Sharecare Top 5: Avoid Medication Mix-ups, Tips for a Safe Labor Day, Everyday Foods Loaded with Sugar

Colored pills, tablets and capsules

On Sharecare we’re giving you the 411 on ways to deal with medication mix-ups, tips to avoid the ER this Labor Day, some surprising foods that are packed with sugar and more. Check out five of our latest posts.

1. Ever pick up your medication from the pharmacy only to realize at home that it doesn’t look like what you usually take? Spare yourself from pill-refill anxiety with these practical ways to avoid future medication mix-ups.

2. Have a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones with these smart tips to stay out of the ER this Labor Day from emergency room physician Darria Long Gillespie, MD.

3. Did you know that some foods that you thought were healthy may actually contain more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut? Discover which six everyday foods have a shockingly high amount of sugar.

4. Ladies, check out this new study that explains why the different qualities you look for in your man may be based on your ovulation cycle. Men, find out what you can do to understand and successfully deal with these changes in your partner – all month long.

5. Acid reflux isn’t pleasant, and if it happens to you more than twice a week you may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Keep your symptoms under control with these seven strategies to fight GERD.

In Case You Missed It: August 25 Through August 29

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.37.08 AM

If you missed a segment or forgot to jot down a tip this week, we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful hints and take-aways and click to read more on DoctorOz.com!

1. Dr. Oz shows you how to outsmart your fat genes so that you can put an end to yo-yo dieting. Learn which three healthy fats you need in your kitchen and get customized weight-loss solutions for your hormone type.

2. Find out the health hazard putting your cellphone in your bra can cause. Test your knowledge and get the facts about breast cancer to protect yourself and try Daphne Oz’s German chocolate cake recipe.

3. Dr. Oz debunks the common misconceptions about house fires. Print this fire safety plan to keep your family safe in an emergency and take this quiz to find out how healthy your pet is.

4. Wendy Williams talks about the three health tests every woman should have done. Keep track of your family’s medical information with this 911 emergency checklist and decode your health with these 10-second health assessments.

5. Learn about the five things happy people do every day that you should start doing, too. Eat these good mood foods to crank-proof your diet and perk up fast with these fast tricks to help you feel better about your life.

Today’s Headlines: Tomatoes, Overconfidence and Colonoscopies

Tomatoes may lead to less prostate cancer. It looks like tomatoes are more than just a tasty addition to a burger or salad. New research out of the UK this week found that men who ate 10 or more portions of tomatoes per week were 18% less likely than men with less tomato in their diet to develop prostate cancer. “Eating the recommended five servings of fruit or vegetables or more a day was also found to decrease risk by 24%, compared with men who ate two-and-a-half servings or less. ‘Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention,’” said one of the researchers on the team. The authors emphasize further studies are still needed to confirm the findings. “The cancer-fighting properties of tomatoes are thought to be due to lycopene, an antioxidant which can protect against DNA and cell damage. The researchers also looked at two other dietary components linked with prostate cancer risk – selenium, found in flour-based foods such as bread and pasta, and calcium, found in dairy products such as milk and cheese. Men who had optimal intake of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer, they said.” Experts emphasize these foods should be included as part of a balanced diet. (BBC)

More support for “fake it ‘til you make it.” It looks like we may have underestimated the importance of confidence. A group of researchers gathered a group of students and asked them to estimate their grades. They were then rated by others on how smart or talented they were perceived to be. The researchers “found that students who over-estimated their own grades tended to be perceived as more talented, and students who underestimated their grades were seen as less talented, regardless of their actual capabilities.” As per the authors, “our results support the idea that self-deception facilitates the deception of others. Overconfident individuals were overrated and underconfident individuals were underrated.” The findings have broader implications for who might be rising to the top. “The researchers also warned that over-confidence can have more of an effect on individual decisions like picking a mate or hiring for jobs, resulting in self-deceptive and risk-prone people being promoted to powerful roles. (TIME)

Those with single polyps may not need frequent colonoscopies. Right now, if you get a colonoscopy and have a polyp removed, your next appointment will be made for five years later instead of 10 since you’re thought to be at higher risk of cancer. A new study throws that into question this week. “Researchers tracked 40,826 polypectomy (polyp removal) patients for a median of eight years. Patients who had a single low-risk polyp removed had a much lower risk of colon cancer, compared to the general population and to patients who had multiple or aggressive polyps removed. Overall, the mortality rate was similar between polypectomy patients and the general population – however, those who had high-risk polyps removed had a significantly higher mortality.” About one quarter of all colonoscopies done in the U.S. are a result of increased screening after initial polyp removal. According to the lead author, “these findings support more intense surveillance of the high-risk group, but should maybe lead to reconsideration of the guidelines regarding the low-risk group.” (Fox)

4 Things to Know About Sugar-Free Labels

sugar on a teaspoon isolated on white background

Move over, gluten. It’s still early, but I’m predicting that sugars will earn the top spot for hottest nutrition topic of 2014. There are controversial cupcake bans in schools, popular diet books and films promoting sugar-free challenges and a flurry of science that continues to connect the dots between sugar consumption and health. Plus, the latest National Survey indicates Americans are consuming far more empty calories from hidden sugars in our diet than is conducive to optimal health.

As a result, “sugar free” claims are popping up everywhere, from food packaging to foodie blogs, restaurant menus and on social media. But there’s an important catch. In reality, sugar-free has many different meanings in the marketplace and it can be sticky business to decipher it. Read more  »

Small Changes That Make a Big Weight Loss Difference

Weight Loss ahead Sign

Over the years on my show, I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve given up when it comes to their weight. They’ve tried lots of different solutions, but haven’t quite found something for them. This can happen for lots of reasons, but sometimes it is nothing more than intimidation. Trying to overhaul your life overnight is tough and drastic changes can be hard to maintain. Ultimately, you have to find something that you can stick with for months to come. Read more  »

How to Choose the Right Acne Spot Treatment

skin problems

Waking up to discover a fresh zit in the middle of your forehead is guaranteed to ruin your day. And even those with dry and normal skin types are not immune to the occasional eruption.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin disorder, affecting up to 50 million Americans and nearly 85 percent of people experience it at some point in their lives. Breakouts can occur on any skin type, especially when hormones fluctuate during stressful events and menstruation. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Drinking Wine, Weight Perception and Hangovers

Keeping your wine consumption under control. A single drink on a daily basis can be good for your health, but controlling your intake can be challenging. A new study out this week looked at factors that influence how much wine a person pours. Participants were asked to pour either white or red wine into glasses of various shapes and sizes and were given different instructions about pouring. “Wide glasses caused subjects to pour 11.9% more than narrow ones. Holding the glass as opposed to leaving it on the table resulted in a 12.2% bigger serving. And when the glass sizes were the same, participants poured 9.2% less red wine than white because, the researchers theorize, the lower color contrast between white wine and a clear glass makes the glass look less full.” Researchers found gender and BMI also mattered. “Men in the study poured more than the women did and men with high BMI poured about 19% more than men with average BMI. For women, body mass didn’t make a difference.” Using a rule of thumb for measuring also helped. When asked to follow the rule “drink as much as you want, but fill the glass only halfway up each time you pour,” high-BMI men drank 31% less than those who didn’t, and men of average BMI drank 26% less. Women, on the whole, drank 27% less when they used the half-empty rule.” (TIME)

Parents of obese kids think they’re okay. Obesity is a problem for all age groups in the U.S., but it looks like the changing bodies of Americans are affecting the weights we think are okay. A new study out this week “examined height and weight data on 2,871 children from the 1988 to 1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 3,202 similar kids from the 2005 to 2010 cycles of the survey…In the 1988 to 1994 data set, 78 percent of parents of an overweight boy and 61 percent of parents of an overweight girl, identified the child as ‘about the right weight.’ That number increased to 83 percent for boys and 78 percent for girls in the 2005 to 2010 period. Similarly, for obese boys, 26 percent of parents said they were ‘about the right weight’ in 1988 compared to 37 percent in 2010.” And it wasn’t just the parents. “Many kids also identify themselves as about the right weight even if they are overweight or obese, and those kids are less likely to try to lose weight.” This is concerning because parents who perceive their child’s weight as a problem are more likely to try and encourage healthy eating and exercise. (Reuters)

Getting hangovers might be genetic. While a night of heavy drinking is the surest way to end up with a headache the next morning, a new study from Australia indicates that genetics may influence how likely that is to happen. “Researchers looked for links between the study participants’ genetic makeups and the number of hangovers they reported in the past year. The results showed that genetic factors accounted for 45 percent of the difference in hangover frequency in women and 40 percent in men. The other half probably comes from outside influences unrelated to DNA, such as how quickly a person drinks, whether they eat while they drink and their tolerance for alcohol.” The authors think these findings might help identify people at risk for alcoholism since those with the genetic predisposition “also drank to the point of being intoxicated more frequently than people who didn’t have the hangover genes.” (Fox)