Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports May 2017

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

United States
Consumer Union
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$7.01(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the heart of the matter

WITH HEART DISEASE responsible for about one in seven deaths—and with almost 800,000 Americans su?ering a heart attack each year—chances are you or someone you love has been touched by heart disease. When it comes to heart health, it’s easy to feel powerless: Symptoms can be hard to spot, risk levels can be di.cult to gauge, and the advice you get can be confusing. And though it’s true that there are elements of heart health that are outside of our control, many of us don’t appreciate just how much can be done to improve our own well-being. As debates over the future of health coverage heat up, our Consumer Voices Survey revealed that most Americans are deeply concerned about their ability to receive the care they need. That’s why CR is…

8 min.
your feedback

Exposing Unfair Pricing in Auto Insurance Rates We analyzed data from billions of annual premiums to discover the major life events and other factors that drive auto insurance premiums up and down in “How to Save on Car Insurance” (March 2017). Our inbox was loaded up with mail from readers who shared insights of their own. Go to CR.org/save0517 to join the conversation. YOYE MARCH ARTICLE and my auto insurance bill arrived the same week. I normally see an increase and pay, but this time it was 17.6€percent! My agent contacted the insurance company and found out the increase was due to the fact that I am 75. I have had no claims, have a good driving record and excellent credit, and had been with the same insurance company for over 40€years.…

3 min.
building a better world, together

Keeping Patients Safer ABOUT 650,000 PATIENTS acquire an infection while in a hospital each year and 75,000 of them die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vast majority of these infections are preventable, yet many hospitals continue to report high infection rates. Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project has worked for more than a decade to push hospitals to improve and standardize infection-control efforts. In January we filed a petition in California that called for the state to do more to hold hospitals accountable. Why California? CR found that its Department of Public Health (CDPH) withheld from inspectors infection data it collected until long after that data was reported, preventing inspectors from taking timely action to protect patients. To make matters worse, many California hospitals with some of the worst infection…

6 min.
mowers that make the cut

The latest ratings from our labs *Source: Frank Rossi, associate professor and extension turfgrass specialist, Cornell University. NUMBER OF TIMES YOU CUT YOUR LAWN EACH YEAR, BY U.S. REGION* * At sea level, watering as necessary to sustain growth. AHH, SPRING! The aroma of freshly mown grass. And gasoline. And engine oil. There’s a cleaner way to keep your lawn looking good this year. Electric mowers, which are powered by lithium-ion batteries, are now challenging gas mowers with a simple appeal: They start instantly, run quietly, spew no exhaust fumes, and require no regular engine maintenance. After years of testing electric mowers— with mostly disappointing results due to limited battery life—Consumer Reports now recommends four models. And for the first time, our top-rated electric push mower, the Ego LM2101, is in the same class as its…

4 min.
mower matchmaking: how lawn size and slope should steer your decision

YOUR YARD Up to ¼ Acre BEST CHOICE Electric Push Mower EGO LM2101 $500 67OVERALL SCORE Smaller yards are the best candidates for electric push mowers, because you can easily cover the area on a single battery charge. This size lawn is typical of newly built homes, tightly knit suburbs, and urban row houses. Assuming your neighbors are close by, they’ll appreciate how quiet your electric mower is. In our tests, electric mowers produced an average 67 decibels at 25 feet, about the same level as a car going by at 65 mph at that same distance. That’s a little less than half the loudness of gas models, which averaged 75 decibels—the same level as busy traffic. That means you can get out there first thing on Saturday morning without worrying about waking the…

4 min.
a new twist on pasta

“LIFE IS A COMBINATION of magic and pasta,” said the Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. And a growing number of us looking to cut back on carbs, avoid gluten, and pump up our plant-protein intake are now turning toa new breed of noodles to perform those nutritional magic tricks. Traditional pasta is made from semolina, a refined flour derived from durum wheat. But the new pastas are made from grains such as quinoa and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. So-called alternative pastas — which Whole Foods named one of the top 10 food trends for 2017—are perceived as better for you. “They intersect with virtually every healthy food trend in today’s marketplace,” says Rachel Cheatham, Ph.D., an adjunct assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts University. So we tested 13 alternative pastas…