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Health & Wellness

US births hit a 30-year low, despite good economy

NEW YORK — U.S. birth rates declined last year for women in their teens, 20s and ‚Äî surprisingly ‚Äî their 30s, leading to the fewest babies in 30 years, according to a government report released Thursday.

Experts said several factors may be combining to drive the declines, including shifting attitudes about motherhood and changing immigration patterns.

UN health agency aims to wipe out trans fats worldwide

NEW YORK — The World Health Organization has released a plan to help countries wipe out artery-clogging trans fats from the global food supply in the next five years.

The United Nations agency has in the past pushed to exterminate infectious diseases, but now it’s aiming to erase a hazard linked to chronic illness.

Studies link legal marijuana with fewer opioid prescriptions

:NEW YORK — Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.