Today’s Headlines: Varicose Veins, Overweight Eaters and Prescription Drugs

Laser treatment may be the way to go for varicose veins. Many older adults suffer from unsightly varicose veins that result from decades of trying to push blood against the force of gravity. A new study looking at laser treatment, foam injection and surgery has found that “all three treatments reduced symptoms associated with varicose veins, but there were fewer complications after laser treatment…In the study, about 1 percent of patients who underwent treatment with a laser experienced complications such as lumpiness, skin staining and numbness. About 6 percent of those who received the foam treatment, and 7 percent of those who underwent surgery experienced such complications.” While all decisions about which treatment to get should be individualized, the study provides more information about how the treatments compare. (Fox)

Eating with someone overweight may make you eat more. It seems our attitude toward food isn’t the only thing that determines how much we eat. New research out this week found that eating with someone who is either overweight or appears to be overweight can influence what a person chooses to eat and how much of it. Participants ate with an actress either wearing a fat suit or not and were given the option of salad or pasta. “Even when the overweight person ate salad, her meal companions loaded up. When participants ate with overweight eating companions, regardless of what she served herself, participants ate more pasta. They ate less salad even if the overweight person ate more salad.” The researchers surmise that just eating with someone overweight may decrease motivation to eat healthy regardless of what the other person is eating. The goal is obviously not to avoid overweight companions when going out to dinner, but “to be more mindful of how much we’re consuming” and what influences our choices. (NBC)

Saturday is National Prescription Take-Back Day. If old medications have been hogging the space in your medicine cabinet, you’re in luck. While many medications can be taken back at pharmacies, controlled medications like opioids can’t currently be returned. “Unused and expired prescription drugs sitting in medicine cabinets and kitchen drawers everywhere adds to the growing problems of accidental poisoning in children, drug addiction and overdose, as well as illegal possession and sales of controlled substances. Additionally, chucking that old bottle of pills in your garbage can is unsafe for the environment.” The take-back program will take place nationwide from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, at locations found here. (CBS)