Review Category : Health

Jennifer Aniston Is ‘Really Comfortable’ at 110 to 113 Pounds

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Jennifer Aniston has always been svelte. However, even she would like to change a few things about her body.

“These days, if I was being super picky, I would love to drop five pounds,” she told Yahoo. “That is just where I have always been really comfortable at, about 110 to 113 pounds. But it is harder at this age.”

Aniston, 45, explained that to stay in such great shape, she tries to “strike a balance,” with her diet. For example, weekends, she said, are the time when she lets herself have bread.

The actress also chalks up her looks to genetics, among other things.

“My dad is 100-percent Greek; he turned 81 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither does my grandmother, who was 95 when she died,” she said. “But it’s also just water, drinking a lot of water, using really nice good products for your face. Don’t overproduct, that’s the other thing. Getting proper sleep is always important.”

Still, when a wrinkle does crop up, don’t expect Aniston to run to a plastic surgeon. The actress said that her fiancé, Justin Theroux, would “put a gun to my head if I touch my face in any way.”

“There are also so many things that women can do today with technology in terms of LED light therapy, good lasers that tighten the muscles, and massages for your face — and don’t forget great creams. I think that’s the route to go,” she said.

“I also understand that age is kind of awesome,” says Aniston. “I am fortunate enough to know women like Gloria Steinem, who I think is one of the most stunning women on the planet, and doesn’t touch her face. Diane Keaton, Annette Bening, all of these fabulous fearless women who are flawless, they embrace it. You know, to each their own; I don’t judge it if you do it, but sometimes I wish I could beg the people I know, who I am very near and dear to, to not touch their face.”

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Colorado’s Pot Laws Also Impacting Teens

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Colorado is one of two states where it’s legal to buy and use small amounts of marijuana, provided you’re 21 or older.

However, that hasn’t stop Colorado high school students from smoking pot, according to a 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado survey.

Among those polled, more than a third admitted to having used marijuana at least once, with 20 percent saying they’d gotten high in the past 30 days.

Besides marijuana’s availability, teens seem to see less risk in using the drug. In 2013, 54 percent said there was moderate or great risk from marijuana, compared to 58 percent two years earlier.

Yet despite marijuana being legal in Colorado, the state only ranks seventh in use of the drug. The nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island, has the largest ratio of users to non-users.

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New Jersey Couple Marries as Cancer Threatens to Tear Them Apart

iStock/Thinkstock(LAUREL SPRINGS, N.J.) — A New Jersey couple who married after learning cancer may cut short their time together are hoping their love will beat the odds.

Melanie Gaskins, 46, and Pierre Freeman, 51, of Laurel Springs were married after doctors told them that Freeman, who lives with an inoperable brain tumor, has only one more year to live.

“We just don’t accept that,” Gaskins told ABC News. “He was diagnosed in 2008 with a brain tumor that was the size of a plum tomato and he’s still here from that. So I just can’t accept that.”

The couple, who Gaskins says were both foodies before Freeman was given a feeding tube, met, fittingly, at a barbecue in 2005.

“He jumped up and asked if he could get me a plate of food,” Gaskins recalled. “But we got to talking and I never got that plate.”

So Freeman visited Gaskins at her home the next day with food from the previous night, which included a dish of fried alligator.

“It was his attention to detail that got me,” Gaskins said. “I just thought he was a big teddy bear. He’s physically in stature big, but he is so incredibly sweet.”

The couple were together for one year when Freeman started to rapidly lose his vision.

“He started dropping weight,” Gaskins said. “Doctors said he was diabetic.”

But when Freeman’s vision continued to worsen, Gaskins told him to go to the hospital. There, a doctor found a tumor in Freeman’s brain so advanced it could not be removed.

“That word, inoperable, I couldn’t understand what he meant by that. And I’ve been to college and graduated law school. It freaked me out. It was unimaginable,” Gaskins said.

But Gaskins says it that it was Freeman’s strength that carried the couple through difficult times.

“He is so incredibly strong,” she said. “He even drove himself to his chemo appointments. I was there for major appointments and whenever we got results, but for every appointment he drove himself.”

“He is my superman,” she added.

Indeed, at their wedding last week in Philadelphia, Freeman wore a superman t-shirt and socks beneath his suit.

As for the future, Gaskins has nothing but excitement.

“We used to be real foodies, but not anymore since Pierre got the feeding tube. Now we want to travel. He’s really excited about the possibility to travel. We want to go to Italy, so we’ve been planning a way to make it happen.”

In the meantime, she expects they’ll be together for longer than doctors think.

“It’s just not his time. It’s not his time. He has something to teach everybody, how to grow and how to overcome your problems even when you think they are insurmountable.”

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Faced with Ebola, West Africa Health System Has ‘Collapsed’

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

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West Africa Demonstrators Protest Delays in Collecting Ebola Victims’ Bodies

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

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West Africa Demonstrators Protest Delays in Collecting Ebola Victims’ Bodies

iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Demonstrators in West Africa protested the government’s delays in collecting bodies of Ebola virus victims, blocking Liberia’s busiest highway Saturday.

Health officials in neighboring Guinea closed land borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone to keep Ebola from spreading, but experts say hospitals in the region are not properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

“The health system has completely collapsed,” said Dr. Frank Glover, missionary and president of health organization SHIELD in Africa. “And by that I mean, they don’t have capacity to even see patients. Every day they are seeing patients, mothers present with dead babies in their womb because there’s no one to do a C-section.”

Glover stressed the importance of giving protective gear to workers on the ground, due to the large death toll of nurses and doctors trying to treat Ebola.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international emergency. On ABC’s This Week, Robin Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to Congo and Nigeria, said a quarantine and close quarters often make the situation worse.

“People are quarantined, they were not told in advance and therefore there are food shortages in those same areas,” Sanders said. “How the virus sometimes gets into the population is that people are food insecure, so they eat bush meat, rodents that are infected with the virus.”

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Veteran Who Lost Leg in Iraq Becomes Professional Wrestler

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Chris Melendez may have lost a leg while serving in Iraq, but the native New Yorker is not going to let the injury cut short his dream of becoming a wrestler.

Inspired by his father, a Vietnam veteran, Melendez joined the military when he was 17 years old. In 2006, when Melendez was only 23 days away from returning home after his deployment, he lost a leg in a roadside bomb at the age of 19.

“When I was able to open my eyes after the explosion, I looked across the battlefield to see what I thought was a fellow-soldier in need of help,” Melendez told ABC News. “I quickly realized it was my leg.”

Melendez was treated at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The bomb damage led to his jaw being rebuilt, the severed tendons in his left arm getting replaced and, ultimately, his left leg being amputated above the knee.

Despite the injuries, Melendez made a quick recovery. With a prosthetic leg, he was walking again within 40 days.

Melendez, a Purple Heart recipient, had watched wrestling since he was little with his grandmother, who was a huge fan. He had always wanted to become a wrestler, and the injury didn’t deter him.

After he able to walk again, Melendez began training to become a professional wrestler in 2012.

His talent was spotted by TNA Impact Wrestling, which offered him a multi-year contract. He made his debut at Manhattan Center in New York on Aug 5.

“I am very excited because there have been so many people who have not seen me perform, who are questioning my ability, whether I can go to the distance,” Melendez said. “Once I step in there, I will show the whole world what I’m capable of.”

Melendez had a few words of encouragement for other injured veterans: “Regardless of what happens, you can still succeed at whatever you apply yourself to.”

“I like to credit the fact, a lot, that I’m a New Yorker,” Melendez said of his recovery. “I don’t waste any time, and I have to hurry up.”

Although appreciative of his prosthetic leg, Melendez actually thinks that he wrestles better without it.

“I prefer to work with it off because my agility’s better, I move a little faster, I’m able to do certain things that I can’t do with it on,” he said. “It’s actually a hindrance to have it on.”

“I like that ability to captivate the audience and tell a story, not with words, but with our bodies,” Melendez said.

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Dentists Can’t Agree on Right Way to Brush Teeth

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you’re confused about how often, how long and the best way to brush your teeth, you’re not alone. It turns out even dentists don’t agree on recommendations.

According to a new analysis of 58 studies published in dental journals, recommendations vary on almost every aspect of brushing.

In terms of duration, 26 sources recommended brushing for two minutes, 12 recommended brushing two to three minutes and two recommended brushing for three minutes.

There are also some discrepancies regarding frequency: while 42 sources recommended twice daily brushing, another source recommended we brush our teeth three times daily.

Finally, there are different types of brushing techniques, which vary by the type and location of brush stroke — and each even has its own name. Again, dentists really couldn’t agree on which technique to use: 11 studies recommended the “Bass” technique (mostly horizontal, with some vertical and circular motions), 10 recommended “Fones” (large, sweeping, circular motions, with brush at right angle to teeth), five recommended the “Scrub” approach (horizontal motions, parallel to the gums) and two recommended “Stillman” (primarily vertical brush movements).

The analysis, published in the British Dental Journal on Friday, points to much-needed synthesis and streamlining of dental recommendations, so that both the public — and dentists — can understand how to brush.

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Tumor Blamed for Teen’s Football Practice Death

Photodisc/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — A Pittsburgh-area teenager who collapsed during high school football practice earlier this week died of a rare heart tumor, an autopsy has revealed.

Noah Cornuet, 16, had been living with a right atrial myxoma, a noncancerous tumor that “would never be detected” during a routine checkup, Marty Coyne, a supervisor at the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner, told ABC News.

The tumor was about the size of a “small orange” and broke off, blocking blood flow between the heart’s chambers and preventing the heart from pumping blood to the rest of the body, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said.

“He was such a good boy,” Noah’s mother, Pam Cornuet, said, addressing a crowd at a candlelight vigil at Burrell High School Thursday night, according to ABC News’ Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. “He never hurt anyone and never would have. We are so proud of the child and young man he grew up to be, and we’re just mourning the loss of the life he would have had, because all we really wanted was for him to grow up and be a successful member of society.”

Noah collapsed Wednesday night at about 6 p.m. and was pronounced dead at Allegheny Valley Hospital about an hour later, according to the report.

The teenager collapsed during conditioning training before any rigorous training started, and although paramedics were on hand, they could not save the rising sophomore, according to WTAE.

The state athletic association requires three days of conditioning drills to get high school players used to the high summer temperatures before allowing them to participate in contact drills.

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Girl Who Survived Brain-Eating Amoeba Swims Again

Facebook/Prayers-For-Kali-Le-Ann(NEW YORK) — A 13-year-old Arkansas girl, who is one of only three people in the United States known to have survived a brain-eating amoeba, is back enjoying swimming after contracting the infection at a water park last year.

“I have a swimming pool in my backyard. I go swimming in that as much as I can,” Kali Hardig told ABC News’ 20/20. “In fact I was in it yesterday for I don’t know how long.”

Hardig was swimming at Willow Springs Water Park in Little Rock, Arkansas, last summer, when she became sick with a fever, nausea and severe headaches.

“I started with a real bad headache, and all of the sudden the headache just started getting worse, so I told momma,” Hardig said.

“And I knew when her eyes rolled back in her head, I knew something bad was wrong,” Traci Hardig, Kali’s mother, told 20/20.

Traci Hardig and her husband raced their daughter to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where she was diagnosed with having contracted primary amoebic meningoencephalitis — a rare form of meningitis caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

“Naegleria is an infection that you can’t get by just swallowing some water. The water actually has to get splashed up your nose,” said Dr. Matthew Linam, who treated Kali at the time. “The amoeba, when it’s out in the environment, uses bacteria as a food source. Once it gets in the brain, it doesn’t have those bacteria for food so it starts attacking nerve cells as food.”

Kali Hardig was in critical condition for weeks but eventually recovered and went home last September. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been only 133 known infections like Kali Hardig’s in the United States in the past 50 years.

After her ordeal, Hardig said she was scared to come in contact with water, even to take showers, at first.

“I was afraid to take a shower because I know that I got it from water, and I was thinking that it could be from all kinds of water, that it could be in the shower,” she said.

After undergoing treatment and intensive cognitive and physical therapy, Hardig now is looking forward to playing for the volleyball team when school starts.

When asked about whether she wishes to forget the ordeal, Hardig said, “Actually I hope I never forget it because it’s something that I’ve got to experience but never want to experience again.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

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