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Nutrition Facts Label to be Modernized

Improved nutrition label coming.

A new and improved Nutrition Facts label will be appearing on your (U.S.) food products. More valuable information will be displayed to help you make wholesome food choices, including:

  • Serving sizes will more accurately reflect what people actually eat.
  • Daily values will now include sodium, dietary fiber, and Vit D.
  • The "calories" and "servings" information will be more prominent. 
  • Information on "added sugars" will be included.
  • "Calories from Fat" will be removed, but total, saturated, and trans fat information is still listed.

PositiveTip: Pay attention to the Nutrition Facts label to be informed!

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Keep Moving Every Day to Lower Cancer Risk

Leisure-time activity lowers the risk of 13 common types of cancer.

Results of 12 prospective U.S. and European cancer studies were pooled (1.44 million participants) to analyze the impact of high vs low physical activity levels. Leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower risks for 13 common cancers types. Most of these benefits were present regardless of body weight or smoking history (lung cancer excepted). Melanoma was an exception, probably because of more unprotected exposure to sunlight.

PositiveTip: Lower your cancer risk by engaging in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.

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Long-term Risks of Teenage Obesity

Excess BMI in late teens associated with death from cardiovascular disease years later.

Researchers in Israel found when late teens are obese their risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in adulthood increases significantly. Here are a few of the hazard ratios:

  • Coronary heart disease deaths: HR 4.9
  • Total cardiovascular mortality: HR 3.5
  • Death from stroke: HR 2.6
  • Sudden death: HR 2.1

Interestingly, the impact of teenage obesity was seen by middle-age, well before cardiovascular deaths are the greatest.

PositiveTip: Maintaining a healthy weight during the teen years impacts health and well-being years later.

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Rotating Night Shifts Seems to be Hard for the Heart

Night shift rotations for 5 or more years may be a risk factor for CHD.

A long-term study covering 24 years of follow-up using data from the Nurses' Health Studies with almost 190,000 participants reveals those who had a history of working 3 or more night shifts per month for at least 5 years had significantly higher rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) than those who never worked night shift. Nurses who worked night shift for 10 or more years had even higher risk. 

PositiveTip: While not always possible, avoiding night shift may be an important health choice.

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California Raises Legal Age for Tobacco Sales

California second state to raise legal age of smoking.

Following Hawaii, California is raising the legal age for smoking. Sales of both traditional tobacco products and e-cigarettes to those under 21 is now prohibited. Interestingly, active military personnel are exempt from this law.

PositiveTip: There is no safe form of tobacco, nor any safe age to start using these products.

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CRF Frozen Foods Recalls All Frozen Products

CRF Frozen Foods fruits and vegetables possibly contaminated with listeria.

A major frozen vegetable and fruit processor in Pasco, WA has voluntarily recalled all items processed since May 1, 2014. The CDC says eight cases of listeria have been reported associated with these products. They were sold across the U.S. and Canada in Trader Joe's, Costco, Safeway and many other stores under 42 brand names.

PositiveTip: If you suspect you have purchased any of these contaminated products, check the FDA website, and then return the products to the store where you purchased them.

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New Tobacco Product Regulations

U.S. FDA now regulating all forms of tobacco, including e-cigarettes and hookahs.

Finally, after years of debate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has debate taken authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, small cigars, hookah, and pipe tobacco. The sales of all these products, including cigarettes, will be banned to those under 18 years beginning in 90 days. Manufacturers must now comply with FDA rules on reporting all ingredients used and placement of health warnings on packaging and advertising.

PositiveTip: Evidence strongly supports there is no safe form of tobacco. Each one poses significant health risks.

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Eating Whole Grains Improve Cholesterol with Statins

Combining statins with whole grains in the diet yields significant benefits.

One in four adults over 40 years old are taking a statin medication to improve their cholesterol levels. Tufts University researchers studied almost 4300 adults over 45 years old and found non-HDL levels significantly lower in statin users, but those who consumed more than 16 grams of whole grains per day were even lower. This held true with adjustments for demographics and lifestyle factors.

PositiveTip: Do not rely only on a statin. Consume a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains to maximize the benefit.

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Senior Brains Benefit from Physical Activity

Leisure-time physical activity is beneficial in reducing cognitive decline in seniors.

Researchers with the Northern Manhattan Study have found that low levels of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in seniors is an independent risk factor for declining cognitive performance compared to moderate to heavy intensity LTPA. More than 1200 participants were followed for 5 years. The data was adjusted for confounders, including vascular disease. 

PositiveTip: It is never too late to begin regular physical activity--it benefits even seniors!

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Does Skipping Breakfast Make You Fatter?

Methodological limitations question the breakfast/healthy weight link.

Numerous studies have found links between eating breakfast and maintaining a healthy weight or skipping it and becoming overweight. But association is not causation. A U.K. study found breakfast seems to be a proxy for other factors like conscientious healthy eating and vigorous exercise. A very large study concluded the breakfast consumption theory was not consistently associated with differences in BMI or overweight--and the authors are consultants to Kellogg's!