Updates on healthcare, nutrition, and medical research in Louisiana. barely worked when it launched last fall, with only six people able to enroll in a plan on opening day.

Xavier university is looking to triple the number of their minority alumni who go on to receive PhDs in the life sciences in the next decade, with help from an NIH grant. The first obstacle is getting undergraduates to stick with those fields.

Being overweight hurts your earnings, and being an overweight woman is particularly tough on income. Back in 2004, a landmark study found that a 65-pound increase in a woman's weight is associated with a 9-percent drop in earnings. The authors of the study noted that, in terms of wages, the "obesity penalty" basically amounted to losing three years of experience in the workplace.

The number of babies born too early dropped to 11.4 percent of all births in 2013, the best number in 17 years.

But that's still more than 450,000 children being born too early. Those babies face in increased risk of death, and those who survive are more likely to have problems including intellectual disability, vision or hearing loss, cerebral palsy and breathing trouble.

With the fall season come littered leaves, new television lineups and the sport that can't stop stirring up controversy: football.

Rough tackles and concussions worry many parents. And no wonder. Research cited by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons suggests that more than a third of college football players have had one concussion and 20 percent have had more than one.

Should Louisiana hospitals be guaranteed a set amount of state health care funding—if they put up part of the money themselves? That’s what Constitutional Amendment 2 on Tuesday’s ballot is asking voters to decide.

Louisiana health officials say that anyone who's been in an Ebola-affected country over the last three weeks will be quarantined in their hotel rooms.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is telling researchers who've recently traveled to Ebola-affected parts of West Africa that they can't come to the society's annual meeting. That wasn't the medical group's idea.

Public health types are getting increasingly annoyed with people freaking out about Ebola in the United States, from governors to the general public. It's easy to see why; when I heard a swim coach was getting questions from parents worried that their children might get Ebola from the pool water, it was hard not to cue the eye roll.

On the other hand, I suspect I'm not the only person whose husband asked her to buy chlorine bleach and gloves the next time I went to the store.

On Nov. 4, Louisiana voters are being asked — as they were in 2012 — to decide whether to protect nursing homes from future budget cuts.

Health officials are saying it. Scientists are saying it. Heck, even many journalists are saying it: "The risk of Ebola infection remains vanishingly small in this country," The New York Times wrote Wednesday.

But what does that mean? Are you more likely to be struck by lightning or catch Ebola?