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Exercise, Not Calories To Blame for Obesity Epidemic?

Inactive leisure time has soared in the last 20 years and waistlines have expanded.

Stanford researchers believe their research shows that decreased leisure exercise is the primary culprit for for our obesity epidemic. Over the past 20 years the average daily caloric intake has remained steady, but physically inactive leisure time has jumped from 19% to 52% in adult women and 11% to 44% in men.

PositiveTip: You need both a healthy diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight, reducing exercise is always a health risk.

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A Mother's Diet Changes Baby's Genes

Pregnant woman holding an Apple

A healthful diet during pregnancy results in a healthy baby.  This is common sense and universally known to be true.  But research has discovered that a woman’s diet at the time of conception can permanently impact the genetic code of her baby.  

The genes of the baby are forever changed by mom’s diet before and during pregnancy.  Mother’s diet has direct implications for health outcomes of the next generation. 

Contrary to common sense, the mothers with a lower protein diet and the least weight gain during pregnancy had the most favorable genetic pattern in their children.  So, mother’s diet not only contributes to healthy growth of the unborn child, but it permanently affects the genetic make of her child for his or her entire life.

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Video: Can E-Cigrattes Help Smokers Stop?

At best, e-cigarettes exert a very modest effect on cessation.

The American Heart Association says there is not sufficient evidence to promote e-cigarettes as a primary aid to smoking cessation. At best they are about as effective as nicotine patches without behavioral support. They may also prevent people from seeking proven methods of quitting. The many uncertainties of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool is discussed in this short video.

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Video: A Primer on E-Cigarettes

Teens who smoke e-cigarettes are twice as likely to report intention to smoke.

The renormalization of smoking is taking place today in the form of e-cigarette use. The American Heart Association has now made some clear recommendations, largely aimed at preventing youth access to these products. If you have wondered what the fuss is all about, this short video with several health care providers will help get you up to speed on this topic.

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Fruit and Veggies Report Card

Kid’s whole fruit consumption is up, but still misses recommended targets.

A recent report from the CDC shows mixed results for children’s nutritional health. On the positive side, consumption of fruit juice is down while whole fruits are up. However vegetable intake is unchanged and the average intake of fruits and veggies for children are still below the recommended 5 servings per day.

PositiveTip: Lunch is a key time to add several servings of fruit and veggie snacks for your child.

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Eating Plant Based Extends Your Life and the Planet's

Vegetarian diet associated with less greenhouse gas production and improved life expectancy.

Researchers at Loma Linda University are providing an environmental incentive to going vegetarian. Compared to non-vegetarian diets, a plant-based diet required 30% less greenhouse gas production. Factory farming approaches to meat production take more energy and produce more waste than plant farming. In addition, researchers found mortality rates for vegetarians were 20% lower than non-vegetarians.

PositiveTip: Consider the effects of your eating choices. Will they sustain you and the planet for the long term?

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Any Movement is Good for You

Got a desk job? If you don't move all day, it may nullify your exercise attempts.

Driving, desk jobs and TV has made us a nation of sitters. We've known that's unhealthy, but new research is showing that six hours of continuous sitting affects fitness levels negatively about the same as 1 hour of exercise affects them positively. However, if you move regularly throughout the day, even just shifting in your seat, it's associated with better fitness.

PositiveTip: Take regular "move-breaks": pace on the phone, stand and think, take shorts walks.

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"Gluten-free" Regulations Arrive

New 'gluten-free" label regulations help those with celiac disease.

Food manufactures who use the "gulten-free" label can now only do so on products that have undetectable levels (less than 20 ppm) of gluten, and do not contain any ingredient containing wheat, rye, barley or their derivatives. Manufacturers who violate these regulation will be subject to regulatory actions from the US Food and Drug Administration. This ruling does not apply to restaurants.

PositiveTip: If you are one of the 3 million people in the U.S. with celiac disease, remain inquisitive and ask questions about your food.

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School Sports Improve Teens Mental Health

Playing team sports is associated with less depression and better self image in students.

Canadian researchers tracked the school sport participation and mental health of 853 students from grades 8-12. They found that after 5 years, those who were involved in teams sports at school had less depressive symptoms, lower perceived stress and a more positive self-image. Specific causes aren't clear, but researchers hypothesize it may be related to the social bonds fostered in playing together.

PositiveTip: Encourage your teen to join a school team sport they enjoy.

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No Amount of Alcohol is Safe!

There is no such thing as "responsible drinking" when it comes to cancer.

"Responsible drinking" is the mantra of many drinkers today. A casual link between alcohol and cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum and women's breast cancer has been established. But what about light drinking? Does it cause cancer? In a meta-analysis of 222 studies, even light drinking was associated with mouth, esophagus and breast cancer. When it comes to cancer, there is no safe level.

PositiveTip: Be responsible. Avoid all consumption of alcohol!