Health Headlines Weekend Edition: Discounted Weight Watchers Memberships for Boston Residents

Plus: New hospital gowns, hiccups for days, and more health news.

Weight Watchers is offering discounted memberships for eligible Boston residents in January. As part of Mayor Menino’s Boston Moves for Health initiative, Weight Watchers will work with Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, Mattapan Community Health Center, and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to provide steeply discounted weight loss and weight management services for up to 1,000 qualifying participants. Weight Watchers will also offer a 10 percent discount to City of Boston employees. [Boston Moves for Health]

Hospital gowns are terrible: Flimsy, thin, make an annoying crunchy sound when you move, barely cover your body, and leave you shivering in the waiting room. It makes going in for an already stressful procedure like a mammogram even worse. With so much technology out there, it is amazing that no one thought to change this—until now. Sharon Linder of Rhode Island says that women’s health centers are generally beautiful, minus the johnnies (the short collarless gowns that tie in the back). She created Janes, a waffle-weave cotton gown that is comfortable, warm, and provide some dignity in an uncomfortable situation. They start at $35 individually, but are cheaper through larger orders, which is why hospitals like Women and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island are already using them and orders are pouring in from all over the country. A high end line of robes created in Wellesley called Dear Johnnies also exists, but come with an $80 price tag. [Rhode Island Monthly]

Maine man hospitalized with the hiccups—that stayed for 11 days. As many as 4,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of hiccups, according to the Journal of the National Medical Association. The cause of  Micky Cheney’s hiccups is unclear, although his doctors believe it might have to do with inflammation in his esophagus. Even though it has been a miserable couple of weeks for Cheney, the longest bout of hiccups lasted 69 years and nine months. [ABC News]

New research links high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. HFCS has about 10 percent more fructose than sucrose, and fructose is metabolized almost solely by the liver. So much for those creepy ads from the corn growers. [Prevention]