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January 16, 1998

Health Wanted

Picture the typical pattern of Web use: You sit on your butt for hours at a stretch, developing a glassy-eyed stare at a screen 18 inches from your nose, as you tap away at the keyboard and munch your way through a bag of Fritos. Or three. Clearly, good health is a top priority among heavy Web users -- so a site like Intelihealth should immediately find a big audience. (Then again, maybe not.) Either way, the site, put together by Johns Hopkins University and Aetna Healthcare, offers a good selection of health resources: news updates, database access, Q&A sections and more. The latest addition to the site: You can search the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food database, which, among other things, reveals that a bacon cheeseburger gets 169 of its 312 calories from fat. (Yum!) You can also access a number of medical journals (if you can understand them at all), look up the side effects of medications or browse an online "Healthy Home Store." The "Ask the Doc" section is much more approachable, covering queries like "Why do we get hiccups?" and (getting back to the Web-use thing) "What are the alternatives to surgery for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome?"

-- Rob Pegoraro

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