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Diagnosed: Utah May Be One Of The Healthier States, But What About Mental And Preventive Medicine?

The United States pays more for healthcare per capita than any other country, yet our outcomes are less than perfect compared to other developed nations. In an attempt to address the disparity, healthcare professionals are changing how they approach patient treatment.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. You don't have to be a "Biggest Loser" contestant to know that there's a simple formula to lose weight: Eat less; exercise more. But as hard as that is, keeping weight off can wear down even the most determined.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement, reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.

The Times reports:

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries' worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

Make a list of the world's most popular scientists, and Stephen Hawking's name will be near or at the very top of the list.

Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time and a professor at the University of Cambridge, is known as much for his contributions to theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity as for his willingness to make science accessible for the general public, says science writer Kitty Ferguson.

"It's not dumbing down [science]; it's really making it accessible, hopefully, to a lot of people," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

Republican presidential candidates made a final push in Iowa hours ahead of Tuesday's first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.

Polls show the race in Iowa has narrowed to a three-man contest among former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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UPR's new series about healthcare in Utah begins this week.

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Utah Public Radio's newest science show airing every Friday at 2 p.m.

A series where we explore the harm our Utah lands face with the constant "love" we give.

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Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET

The White House withdrew the nomination Ryan Bounds to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Thursday afternoon amid allegations of racist writings.

The Senate, on a party-line vote Wednesday, ended debate on the controversial nomination, with a confirmation vote expected Thursday. But instead, the nomination was pulled.

A small explosion and fire in the paint area of a production facility at a Pennsylvania Army depot injured four workers — three seriously — on Wednesday morning, according to the depot commander.

"We do not suspect any type of terrorist activity," Col. Stephen Ledbetter said at a news conference, adding that the investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing.

One in five working coal miners in central Appalachia who have worked at least 25 years now suffer from the coal miners' disease black lung. That's the finding from the latest study tracking an epidemic of the incurable and fatal sickness.

California will be staying in one piece, at least for now, after the state's supreme court ruled that a proposal to divide California into three cannot be placed on the ballot in November.

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve got a rare piece of advice from the president Thursday. The central bank is an independent agency and usually the commander in chief doesn't comment directly on Fed policy.

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