Kevin McCarthy is a content specialist living in Oakland, California.

Writing

Clean Eating Do's and Don'ts

Clean eating may be the buzziest health term on the Internet. But what does it mean? Unfortunately, that’s not always clear. At the core of this credo is the advice author Michael Pollan famously gave a decade ago in his best-selling book In Defense of Food: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And research shows that this kind of eating pattern can indeed improve health and help maintain a healthy weight. In 2014 David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale Unive

5 Outdoor Adventures To Boost Your Fitness And Mood

As the days get longer and warmer, it's time to take your workout into the open. Research shows that outside activities don’t just offer a break from the monotony of a winter’s worth of machine workouts, they may actually increase your effort, and improve several measures of well-being. Besides, being outside is also really fun. There’s a body of research suggesting outdoor walkers and runners see a wealth of additional benefits over treadmill users, including improved mood, self-esteem, e

Do Men and Women Need Separate Multivitamins?

Do men and women need separate multivitamins? The popular multivitamin brand we usually buy (we're in the 50+ category) now comes in "his" and "hers" (specific versions for men and for women) as well as the gender-neutral version. Do we really need his and hers vitamins or is this just a marketing ploy to get us to spend more money by buying two different bottles of their product? If you’re going to take a multivitamin, it makes sense to get one tailored to your age and gender, though many expe

Is the Sleep Aid Melatonin Safe for Children and Adults?

How safe is melatonin to take regularly for sleep problems? Are there more risks for children versus adults? There’s a dearth of safety data for melatonin, but there are a number of potential concerns, especially for children. “I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand tha

Does the Flu Provide Better Immunity Than a Flu Shot?

Is natural immunity better than a flu vaccine? Is the immunity acquired by having the flu any more beneficial than immunity acquired via a flu shot? Getting the flu itself can provide much stronger immunity than any flu shot does. But getting the flu is dangerous, so getting a flu shot is a better option. When a flu virus enters your body, the immune system fights the infection by producing a robust antibody response that can spring into action if the same strain of the virus returns. That pro

Toxic Masculinity and Men's Mental Health

Researchers say men who see women as unequal or as sex objects can develop serious mental health issues. It can also be psychologically toxic to the perpetrators of sexism themselves. For the past couple of decades, psychologists have been uncovering a link between traditional masculinity and poor mental health. Now, a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology confirms that link and adds some details about which aspects of so-called “toxic masculinity” are most damaging

Is it Cancer? Diagnosing Yourself Online Is About to Get Easier

When Liz Jurcik of Seattle felt a sharp pain in her side and back in January of 2013, she didn’t think much about it. Jurcik, a 31-year-old human resources professional at Boeing, ran regularly and was in good shape. She thought it was probably a strained muscle from a workout. But the pain got worse, and by early February she could barely stand up. “I had the absolutely worst pain in my life,” she said. “I couldn’t stand up straight.” Like most people, Jurcik Googled her symptoms. She typed “

How to Avoid Sepsis, a Deadly Medical Emergency

Dana Mirman didn’t pay much attention when she noticed what she assumed was a mosquito bite on her shoulder. “After all, I live in Florida, people get bites,” says the 41-year-old communications professional. Even when it began throbbing overnight she didn't worry much, assuming it was a simple allergic reaction. The next day she came down with flu-like symptoms, including vomiting and fever. “I still didn’t connect the two,” she says.

About Kevin

Kevin has been writing and editing health care content for more than 13 years. He has covered health care for Consumer Reports, edited Op Eds for The New York Times, and leads the content team for the digital health platform Rally Health.