Top health stories of 2012
This year, the world of health saw sorrow (the tragic death of Whitney Houston), outrage (the Lance Armstrong doping scandal), hope (Giuliana Rancic becoming a mom via surrogate), and a lot of "Oh, no they didn't"s (the man in the cockroach-eating contest who unfortunately died, well, choking on cockroaches). Here are the biggest, wildest health stories of 2012:
—Anne Hurley for MSN Healthy Living
The man who got a new face
As a young man, Richard Lee Norris lost half his face—quite literally—in a gun accident. He spent 15 years as a recluse in Virginia. A face-transplant surgery at the University of Maryland in March (get details on the procedure) has given Norris his life back. He says he "doesn't get a second look" out in public and has been relearning how to speak and eat.
Cockroach vs. human
Edward Archbold entered a cockroach- and worm-eating contest (get details) in Florida in October to win an exotic python prize. But Archbold, 32, who ate dozens of roaches and won the contest, collapsed and died shortly thereafter, having choked to death on insect parts.
Lance Armstrong doping scandal
Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven Tours de France and hero to millions, may be all too human after all. In October, the US Anti-Doping Agency released a scathing report (get the details) that Armstrong was involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" ever seen in professional cycling. He was stripped of his titles and has stayed silent about the charges.
Paula Deen and Type 2 diabetes
TV chef and personality and cookbook author Paula Deen used to be the poster girl for high-fat (and delicious) Southern cooking. But Deen revealed early this year that she has been battling Type 2 diabetes for three years (get the details on her diagnosis). Reaction was scathing, but Deen is now working to be healthy (get details) and offers lighter versions of her signature recipes on her website.
The "Eat like a caveman" diet
New York bans the Big Gulp
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared war on diabetes, obesity and empty calories this year by sponsoring a new law banning certain sales (of what?). The ban will go into effect next March, but meanwhile, consumers and product companies are riled up.
Marijuana is legalized in two states
Washington state and Colorado approved legalization of small amounts of marijuana (how much?) for recreational use. They join more than 20 other states (which ones?) that have either decriminalized possession or have legalized pot for medical use.