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Best Not to Rely on Gylcemic Index

Limitations on the value of glycemic index revealed.

Tufts University researchers found the glycemic index can vary by an average of 20% within an individual and 25% between individuals. This suggests the often promoted glycemic index probably has limited usefulness in predicting how a food affects blood sugar levels. Lead study author Nirupa Matthan says, "Glycemic index values appear to be an unreliable indicator even under highly standardized conditions."

PositiveTip: The best approach to diet is to choose primarily vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy (or equivalents) and legumes--consumed in an amount to maintain healthy weight.

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How Much Food is Squandered?

Only 4 percent of households discarded out-of-date food.

Ever wondered how much food is wasted per household? A team of investigators studied urban food waste in three cities: New York, Denver, and Nashville. Denverites trashed the most edible food--7.5 pounds per household per week. Food diaries from study participants indicated they preferred fruit without blemishes. Also, more food was wasted if households were participating in a composting program. Read more here.

PositiveTip: As the old adage says, prevention is worth a pound of cure. More intentional menu planning could reduce food wastage.

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New Tobacco Delivery System Catches Fire

FDA is likely to approve heat-not-burn devices. Safety unknown!

Japan is all aflame over heat-not-burn tobacco products--from the same big tobacco companies who are hoping to market them globally soon. These battery-powered devices heat the tobacco to about 500 degrees F.  (260 deg. C) producing an inhalable aerosol that delivers nicotine to the lungs without combustion. Are they safe? No one really knows. An early study found volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide present in the smoke.

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By Beholding We are Changed

Viewing gun use in PG-rated movies by children increased trigger pulls.

Children frequently mimic what they see in real life! Researchers randomized 52 pairs of children 8-12 years of age to watch a 20 minute PG-rated movie clip with or without scenes involving gun use. The pairs then played for 20 minutes in a room with toys and games. Hidden in a drawer was disabled handgun with a trigger sensor. Children who watched gun scenes held the gun longer and pulled the trigger more often. They also played more aggressively.

PositiveTip: What the eye beholds frequently translates into actions!

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The Numbers Make a Sad Statement

More boys than girls are obese in the U.S. now.

There has been a 10 fold increase in childhood obesity since 1975--from 11 million to 124 million last year. The Cook Islands had the highest obesity rates for boys in 2016, with American boys at 12th place. Governments need to curb junk food marketing to children and drive down the consumption of high sugar and high fat foods--and implement strategies to increase physical fitness.

PositiveTip: Encourage the children in your influence to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, along with plenty of whole grains.

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"Constructive Statements" to Finally Run

Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans every day.

Over ten years ago the major tobacco companies were ordered by U.S. federal court to run "corrective statement" ads on national media on the dangers of smoking. Finally, those are due to begin November 26, 2017! These will include messages such as: "More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined." Sadly, while these corporations seek to be seen as responsible citizens, they are the root cause of the problem. The amount they spend for these ads is miniscule compared to the amount they spend on marketing their deadly products.

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An Old and Simple Remedy

As old and simple as it is, hand-washing, is a great public health tool!

An experiment in elementary school school children demonstrated the value of hand-washing.The children were taught how to take culture samples from their hands and how to wash their hands properly. Ninety-one percent reported they saw reduced microbial growth after cleaning hands--89% said this changed their hand hygiene in the right direction. Most importantly student absenteeism rates dropped significantly as a result of these activities.

PositiveTip: Are you regularly washing your hands? Do your part to faithfully prevent the spread of disease!

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Regularly Skip Breakfast?

More atherosclerosis seen in those who skip breakfast.

According to a study of 4000 asymptomatic, middle-age Spanish adults who had no history of cardiovascular disease, those who regularly skipped breakfast were more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaque was determined by ultrasound. After adjustment for confounders such as age, waist size, smoking, and diabetes, those who skipped breakfast were about 75% more likely to have plaque. The authors suggest that this may be a marker for a general unhealthy diet or lifestyle.

PositiveTip: A healthy lifestyle should include daily, wholesome and nutritious breakfasts.

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Some Gifts are Better Rejected!

WHO advises governments reject help from Philip Morris funded foundation.

The World Health Organization advises governments not accept help from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World because it is funded by Philip Morris International to the tune of $80 million dollars per year for 12 years. The foundation claims to be willing to look at ways to reduce the harm from smoking. WHO says this is a conflict-of-interest and will not partner with them.

PositiveTip: Support tobacco taxes, graphic warning labels, and advertising bans because they work--even if the tobacco industry opposes them.

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Think Twice before Stopping Low-dose Aspirin

Patients who stopped aspirin had a 37% higher risk of cardiovascular events.

A large-scale Swedish study (600,000) of low-dose aspirin users found risk for cardiovascular events rose significantly after discontinuation. Risk increased soon after stopping and continued over time. (This study was partially funded by industry.)

PositiveTip: Think carefully before stopping low-dose aspirin therapy.