Small lifestyle changes make a big difference in GERD symptoms.
More than one-third of overweight and obese individuals have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). After 6 months in a structured weight loss program (dietary change, exercise, behavioral change) 97% of 332 individuals had lost weight. Nearly all experienced significant reduction or resolution of their GERD symptoms, even with as little as 5% weight loss. After 12 months, about half the group had started to gain weight and their GERD got worse.
PositiveTip: Suffering from GERD? Lose even a moderate amount of weight to control your symptoms!
Adolescents exposed to a peeer's suicide attempt it more often.
Analysis of data from a national longitudinal survey found exposure to a peer's suicide increases both thoughts of suicide and attempts. About 15% of 12-17 year olds exposed to a classmates suicide experience ideation compared to 3.5% (younger) to 7.4% (older). Exposure to suicide also increased the number of suicide attempts several fold compared to teens with no exposure.
PositiveTip: Counseling interventions are important in supporting teens exposed to suicide.
Olive oil or nuts added to a Mediterranean diet may support cognition.
A randomized, blinded trial in Spain has found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or mixed nuts may improve cognition compared with a low-fat diet. This study followed 522 adults at risk for vascular events for 6.5 years. Olive oil and nuts contain antioxidant properties that may protect against neurodegeneration caused by oxidative stress.
PositiveTip: A Mediterranean dietary pattern has many proven health advantages. Adding moderate amounts of olive oil or nuts might improve it further.
Burgers the size of plates are not blessings.
Not everything about the American lifestyle is conducive to good health. Foreign-born Hispanics live about three years longer than those born in America. Our wages may be higher and we have a very sophisticated healthcare system--but immigrants also want to adopt the American lifestyle of smoking, drinking, sedentary living, and high calorie diets. The New York Times quoted a recent immigrant saying, "this is really a country of opportunity. Look at the size of the food!"
PositiveTip: In a land of plenty, restraint and self-control are essential to good health.
Vigorous exercise shown to increase 'good' estrogen levels.
A randomized, interventional physical activity study in 381 premenopausal women strongly suggests that exercise changes the way the body breaks down estrogen. Sedentary, young women who experienced regular, intense physical activity for 30 minutes per day for 16 weeks produced more of the 'good' metabolites of estrogen that lower breast cancer risk, compared to the sedentary control group.
PositiveTip: Keep moving every day! It helps in so many different ways to keep you healthy.
Low levels of lead exposure hurt kindergarten reading readiness.
Urban children exposed to low levels of lead are at risk for not achieving reading readiness in kindergarten. Learning to read is the foundation to the whole process of formal education. Researchers will be following these children through elementary school to better understand the long-term impact on school success.
PositiveTip: While lead-based paints have been prohibited for years, children should be kept away from surfaces with peeling, chipped paint.
Rates of using smokeless tobacco unchanged in U.S. youth.
The use of smokeless tobacco among adolescents and teens continues at just over 5% prevalence in middle and high school students in the U.S. This data comes from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. In spite of tough approaches to cigarette use, distribution of smokeless tobacco products are not prohibited. While the use of 'chaw' may reduce the risk of lung cancer, it increases the risk of mouth cancer.
PositiveTip: Treat all tobacco products alike. Avoid them as you would poison.
Almost half of U.S. teens admit to texting while driving.
A national survey of U.S. teens 16 years or older revealed that 44.5% had texted while driving at least once in the previous month. When compared to teens who did not text when behind the wheel, texters were more likely to drink and drive, ride with a drinking driver, and fail to use a seatbelt. Because this study was based on self-reported data it may underestimate the prevalence of driving while texting.
PositiveTip: Parents, supervision of your teen drivers is probably the most effective prevention strategy to risky driving.
Large, randomized study fails to show benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Consuming n-3 fatty acids daily did not reduce cardiovascular morbidity or mortality in an Italian study of over 12,000 patients with risk factors but no history of a heart attack. Half were randomly assigned to 1 gram of n-3 fatty acid supplements, the other a half received a placebo of olive oil. While this study did not account for dietary variability from person to person, it does underscore that providing a supplement without a known dietary need may not be beneficial.
PositiveTip: Choose to consume a diet that provides sufficient n-3 fatty acids from natural sources.
Clean your kids pacifier with your saliva--its good for the child.
This may sound like weird science, but parents who suck their child's pacific to clean it may actually reduce that child's risk of developing allergies. Swedish researchers followed 184 full-term infants. At 18 months children whose parents cleaned the pacifier by sucking on it had significantly less asthma and eczema compared to those whose parents cleaned the pacifier in other ways. At 36 months they still had less eczema but not asthma. Exposure of infants to parental saliva may reduce allergies by beneficially influencing the child's microbiota.
PositiveTip: Go ahead and suck on your child's pacifier--it may reduce future allergies.