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Sleep and Weight Gain in Teens

Obesity is more likely in sleep-deprived teens.

Teens are 20% more likely to be obese at 21 if they get less than 6 hours of sleep per night rather than 8+ hours of sleep. Using data for 10,000 teens over 6 years, researchers found 1 in 5 teens were sleep-deprived. The link between sleep and obesity may be attributed to resulting inactivity and poor food choices made when sleepy.

PositiveTip: Help your teens manage their night-owl activities and get their 8+ hours of sleep so they perform better in school and reduce obesity risk.

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Video Humor: Why Beans Cause Flatulence

Learn why beans cause untoward effects!

Most people the world over love to eat beans, but many forgo the goodness because of a common side effect: flatulence. The humble bean has inspired many a schoolyard ditty, stifled giggles or outright horror at the stink they produce. This is because of the oligosaccharides they contain. Enjoy this short video animation and learn why we "toot" when we eat beans.

PositiveTip: Don't skip the beans. Just eat them in smaller servings. They are a very wholesome, nutritious food.

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Liver Damage from Herbals and Dietary Supplements

One-fifth of liver injuries are caused by herbal and dietary supplements in the U.S.

During the past 10 years liver injury from herbal and dietary supplements has doubled. Researchers analyzed data from over 800 patients who sustained liver damage from medications (acetaminophen excluded) or herbal and dietary supplements. Injuries jumped from 7% of cases in the first two years to 20% 10 years later. Liver damage from dietary supplements required more transplants than injury from drugs.

PositiveTip: Be very cautious of using herbals or dietary supplements without consulting with your physician. 

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Exercise Reduces Depression Risk in Teens

Fit female students are less likely to be depressed a year later

There’s new evidence for exercise’s preventative role in teen mental health. Researchers surveyed 457 sixth- graders for depressive symptoms, BMI and tested their fitness. They found that girls who were in better shape were less likely to be depressed in grade seven. The effect was observed in boys but was not statistically significant.

Positive Tip: Exercise had a real but modest effect on depression, so it should be used in conjunction with one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy to address depressive symptoms.

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Don’t Ignore the Mental Battle with Cancer

Most cancer patients suffer with untreated depression.

A recent series of studies have found that cancer patients are 3-6 times more likely to be depressed but 75% aren't getting treatment for it. Depression can threaten a patient’s life if it sabotage’s their will to live and persevere through treatment. Researchers found that a nurse-led solution that integrated antidepressant drugs, physical activity and problem-solving therapy significantly reduced depression in cancer patients.

PositiveTip: Be sure to treat both body and mind if you, or a loved one, must battle cancer.

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The Mighty Soybean

No need to fear soyfoods in your diet--they actually are beneficial.

Soyfoods have been the source of much confusion over their safety, especially the phytoestrogens. Today research confirms their safety in humans. While these molecules are structurally similar to estrogens, they act differently in humans and are much weaker. Several servings of soyfoods per day have been found to be safe and beneficial as well.

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Meta-analysis Finds Cutting the Calories Works

Popular diets yield similar weight loss results at six months.

Researchers analyzed data from 48 randomized trials of 7300 obese or overweight adults following several popular diets. Every diet studied was better than no intervention. Low-carb diets (i.e., Atkins) and low-fat diets (i.e., Ornish) resulted in the greatest weight loss at 6 months, while more moderate diets (i.e., Weight Watchers) came in a close second.

PositiveTip: Stick to any diet that restricts your calories and you will loose weight!

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U.S. FDA Releases Alert on Lupin

A new ingredient in gluten-free products may cause the same allergic reaction as peanut or soy.

Lupin is a legume from the same family as peanuts. Its high protein, high fiber, low fat composition makes it an ideal ingredient for many new gluten-free products. People with a peanut or soy allergy may react similarly to lupin, but may be unaware of its risk. Potential reactions include hives, lip swelling, vomiting, breathing difficulties or even anaphylactic shock.

PositiveTip: Read labels and avoid any products that contain lupin if you have a peanut or soy allergy.

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Still No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

Measles, mumps and rubella headed for a record year.

Background noise from vaccination foes recently increased in the blogosphere and social networks with the release of a video by Autism Media Channel on YouTube. This video features Brian Hooker "revealing" that a senior CDC official purportedly "covered up" the "truth". Read this journal article and a very insightful blog to stay accurately informed on this hot topic.

PositiveTip: Let's not turn the clock back to the middle ages by opposing vaccines that save thousands of lives each year.

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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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