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Soda and Diabetes

Sugary drinks raise the risk of diabetes in the non-obese.

A wealth of evidence demonstrates that the regular consumption of soft drinks significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. A review of much of that data found regular use of sugary drinks is linked to the onset of diabetes independent of obesity. One daily serving of sugary drinks increased the risk by 18% and when adjusted for obesity there was still a 13% increase. Artificially sweetened beverages and fruits juices were not found to be any healthier.

PositiveTip: Avoid sugary drinks and use fruit juices very moderately.

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E-Cigarettes: Friend or Foe?

Ads for e-cigarettes take us back to the days of Joe Camel!

E-cigarettes are viewed as a great tool for cessation or as a gateway device to greater use of tobacco products. Research in a California study involving more than 1000 smokers aged 18-59 has found those who ever used e-cigarettes are less likely to cut back on cigarette consumption in the future. Most public health personnel are concerned about these devices--especially as popularity grows in youth. More research is needed.

PositiveTip: For good health avoid all forms of smoking, including e-cigarettes. 

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Low Birth Weight, Lifestyle and Diabetes

Additive effects found between small birth size and lifestyle.

Almost 150,000 healthcare professionals without diabetes were followed for 20-30 years. The researchers found an unhealthy lifestyle increased the relative risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 2 times (2.10). However, when combined with low birth weight, the relative risk was almost 3 times (2.86) compared to normal birth weight and a healthy lifestyle. Only 22% of the increased risk was due to small size, while 59% was due to unhealthy lifestyle.

PositiveTip: Prevent the majority of diabetes risk for diabetes through a consistent,  healthy lifestyle!

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Bravo! FDA Proposes Requiring Percent DV of Added Sugars

More help coming to avoid added sugars.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed the Nutrition Facts label require a declaration of the percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars. This would give consumers more information for added sugars that is similar to the information they have seen for years about other nutrients. It would require indicating how much sugar in a serving of food contributes to the daily diet, thus helping consumers make better choices.

PositiveTip: Avoid eating more than 10% of your calories from added sugars.

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Overweight Becoming the New Normal Among Teens

The gap between reality and perception about body weight has grown.

American teens don't seem to be getting the message that an increasing number of them are overweight or obese. Between 1988-1994 and 2007-2012 the likelihood of adolescents perceiving themselves as overweight declined. Only 21% of boys and 36% of girls perceived their weight correctly. This compares to 28% and 79%, respectively, in the earlier survey. Unfortunately, the new normal in society is being overweight.

PositiveTip: Choose your standard wisely when evaluating yourself! 

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Which Country Leads the World in Childhood Obesity?

What can you do to help families with children prevent obesity?

Looking for a really sobering number to share with your friends? Here it is. One in every five children 5-17 years old is overweight or obese--in the 34 countries monitored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Believe it or not, the U.S. is not the leader.  Take a look yourself at the countries that lead the world in childhood obesity.

PositiveTip: Avoid highly processed, calorie dense foods and exercise as much as possible. It is good for your and your children.

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Healthy Diet Helps Low-income Population

A good diet in the underserved population helps prevent illness.

Low-income U.S. adults who eat a healthy diet experienced about 20% lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Almost 78,000 adults, half who had an annual income less than $15,000, were followed from 2002 to 2009. The quality of their diets was evaluated using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Healthy Eating Index. After adjusting for confounders, the advantages remained.

PositiveTip: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and some nuts. Reduce or eliminate red and processed meats and sugar-sweetened foods. 

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Hand Exercises Help Older Ladies Improve Their Grip

Simple, in-home exercises greatly benefited ladies with osteoarthritis of the hands.

Exercises as simple as squeezing a ball as hard as possible, spreading the fingers widely apart and rolling the fingers into a fist significantly improved function and reduced pain in women with hand osteoarthritis (HOA). This randomized, three month trial started with 10 repetitions of each exercise and increased to 15 repetitions. Some participants reported considerable pain after the exercises, but it decreased significantly over the course of the study.

PositiveTip: Hand exercises in HOA may result in significant improvements.

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Are Vaccines Linked to Autism?

In 1998 a fabricated study was published suggesting a link between autism and vaccines.

In 1998 a U. K. "scientist" by the name of Andrew Wakefield published an article in The Lancet claiming a link between autism and vaccines. In the intervening years millions have been spent on further studies. No link was found! See the facts and history of this fabrication in an easy-to-understand info graphic with references. 

PositiveTip: Protect your young children and your friends' children by taking  them for their scheduled vaccinations.

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The Need for Critical Evaluation

Unbalanced and poorly reported health information can impact lives.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an investigative documentary (later withdrawn) discussing the side-effects of statins. They reported an"increased risk of 50 percent" for diabetes, which would more accurately be described as a change from two people out of 200 with diabetes to three people out of 200. Researchers estimate an extra 28,000 Australians stopped taking these cholesterol-lowering meds after the documentary aired. This could have translated to 2900 preventable, and potentially fatal cardiovascular incidents.

PositiveTip: Consult with your health care professional before abandoning any prescription medication.