• (Courtesy Ashley Santi) McKenna Jodell died in 2008 at the age of nine months.(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- When Kyle Jauregui and his family went to an Arizona grocery store to pick up a birthday cake for his younger sister, they learned the cake had already been paid for.“We were pretty shocked and really grateful,” Jauregui, 23, told ABC News. “When we read the card we all just felt an overwhelming amount of love and just felt really blessed.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two of the most buzzed-about diets, the Keto diet and the Whole30 diet, have landed at the bottom of a new ranking of best diets for 2018.The Keto diet, which promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimen, tied for last on the Best Diet Overall list released today by U.S. News and World Report."One of our experts said, ‘Any diet that recommends snacking on bacon can’t be taken seriously as a health-promoting way to eat,'" Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report, told ABC News.Ketogenic, or low-carbohydrate diets, have been used for treatment of epilepsy for decades and more recently gained attention as a tool for weight loss. Severely restricting carbohydrates can result in a process called ketosis."One of the concerns with Keto is how high in saturated fat it is," Haupt said. "Our experts say the diet can be especially dangerous to people with severe diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease."The Whole30 diet, which gets 60,000 searches per month in Google, came in next to last in the ranking of 40 diet plans. The diet, based on a bestselling book, strips food groups like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes from participants’ diets for a full 30 days, according to its website.The expert panel of nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians that ranked the diets criticized Whole30 in particular, along with the Body Reset diet, for “being ‘fad diets’ that unnecessarily wipe out entire food groups,” according to U.S. News and World Report."The main thing about [Whole30 and Keto diets] is they’re both extreme," Haupt said. "They’re both really restrictive, in some cases wiping out entire food groups, and our experts say it’s just not necessary and it’s not safe or healthy."You’re just not setting yourself up for any type of lasting, healthy, long-term success and you might even do damage to yourself in the process," she added.Topping the list of best diets for 2018 were the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet, which tied for first place."Both of them are really nutritionally sound," Haupt said. "And they also have benefits for chronic diseases and even brain health and heart health."Haupt said a desire for drastic change and fast results could explain why diets like Whole30 and Keto have reached such popularity."Slow and steady might work but it’s not the exciting way to go about things and weight loss can be so frustrating," Haupt said. "You might not see it as quickly but you are setting yourself up for longer, more healthy success when you do choose that sound plan."Diet trends in 2018 will focus on promoting health from the inside out, according to U.S. News and World Report. The magazine reports consumers are interested in eating for whole body health as well as for specific body systems, like skin, muscles, bones, and a healthy nervous system.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you’re still feeling hungover from that New Year’s Eve Champagne or had one too many boozy eggnogs over the holidays, let this January be a fresh start.Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, is going dry this January and encourages you to take the challenge with her: no alcohol for the month of January.This is one resolution that might actually make you healthier.The Dry January campaign was started in 2013 in England and is now making waves on this side of the pond. Australia and New Zealand have also participated in similar challenges.There has been limited research on how quitting alcohol for a month affects your body, but a few studies have shown psychological and health benefits.In 2013, 14 staff members at the magazine New Scientist teamed up with researchers at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at the University College London Medical School to investigate the benefits of Dry January.The staff members, who all considered themselves “normal” drinkers, underwent baseline testing with blood samples, liver ultrasound scans and questionnaires. For the next five weeks, 10 of them stopped drinking and four drank their normal amounts.The people who stopped drinking had lower levels of liver fat (which can be a precursor to liver damage), improved blood sugars and lower cholesterol than they did at the beginning of the month. They also reported improved sleep and concentration. In contrast, the four people who kept drinking saw no benefit.The University of Sussex reported that 2015 Dry January participants in the United Kingdom also had several other benefits: 82 percent felt a sense of achievement, 79 percent saved money, 62 percent had better sleep, 62 percent had more energy and 49 percent lost weight.Staying dry for January may also help jump-start people to give up alcohol for longer.Although most people who participate in Dry January return to drinking, up to 8 percent stay dry six months later, according to Public Health England and the British Medical Journal.And those who go back to drinking drink less. A 2015 study conducted in the United Kingdom and published in the journal Health Psychology found that people who participated in Dry January drank less often, had fewer drinks when they did drink and were drunk less often six months after Dry January was completed.Dry January participants were also better able to refuse alcoholic drinks. These benefits were even seen in people who did not complete the whole month of Dry January.It might seem daunting to stop drinking alcohol for a whole month. Between cocktail hour after work, beers while watching the football game, and that relaxing glass of wine after a long day, our culture sometimes seems to revolve around alcohol.But the 2015 Health Psychology study found that 65 percent of people successfully completed the month of abstinence.Of course, the longer you can stay away from alcohol, the better.People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol -- more than seven drinks per week for women or people older than 65 and more than 14 drinks per week for men younger than 65 -- are at higher risk of death and many medical conditions.Excessive alcohol use is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.People who drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol are more likely to have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, nerve damage, infections including pneumonia and even certain cancers like breast cancer.Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is also associated with a number of psychiatric conditions, including depression, higher rates of suicide, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, insomnia and other substance abuse disorders.Dr. Fulton Crews, the director of the Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said attempting to stop drinki
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A recent string of injuries and deaths across the country has brought attention to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially during colder months.One incident of possible carbon monoxide poisoning in Ohio left two people dead last Friday, according to ABC's Dayton, Ohio affiliate WKEF. High levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the home where the woman and man were found dead, officials said.Authorities in Parks, Arizona, found a family of four, including two children, dead inside their home on New Year's day, according to ABC News affiliate KNXV. Investigators hired a licensed heating and cooling provider and found a major failure with the in-home heating system, which officials said would be consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.Ten people were hospitalized on Monday after their St. Paul, Minnesota, home had dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, according to ABC News affiliate KSTP.The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that as temperatures drop and in-house heating systems are turned on, the winter can be an especially dangerous time since space heaters, generators and other portable heating devices can leak carbon monoxide.Every year 400 Americans die from exposure to carbon monoxide, according to the CDC, with 4,000 hospitalized and 20,000 ending up in the emergency room as a result of exposure to the colorless, odorless gas.The signs and symptoms of exposure can be subtle, leading people to try and sleep it off instead of heading straight for the emergency room. So here's the information you need to know to stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.Sign and symptomsCarbon monoxide can be deadly but its initial symptoms can be mild, starting off as just a headache and sleepiness.Dr. Jerri Rose, the program director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Cleveland's University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, said early symptoms, including fatigue, headache, nausea and short of breath, can often appear to be an early flu.In severe cases, a person can become confused or faint due to the effects. In rare cases, death is possible.Doctors may also notice a slight redness in the face or lips of a person with CO poisoning in rare cases, Rose said."In actual reality, few physicians ever see that," Rose said of the red face symptoms. "Generally there’s not really anything you can look at by telling someone."Carbon monoxide safeguardsThe CDC recommends that everyone have a carbon monoxide detector in their home. Rose suggests that people who live in a multilevel home have detectors for every floor of their home, similar to their smoke detector.Common sources of carbon monoxide are internal combustion engines or heating sources. Every year, doctors hear stories of people killed by carbon monoxide as they tried to heat their homes, Rose said.To protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, the CDC recommends that heating systems, water heaters and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances be serviced by a qualified technician every year. Make sure gas appliances are vented properly and never use a generator, camp stove or oven as a heater indoors.A full list of advice from the CDC can be found here.How does carbon monoxide poisoning work?When the body absorbs carbon monoxide, these molecules bind up the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. This makes it impossible for the red blood cells to carry vital oxygen and deliver it to organs and muscles.There is no "safe" level of exposure to carbon monoxide, Rose said, and acute symptoms can occur in minutes or days depending on the level of CO exposure.TreatmentDoctors usually treat carbon monoxide by giving the affected person oxygen through a mask, according to Rose.In extreme cases, doctors can rush a patient to a hyperbaric chamber, which can help raise blood oxygen levels more quickly since the pressurized environment allows the victim to inhale more oxygen molecules with each breath, Ros
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  • Courtesy Canyon Ranch(NEW YORK) -- If two of your New Year's resolutions are to get fit and travel more, taking a wellness vacation might be the best way to get a jump-start on keeping true to your word.We've rounded up a few of the best places to drop a few pounds and get a little R&R in the process.Canyon RanchA staple in wellness travel, Canyon Ranch has resorts in Tucson, Arizona, and Lenox, Massachusetts. Programs geared for moms and fitness buffs are offered.For those looking to jump-start a healthier lifestyle, the 7 Days to Change program in Tucson is a good option. It includes daily fitness and addresses nutrition and stress. Other week-long programs include: Weight Loss Program, Focus on Mindfulness, Renew Your Spirit Week, Focus on Brain Health, Encore: Flourishing in the Second Half of Life and Women’s Health and Wellness Summit. A day might include a water workout, hiking, pilates, seminars and more.Canyon Ranch is all inclusive, rates start at $1,000 per person, per night.BodyHolidayThis all-inclusive resort on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia is dedicated to well-being and allows guests to design their own getaway. Yoga, spin, pilates, Zumba and beach volleyball are available.New this year, however, is the addition of the Villa Firefly and customized-themed getaways. The four-bedroom villa can accommodate up to 10 guests. Retreats are Cleanse & Detox, Yoga, Mindfulness, Weight Loss and Verdic, which is "designed to restore guests who are mentally, emotionally, or physically drained by a demanding work or home life. The retreat uses a 360 degree approach, which aims to rejuvenate and re-balance mind, body, and soul." Dates for retreats vary by theme; check with the resort for details.Prices are from $550 per person, per night.Biggest Loser ResortsYou've heard of the show and some of the amazing transformations that have taken place. If you're hoping for a major weight loss of your own, check out one of the three Biggest Loser Resort locations in Amelia Island, Florida, Niagara, New York, or Palm Desert, California.A typical day at the resort starts with an early yoga class and includes several other activities -- like spin and circuit training -- in the afternoon and evening. There are classes on emotional versus intuitive eating, interactive cooking demonstrations and three calorie conscious meals each day. Prices vary depending on length of stay and room type, but a stay generally runs about $2,000 per person, per week.The RanchWith 4, 7 and 10-day options and locations in both Malibu and Westlake Village, California, The Ranch has an option that fits your scheduling needs. Each day starts with an hours-long hike and several hours of low-impact strength training. Plan on yoga, cooking classes and massages during your stay.Prices vary, the popular 7-day program is priced at $7,800.The Fitness CruiseUnlike our other recommendations, you'll only have one shot at The Fitness Cruise in 2018. The 7-day cruise departs on Oct. 28 from Miami and goes to various ports in the Eastern Caribbean. Guests onboard the Norwegian Getaway can take cardio classes, dance classes, yoga, cooking seminars and more.The Fitness Cruise is priced from $1,066 per person for an inside cabin.
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  • Maria Esperanza Flores Rios(LOS ANGELES) -- A set of twins in Southern California were born in two different years.Although they were born just 18 minutes apart, Joaquin Ontiveros was born a year earlier than his sister, Aitana de Jesus, at the Delano Regional Medical Center in California's Kern County, their mother, Earlimart resident Maria Esperanza Flores Rios told ABC News on Tuesday.The baby boy was born at 11:58 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2017, and weighed in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces and was 18 inches long, ABC station KABC reported. His younger sister was born at 12:16 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2018, at 4 pounds, 10 ounces and 16 inches long.Rios gave birth to the twins via C-section nearly 4 weeks early, she said. Her original due date was scheduled for Jan. 27.The hospital wrote on Facebook that it was "honored to play a significant role in this 2018 New Year delivery of baby twins" and thanked the "dedicated" hospital staff.Rios' sister, 25-year-old Aurelia Perez Rios, told ABC News that she is happy for her sister and brother-in-law."I'm excited and thrilled to be an aunt once again," Aurelia Perez Rios said.Rios is now a mother of five.
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