears streamed down their faces.

“It felt like time stood still. It just stopped,” Starla, 43, told ABC News of the moment she laid eyes on her mom at the Kansas City International Airport.

“I felt like that piece in my heart was just filling up. It was no longer a void there,” her younger sister, Jeannie, 42, added.

The women were born in Thailand and were separated from their mother, Lani Szarmach, when they were just one and two years old.

“Our dad signed up to the Air Force when he was 18 and went to Vietnam,” Jeannie explained. “Then he met our mom in Thailand and they got married. They went to Columbus, Ohio, in 1973 where Starla was born. Then dad got stationed in England when she was pregnant with me. I was born there, and that’s where they got divorced. And that’s where she remained as far as we knew. Then we came back to the states when he got stationed stateside.”

Lani’s long separation from her daughters happened as a result of the divorce, when the girls’ father got full custody and moved them to the United States.

“We asked our dad a lot about our mom, and he never spoke ill of our mom to us,” Starla recalled of their father, who died six years ago. “He just said that she couldn’t speak English because she’s full-blooded Thai, and he said she thought since we were American and he was in the military, he could take better care of us and provide us a better life than she could.”

But Starla and Jeannie never stopped yearning to find their long-lost mother, and would ask their father for information to help them in their search.

“When I sit back and I think of everything, I think he just tried to make it look like he helped,” Jeannie said of her dad’s efforts. “He was trying to protect us, or he was scared he was going to lose his baby girls. They always say there are three sides to the story. His side, her side and the truth.”

After years of searching databases and trying to locate birth records to no avail, the sisters decided to stop their searching, accepting that they had too little information to locate their mother.

“We had to close that chapter,” said Starla. “We thought, ‘We can’t keep doing this anymore. We can’t keep doing this to ourselves. We have to accept that we’ll probably never meet her. It was a chapter in our life that was never going to be finished.”

On Dec. 30, however, Starla got an unexpected message on Facebook.

“I open up my Facebook and look at message requests,” said Starla. “There’s a picture I see of this family, and I see mine and Jeannie’s baby picture. I’m laying in bed and my husband’s laying next to me and I’m going, ‘Oh my God.’ It started out saying, ‘This is not a prank,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God.’”

The message was from Lani’s current husband, Mark Szarmach, who lives with Lani in Pueblo, Colorado.

Starla and Mark swapped numbers, wanting to confirm facts with each other to ensure this was, indeed, the right connection.

“Lani wanted to find them but she didn’t know how to and because she had such limited information there weren’t any diligent searches,” Mark said of his wife. “But she’s often cried herself to sleep and talked about her daughters and how she has to find them someday. That night she asked me to help her find them, and we jotted down the information we had. Their last name was Thompson, which is a very common name. She knew he [the girls’ father] was in the Air Force and she thinks they came to the U.S. in 1972. It was very vague information. She knew Starla was born in Columbus, Ohio, and Jeannie was born in the hospital in England.”

Mark said it was difficult to search for the daughters because his wife’s accent is so thick. At first he thought Starla’s name was Stella, and Jeannie’s name was Jenny. He continued searching all of the names together, along with their father, John Thompson, and eventually found John’s obituary.

“It only took about three hours,” he said.

When Mark located Jeannie on Facebook, he saw something extraordinary in her photos that sealed the deal for him.

“I opened up an album and that baby picture popped up. I was in shock,” he recalled of finding the same exact baby photo of the girls that his wife has been carrying in her wallet for the past 42 years. “I came running out of the bedroom and said, ‘Honey you’ve got to come see this.’ I showed her that picture and she just started bawling.”

The happy family video chatted together for the first time on New Year’s Eve. Mark and Lani flew to Kansas City on Tuesday to meet their newfound daughters in person.

“I’m totally beside myself. I have my whole new family here,” said Jeannie.

“One thing I have always lived by is the quote, ‘With God all things are possible,’” Starla added. “I believe that without God this wouldn’t have been possible. In three hours Mark found us when all he had was a picture.”

Lani said she is “really happy” to finally reconnect with her daughters, and is planning to cook enough for food for them to make up for all the meals they lost.

“We’re going shopping for making Thai food,” she said. “We’re going to go to the Asian store to look for all kinds of food and I’m going to cook for them. I’ve waited so long to cook for them.”

And for anyone out there in a similar situation, Jeannie has this bit of advice.

“Miracles do happen. They truly do happen,” she remarked. “Don’t give up hope. It may not happen right away, but it will happen and we are proof.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Boy Grows Hair for Two Years, Donates to Friend with Alopecia

iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERVIEW, Fla.) — After two years of growing his hair, 10-year-old Tyler Boone was finally able to cut it — as a gift for a family friend, Gabby, who’s unable to grow her own.

“She’s gone through so much and I think just being a mom and seeing another young kid wanting to help and be a part of something caring and selfless, I think it’s very special,” Gabby’s mom, Emelia Ruiz told ABC News. “She’s very quiet and to herself until she gets to know people.”

On Dec. 29, Gabby Ruiz, 12, of Riverview, Florida, chopped Tyler’s 12-inch locks. The hair will be made into a wig for her to wear.

“She’s been comfortable with herself regardless, but she’s at that age,” Ruiz said. “She’s about to be 13 and she wants something different. She’s excited to try [the wig].”

When she was 4 years old, Gabby was diagnosed with Alopecia areata — a disorder in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles.

Tyler and his family are originally from Florida where he met Gabby. After playing with Gabby at family parties, he was curious about why she covered her head.

“Tyler asked why Gabby wouldn’t take the [cover-up] off her head,” Tyler’s mom, Denise Boone told ABC News. “We explained that Gabby had a condition that wouldn’t let her grow hair.”

Tyler decided he’d grow his hair long — a process that would take two years — so Gabby could have a wig of her own. “He said, ‘Well, it’s just hair, I can grow hair,'” Boone said.

While Tyler and his family were home for the holidays, Tyler and his family met Gabby and her mom at Westfield Brandon Mall in Brandon, Florida, so she could finally cut his locks.

After Gabby snipped Tyler’s ponytail, the pair posed for some photos at a JCPenney store. Tyler then received a haircut of his choice.

In a few weeks, Gabby will have a new wig made from Tyler’s hair by the organization, Children With Hair Loss.

Tyler’s parents said they’re very proud of their son, what he’s done for Gabby and his “super-big heart.”

“This is Tyler’s personality and it’s not something we encouraged him to do,” Tyler’s dad Jason Boone told ABC News. “They’ve been friends and Tyler has done some things [for Gabby] as acts of kindness.”

Gabby’s wig should arrive in about six weeks, her mother said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Try Julianne Hough’s Favorite Cardio Dance Workout

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Dancer and actress Julianne Hough is sharing her top wellness tips to shake up your fitness routine in 2017.

Hough says she gets “bored easily” so she mixes up her workouts with hiking, yoga, swimming and, of course, dancing, to stay motivated. The Dancing With the Stars judge says she swears by a cardio dance workout called Body by Simone, which mixes dancing with intervals of conditioning moves to target the upper and lower body and core.

“We do lots of mat work, body-weight moves and free weights,” Hough told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “The trampoline cardio might sound crazy, but it’s a great low-impact option. As a dancer, you’ve got to take good care of your knees!”

Hough, a Fitbit ambassador, brought Body by Simone’s full-body workout to a special live stream on and the GMA Facebook page Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 8 a.m. ET. Fitbit is a sponsor of Good Morning America.

“It’s important to remember that it’s not about getting the steps right, but just about keeping your heart rate up and having a good time,” Hough told GMA.

Read below for more lifestyle tips from Hough:

Julianne Hough’s Morning Routine and Fitness Tips

  • Hough starts her day off with a fresh juice like this apple ginger one with green apple, carrots, celery sticks, lemon and ginger.
  • Hough drinks hot water with lemon in the morning on her way to a workout.
  • She recommends setting a morning mantra to approach your day and workout: “Think of three things you’re grateful for or think of three things you would like to accomplish today.”
  • Do lunges and squats while watching TV. “Even if you can’t make it to the gym or studio, you can take conditioning work with you wherever you go. Around the house, I do lots of lunges and squats. If we’re hanging out and watching TV, I’ll do an ab series. Once you start taking advantage of all those little moments throughout the day, there are so many opportunities to get fit,” she wrote.

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Your Body: Is It Dangerous to Have Just One Cigarette?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Frank and Claire Underwood share one cigarette each night in the show The House of Cards. But if they think one is better than a pack, they could be wrong.

The National Cancer Institute conducted a prospective study in which it followed almost 300,000 patients for a period of six years and recorded their self-reported lifetime smoking habits before they were even 15 years old. It found that those who smoked less than one cigarette a day had a 64 percent higher risk of early death and nine times the risk of dying from lung cancer compared to non-smokers.

It’s important to remember that it’s not just direct smoking that’s dangerous. Second hand smoke is risky too. So if you or someone you know is a smoker, talk to a doctor about help quitting. It’s the single most important thing you can do for your help.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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US News and World Report Releases List of Best Diets

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Every year many Americans make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, but finding ways to drop pounds and keep them off is difficult.

Wednesday, U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of the best diets, according to nutrition and medical experts. The diets were chosen by a panel of nutritionists, dietary consultants, physicians and other experts convened by U.S News and World Report. A full list of all 38 diet plans can be found here.

Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietitian at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said many of the top-ranked diets have similar features, such as eating a variety of healthy and filling foods to lose weight over time, not all at once.

“There are more commonalities among these best diets than there are differences,” said Cimperman.

We’ve broken down the top overall diets from the U.S. News and World Report’s list below:

4. Weight Watchers

This year, four diets tied for fourth place. Among them is the Weight Watchers diet, which focuses on assigning points based on the nutritional value of foods.

This system isn’t about counting calories; instead Weight Watchers program assigns a SmartPoints value to foods to encourage dieters to pick healthful foods that will “fill” you up. The points are higher for foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and lower for foods with high levels of protein.

4. Mayo Clinic Diet

This diet is broken into two parts. The first part requires no calorie counting, but dieters are stuck with meals made up of healthy foods including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, as well as at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The second part of the diet starts two weeks later. During this period, the dieter continues to lose weight at a slower pace and starts eating a wider variety of foods. However, they have to keep track of calories and watch portion size to maintain weight loss. The program is designed so that dieters can keep the weight off, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The diet’s slow approach is one recommended by Cimperman.

“We know slow and steady weight loss is better than rapid weight loss,” she said.

4. TLC diet

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet was designed to help cut bad cholesterol, but the healthful foods advised in diet plan can also help people lose weight.

The diet requires eating foods with less saturated fats. This means eating less red meat, whole milk and anything deep-fried. As the diet limits daily cholesterol intake, it pushes more foods with fiber in order to help dieters manage high cholesterol without medication, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The program was created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program and has been endorsed by the American Heart Association.

4. Flexitarian diet

This diet is for anyone who wants to be a vegetarian but just can’t quite give up meat.

It’s also moved up four spots from last year to tie for the fourth best overall diet this year. The diet encourages people to try “new meat” like tofu but leaves room for flexibility if you’re really craving a steak. The term was coined by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner as a way to show that eating a plant-heavy diet can still result in health benefits even if a person eats meat occasionally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

If you adhere to this plant-heavy diet, your daily calorie intake should max out at around 1,500 calories. Dieters are advised to add healthy food to their diet like tofu, lentils, fruits and agave, so that they fill up on plant-based meals.

3. MIND diet

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a hybrid of the top-rated DASH and Mediterranean diets.

This diet aims to keep your mind healthy, but you may lose a few inches in the waistline if you stick to it.

The diet focuses on “10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

The diet was the brainchild of Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, after she and her team studied 923 seniors in the Chicago area. In this preliminary study, they found people who followed a diet high in brain-healthy foods were less at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Among the diet’s requirements is eating three servings of whole grains, a salad and another vegetable daily, as well as a single glass of wine if desired.

2. Mediterranean diet

This famed diet moved up a few spots this year to be the second-most recommended diet on the list.

The diet recommends emulating how people around the Mediterranean traditionally ate, with meals low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat, and high in “good” fats from olive oil or fish, and lots of vegetables, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Cimperman said that this diet, along with the others on this list, can work because they help lower intake of sodium and promote healthy foods in a variety of forms so people don’t feel restricted. However, she said people need to remember they still have to think about portion size.

“Just because these diets contain healthy foods, it still matters how much you’re eating,” said Cimperman. “The Mediterranean diet has a lot of high-fat foods. … You can’t eat all the olive oil and nuts that you want without gaining a few pounds.”

1. DASH diet

The DASH diet may not be as well known as other recommended diets, but it has consistently been found to be among the most effective diets for weight loss. This year marks the seventh time it’s been rated as the No. 1 overall diet by U.S. News and World Report.

Originally started by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as a diet to help reduce blood pressure, the DASH diet is made up of low-sodium and healthful foods. If you’re interested, you can check out a guide from the NHLBI, which can help give you a calorie recommendation and foods to try.

The NHLBI publishes free guides on the plan. You can take a look and see if the diet seems right for you.

BONUS: Diets to Avoid

As for the worst diets? Experts say to avoid any kind of cleanse and going gluten free, assuming you don’t have celiac disease, a wheat allergy or a gluten sensitivity that makes gluten avoidance a medical-must.

Cimperman told ABC News that seeing the word “cleanse” or “detox” should set off alarm bells.

“They are typically extremely restrictive and not backed by any science,” said Cimperman. She pointed out that by being stuck with an all-liquid diet or restricting yourself to only “clean” foods, many dieters will not be able to sustain the restrictive diet and quickly give up.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, notes that often a cleanse won’t work in the long term and cautions that people may miss out on nutrients they need by following such a restrictive diet.

Addtionally, Cimperman said any cleanse that requires you to stop exercising is a “red flag.”

These diets that are “typically so low in calories that [it] would be dangerous” if a dieter worked out, she explained. Cimperman explained that without working out a dieter risks losing muscle rather than fat.

And while going gluten-free craze has been a fad for years now, Cimperman that simply giving up gluten, a protein found in wheat, isn’t going to magically help people lose weight.

“I hope that we’re coming to the tail end of that,” said Cimperman. “If they lose weight, it’s because they’re cutting out a pretty big food group.”

Dr. Peter H.R. Green, director of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center in New York, said in a previous interview with ABC News that gluten-free diets probably won’t help people lose weight if they simply substitute their favorite treats with gluten-free versions. A gluten-free cookie may have even more sugar and fat to counteract the loss of gluten, he warned.

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Fierce Male Dancer Defies Traditional Body Stereotypes with Bold Moves

Instagram/erik_cav5493(PITTSBURGH) — This male dancer is high-kicking his way into 2017 with some bold dance moves set to the song “Banginator” by Beatowski.

Erik Cavanaugh, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is defying traditional body stereotypes with his fierce contemporary dance routines.

“I went to a high school in Pittsburgh called CAPA which stands for creative and performing arts,” the 23-year-old told ABC News. “I was originally a theater major and acted for a good portion of my life. At the end of my sophomore year, I realized I didn’t really have the drive for acting anymore and wanted to pursue dancing. And, since then, I have not looked back.”

Although he’s been dancing since the age of 7, Cavanaugh said he was deterred for a time after one teacher discouraged him.

“When I was a lot younger, I had a teacher tell my parents I should give up on pursuing any career in the arts,” Cavanaugh recalled. “So that’s why for most of my life I didn’t dance and just acted. She took something away from me that I loved because of these preconceived notions about what a dancer is supposed to be like and look like. So I’ve been encouraging others to keep following their dreams and their passion while I follow mine.”

His tireless efforts and enthusiasm are beginning to pay off, too. Cavanaugh has more than 8,000 followers on his Instagram page and even caught the attention of actor Ashton Kutcher, who shared one Cavanaugh’s dance videos on his Facebook page just before the New Year.

“That was pretty crazy,” said the proud dancer. “A career highlight for sure.”

Cavanaugh works at a pizza shop “to pay the bills,” but he also teaches dance classes at Carpelz Center for the Arts to kids, ages 6 to 17.

He hopes to inspire people of all sizes with his motto: “Dance is for everyBODY.”

“If you love something, don’t let someone take it from you,” said Cavanaugh. “There’s going to be naysayers all through your life that will tell you’re wrong, but if you’re happy and you’re doing something you love, that’s all that matters.”

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How Water Poured on Rodenticide Caused 4 Deaths in a Texas Home

iStock/Thinkstock(AMARILLO, Texas) — The deaths of four family members in a Texas mobile home that authorities said was due to fumes from a rodenticide have put the spotlight on a chemical called aluminum phosphide, which can turn into a deadly gas called phosphine gas.

Aluminum phosphide is often used in pellet form to kill burrowing rodents, according to Dr. Edward Otton, a toxicologist at the Cincinnati Poison Control Center.

“The moisture in the ground will convert that [buried] pellet into gas and kill the rodent,” Otton said.

In Monday’s deadly incident in Amarillo, Texas, surviving family members said they had used a pesticide containing the chemical to kill mice under the home, according to local fire officials. Authorities said the chemical turned deadly when a family member sprayed water on the pesticide to try and clear it from under the mobile home.

“At some point, a family member tried washing the chemical from underneath the house with water,” the fire department said in a statement on Monday. “When this chemical comes in contact with water, it creates phosphine gas, which is highly poisonous and can cause pulmonary edema and respiratory failure.”

Pulmonary edema occurs when fluid collects around the lungs and makes it difficult or impossible to breathe.

All four reported deaths were minors and six other people in the family were hospitalized, according to fire officials.

Jesse Patton, a spokesman for the City of Amarillo Office of Public Communications and Community Engagement, said due to the toxic nature of the pesticide, those using it are are supposed to have a license. Patton said he did not believe the family member who spread the pesticide was licensed to use it.

The gas is toxic when inhaled because it starts to break down the mitochondria, which are contained in every cell in the body, according to Otton. As the mitochondria break down first in the lungs and then in other organs, it can quickly lead to multi-organ failure and death.

“You can expect to see just about every organ in your body [affected] by a massive inhalation of phosphine gas,” Otton said, noting that the gas “commonly causes death when people are exposed to concentrated amounts of it.”

Once a person inhales the toxic gas, there is little that doctors can do except give supportive care such as ventilation or intravenous fluids.

“There’s no real antidote that you can give for this [to] reverse it,” Otton explained.

Otton said while cases of toxic exposure to this gas are not very common, they are “an annual occurrence.”

It’s “usually people who are not professionals and use it incorrectly.”

Not all cases occur near a home, Otton said, noting that many involve workers at factories where the chemical is used. In a 2013 report in the Journal of Agromedicine, researchers looked at the effects of the chemical on 10 workers exposed at a pistachio plant. Six of the workers exposed to the gas had respiratory distress as well as chest pain, shortness of breath. In some cases they had decreased oxygen saturation.

The researchers of the 2013 report found children may be especially susceptible to the chemical. However, due to the limited material on the subject, the researcher didn’t theorize why children seemed to have worse outcomes when exposed to the gas.

While the gas can be irritating to the throat and lungs, Otton said it can also break down into a substance called phosgene, a gas that can smell pleasant but cause deadly reactions in the body.

“If it smells good, you take a deeper breath,” said Otton , who explained phosgene is so dangerous it was even used as a chemical weapon during World War I.

Any family concerned about properly using a rodenticide should call their local poison control center, which can advise them on how to use it safely, Otton said.

“Poison centers are here to help people with this stuff,” Otton said.

The national number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers is (800) 222-1222.

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