January 31, 2015 19:09 UTC

Health & Lifestyle

Light Pollution. How Much Light is Too Much?

Light pollution can affect our ability to see the night stars. It can also hurt our health and the planet. But light is needed to make our cities safe. How can we find a balance? In cities, artificial light comes from street lamps, buildings, signs and cars and blocks out stars in the sky. More

Audio Will Chinese Drink Coffee over Tea?

Asia has long tradition of tea-drinking. And China is no exception. However, lately more and more Chinese people are turning to a different drink. Coffee has become an increasingly popular choice of Chinese people living abroad and in the country’s huge cities.

Audio Western Diet Bad for Human Health, Environment

The spread of Western eating habits around the world is bad for human health as well as for the environment. Those findings come from a new report in the journal Nature. Experts say there are ways to solve this diet-health-environment problem, but it will require a major change in eating habits.

Audio What Health Topics Are Most Important to You?

Ebola led health headlines around the world. But VOA Learning English's Health Report covered many more topics in 2014. To end the year on a happy note, we thought you might like to re-visit Learning English Health Report stories that were most viewed, Tweeted, and commented on this year.

Audio Chocolate Improves Memory and Heart Health

Researchers are realizing what chocolate-lovers have known for a long time -- that chocolate is good for you. Their study found that large amounts of flavanols, substances found in cocoa, tea and some vegetables, may help to reverse age-related memory failure and can help prevent strokes.

Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic.

Video Indoor Pollution Kills Millions Each Year

WHO say nearly three billion people are unable to use clean fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting. And they say more than seven million people die from exposure to indoor or outdoor air pollution each year. 4.3 million die from household air pollution given off by cookstoves.

Video Ebola Survivor Talks About His Experience

VOA recently welcomed health officials from West Africa and Ebola survivors. Read more for a Learning English interview with an Ebola survivor, Dr. Rick Sacra.

WHO: Plague in Madagascar Could Spread

For much of 2014, health officials around the world have been guarding against Ebola virus. There is another disease that can cause as much attention and fear – the plague. Last week, the World Health Organization reported on cases of plague in the island nation of Madagascar.

Audio East Meets West to Treat Alzheimer's Patients

But researchers in California say a new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease is showing promise for reversing some of that memory loss. The new treatment combines western medicine with eastern philosophy – ideas rooted in Asian religions.

Audio Surgery Safaris: Looking for the Perfect Body

Many people these days are going as far as South Africa to get their version of perfection. People from across Africa and the world come for so-called “surgery safaris.” There are no animals to see on these safaris. The visitors instead look for smaller stomachs, firmer bottoms or perhaps new eye.

Audio Progress in Fight Against Ebola

In late October, officials in West Africa began reporting some good news in the battle against Ebola. Fewer people are getting infected and fewer are dying from it. But the experts warn this bit of good news must not slow the international fight against Ebola, which is still far from over.

Audio Learning Magic Tricks Helps Heal

Magic is the performance of tricks. It has been a part of almost every culture in the world for centuries. But one American magician decided to use his tricks for a bigger purpose than just entertaining an audience. For him, magic is a form of therapy. But can magic really heal? | HEALTH REPORT

Audio Mass Vaccination of Dogs Can Eliminate Rabies

About 70,000 people worldwide die every year of rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that people get mainly through dog bites. Scientists say vaccinating dogs can effectively get rid of rabies outbreaks in dog populations. And this will have a domino effect, fewer humans with rabies.

Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report

Audio Kale: The 'Super Food'

October 1 was National Kale Day in the United States. For people in Russia, kale is kapusta. In Italy, it is called cavolo. Hindi speakers call it gobhi. Or if you speak Japanese, the name is karu. Read on to learn about this good-for-you vegetable and many cooking words. | Health report

Audio Physically Fit Children Do Better in School

Several studies found that children who had physical activity on a usual basis improved in school. The children also learn best if physical activity is included during class or before. | Health Report

Audio Is Writing Notes by Hand Better Than Typing?

If you want to remember something important, it might be a good idea to skip the computer and write it down instead. Our brains seem to like old school pencil and paper when it comes to remembering. | Health Report

Audio Sit Less, Live Longer

These days, we all know that exercise is good for our health. But did you know that something as common as sitting too much could be bad for our health? Read on to find out more about the importance of moving. | HEALTH

Audio Containing Ebola: Window of Opportunity Closing

Top health experts explain the seriousness of the Ebola outbreak. One expert warns that the chance for containing the virus is closing -- quickly. | HEALTH REPORT

Learn with The News

  • Patriots Football

    Audio The Epidemic of Cheating in Sports

    Throughout time, cheating in sports has caused debate and dispute. Athletes often do whatever it takes to win in competition. Some take drugs that are meant to improve their performance, such as steroids. These might make them run faster or hit a baseball harder. More

  • freedom house vid

    Video Freedom House: Democratic Ideals Threatened Around the World

    The rights group Freedom House has reported a general decline in political and civil rights around the world last year. The group said its measure of international freedom has dropped in each of the past nine years. It added that democratic ideals are now under the greatest threat in 25 years More

  • Dagmar Lieblova

    Video Woman Survives Nazi Death Camp by Mistake

    Dagmar Lieblova was 14 years old when she arrived at the Auschwitz death camp in 1943. Everyone in her family was with her. All of them but Dagmar were to die at Auschwitz. But she was able to leave the camp after several months because of a mistake. That mistake saved her life. More

  • People from the al-Kaseasbeh tribe and other tribes take part in a demonstration outside of Jordan's cabinet in Amman calling for the release of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by Islamic State group militants, Jan. 27, 2015.

    Audio Deadline Passes in Jordan-Islamic State Prisoner Exchange Deal

    Jordan wants proof that pilot is still alive. Also in the news, a gas explosion near a maternity hospital in Mexico kills at least seven; Benjamin Netanyahu blames Iran for fighting along Israel-Lebanon border; and the World Health Organization's focus on fighting Ebola shifts to ending outbreak. More

  • Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

    Can animals be artistic? Some experts think so. Painting and music are part of efforts to keep animals happy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Zookeepers there believe that animals need enrichment just like people do. Their unique pieces of art are popular items. More

Featured Stories

  • AFC Championship Football

    Superbowl Sunday: The Patriots, the Seahawks and Katy Perry, Too

    The National Football League championship game is hugely popular with sports fans and television advertisers. Tens of millions of people watch the game for the competitive play and for the funny commercials broadcast throughout. Many also enjoy the halftime show. This year Katy Perry will entertain. More

  • NYC subway art

    Video New York's 'Underground Museum' Pleases Passersby

    For the past thirty years, artists have been asked to create works of art for New York’s huge subway and train system. The works often relate to city life or to the neighborhood of a station. Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum," with over 250 pieces of original artwork. More

  • agridrone

    Video French Farmers Are Using Drones to Examine Their Crops

    It used to be mostly the military that used small, unpiloted aircraft, called “drones.” The little planes were very costly. But as they have dropped in price more people have begun to use them. Rescue workers and farmers are among the new users. The drones save money and time. More

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog




Tell us About Our Programs