Celia Smoak Spell

Celia is an assistant editor at Harvard Health Publications. Celia received her B.A. from Wake Forest University where she studied Biology and Classical Studies, and she recently earned her Masters in Science in Science Journalism from Boston University.


Posts by Celia Smoak Spell

Stay safe in (and on) the water

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Pools, beaches, and boats are great ways to enjoy leisure time in the summer. Following some simple precautions will make your water activities safer for everyone.

Of all the flavors in the world, we choose salty — and that’s not good

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The average American consumes three times the recommended daily intake of sodium, largely because of salt added to processed and prepared foods. It’s possible to reduce daily sodium intake, but it does require effort and vigilance.

Disposing of your expired or unused medications gets a whole lot easier (and safer) this weekend

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Leftover or expired medications can be harmful or dangerous, so disposing of them properly is important. National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday provides a safe and convenient way to do so.

There’s no sugar-coating it: All calories are not created equal

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The view that calories are calories regardless of their source has been shown to be outdated. Foods with a low glycemic index are better because they tend to raise blood sugar more slowly, and they are also more likely to be healthier foods overall. By choosing the low-glycemic foods and thus the minimally processed foods, people can lose more weight, feel fuller longer, and remain healthier.

Is there a way to lower the cost of an EpiPen?

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The lifesaving medication contained in an EpiPen is not expensive; the high cost is due mainly to the injector. Competing devices have not been successful so far, and no generic alternative is yet available. Finding ways to mandate that insurance fully cover the medication may not really bring the price down.

New blood test for colon cancer screening: Questions remain

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new screening test for colon cancer, making it the first blood-based test for this type of cancer. While this test does make it more convenient for people to get screened for colon cancer, it is also less exact than the current screening methods. It is important to discuss your risk factors and screening options with your doctor.