Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

'From the Streets to the Stage' highlights South LA krump dancing in live performance

Sage Gallon

The Underground performing at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center last year.

What started out as a short film intended to fulfill a graduate school requirement has turned into a street dance stage show touring locations throughout Southern California.

"The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage" is an hour-long performance highlighting  "krump" - the free-flowing, expressive form of street dance that originated in South L.A. 

The show is comprised of multiple vignettes that put a spotlight on krump and other popular street dances - "Chicago footwork," "popping" and "Brooklyn bruk up."

This stage show is produced by dancer and journalist Jessica Koslow, who began studying krump while she was working on a short documentary film and earning her master's degree from USC's Specialized Journalism Arts program.

“My overwhelming mission is to bring street dance to the stage,” said Koslow.

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Obama Administration sets final rule on benefits health insurance companies are required to provide

Healthcare Stock

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A patient's medical file. The Obama Administration set the final rule regarding what services and items health insurance companies are required to provide on Tuesday.

The Obama Administration issued a final rule on Tuesday regarding a core package of benefits that health insurers must cover, effective in April.

The rule is intended to help consumers shop for and compare health insurance plans by promoting consistency across all plans and making sure that they all cover certain benefits equally.

The rule applies to health insurance providers both in and out of the state insurance marketplaces which are set to open for enrollment later this year, also known as insurance exchanges.

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight says essential health benefits "must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories":

  1. Ambulatory patient services
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance use disorder services (including behavioral health treatment)
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  8. Lab services
  9. Preventive care, wellness services and chronic disease management
  10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

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America's fast food intake and cutting back on worthless care: In health news today

McDonalds Holds National Hiring Day To Add 50,000 Employees

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Eleven percent of America's collective calorie intake comes from fast food, says a new federal report – which is less than it was between 2003 and 2006.

In today's health news:

Eleven percent of America's collective calorie intake comes from fast food, said a new federal report – but that's lower than it was between 2003 and 2006. HealthDay says researchers see it as a positive trend, although their study also suggested that the more fast food a person eats, the more obese he or she becomes.

The New York Times reports on other federal findings that U.S. children ate less in 2010 than they did in 2000, indicating there may be cause for optimism about the child obesity landscape. The results of the analysis surprised researchers: Girls' calorie consumption dropped 4 percent over that decade, while boys' consumption dropped by about 7 percent.

Children without siblings are more likely to be obese – at least, that's what a new Danish study is suggesting after looking at the health records of more than 29,000 schoolchildren. According to the Los Angeles Times, only children were 44 percent more likely to obese than their counterparts with siblings; when researchers looked at a smaller group of young men who'd registered for the draft, they also found that those without siblings were 76 percent more likely to be obese.

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Drug overdose fatalities increase for the 11th consecutive year

pill bottle

Dawn McIlvain Stahl/Flickr Creative Commons

Pharmaceuticals were involved in about 58 percent of the nation's drug overdose deaths in 2010, according to the latest federal data.

More than 38,300 people in the U.S. died by drug overdose in 2010, marking the 11th consecutive year that number increased.

So say the writers of a research letter appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, citing data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

They highlighted the role of pharmaceuticals in the increase, particularly opioid analgesics – painkillers – which on their own accounted for 16,651 fatal drug overdoses, or more than three in four.

Among the study's findings:

  • About 58 percent of fatal overdoses involved pharmaceuticals.
  • Almost three in four were unintentional.
  • Benzodiazepines were involved in about 30 percent of deaths; antidepressants were involved in about 18 percent; antiepileptic and antiparkinsonian drugs were involved with about 8 percent.

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1 in 8 Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes: survey

insulin

Melissa P/Flickr Creative Commons

Insulin. More than one-third of poll participants said they had either been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes themselves or knew a family member who had.

A new poll of nearly 2,100 American adults suggests that one in eight people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers called the findings "staggering" in a press release.

The new set of numbers further underscores the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the U.S., as well as the ways the disease affects people who are undiagnosed.

More than one-third of those polled said they had either been diagnosed with the disease themselves or knew a family member who had.

In late 2012, local health officials released a report that said just about 1 in 10 L.A. County adults has diabetes. In South Los Angles, the same is true of nearly 12 percent of the area's residents.

Type 2 diabetes is lifelong condition marked by high levels of blood sugar, which can lead to serious eye, kidney, nerve, heart and blood vessel problems. Obesity, another all-too-common condition on the southside, is a major risk factor.

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