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Artificial Sweeteners and Health Risks

An urgent need for definitive data on the health impact of artificial sweeteners exists.

A meta-analysis of 37 studies examining the impact of artificial sweeteners found they are not associated with reduced body mass index (BMI). More than 400,000 people over 12 years of age were studied. The long-term studies saw a modest increase in BMI, especially with increased artificial sweetener use. Higher risks for secondary outcomes were also observed for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes with increased intake.

PositiveTip: Train your taste buds to enjoy less intensely sweet foods for the best outcomes.

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Improved Diets Reduce Risk of Death

People who maintain a high-quality diet for 12 years have a lower risk of death.

Reports from two large cohort studies of health professionals demonstrate that people who maintain a high-quality diet over 12 years experienced significantly lower risks of death from any cause, compared to those who had a consistently low diet score. The Alternative Healthy Eating Index, the Alternative Mediterranean Diet, and the DASH diet yielded a 9-16% reduction in mortality.

PositiveTip: Following a balanced, healthy diet can yield big benefits in disease prevention.

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Advantages of Two Meals per Day

Timing and frequency of meals influence weight loss or gain.

Researchers analyzed information from more than 50,000 participants and discovered four important  factors associated with a decrease in body mass index (BMI):

  1. Eating only one or two meals per day.
  2. Maintaining an overnight fast of up to 18 hours.
  3. Making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day.
  4. Making breakfast the largest meal resulted in lower BMI than making lunch the biggest.

PositiveTip: The two factors associated with higher BMI were eating more than three meals a day (snacks count as a meal) and making supper the largest meal of the day.

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Big Tobacco Continues to Survive

The tobacco industry continues to thrive in spite of being a major cause of death.

Despite the predictions of the demise of the tobacco industry, it continues thriving, increasing sales and profitability. In 2016, the five global leaders (excluding China) shipped 2.7 trillion cigarettes, more than 300 for every man, woman, and child in the world. Investors in those companies earned $19 billion in dividends. Sadly, tobacco stocks are a staple of the stock market.

PositiveTip: The only way to curb this death inducing activity is to stop consuming the product!

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OTC Hearing Aids May Be Coming Soon

OTC assistive hearing devices may provide real help to the hearing impaired soon.

Currently in the U.S. hearing aids can only be purchased through a licensed hearing specialist. This can place a hardship on those on limited incomes. With growing evidence that adequate hearing is essential to maintaining cognitive performance, recent tightly controlled research has shown several over-the-counter personal hearing assistance devices performed nearly as well as conventional hearing aids costing thousands more! New regulatory classifications are being considered.

PositiveTip: If you find yourself avoiding conversations because you cannot hear well--you should to seek professional hearing advice.

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PPI Meds Increase Risk of Mortality

PPI use should be of limited duration, and only when needed.

Acid suppression therapy is very common--even among those who do not have a medically indicated need. Data from a 6 year follow-up study show those using proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) found a 1.25 increased risk of death from all causes when compared to those using histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2). Another study found PPI use is associated with higher risk of chronic kidney disease, also.

PositiveTip: Exercise judicious caution in the use of PPIs and do not use them for vague complaints of heartburn or dyspepsia..

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Video: Discussion of the New Quackery

"What used to be fraud is now alternative medicine!"

Those with inquiring minds will enjoy this short interview with Dr. Steven Novella of Yale University School of Medicine. He explains clearly how science-based medicine can get it wrong, while also recognizing the startling weaknesses of what is commonly called 'alternative medicine.'

PositiveTip: Expand your thinking and understand better an area that often sparks hot debate. Click here to watch it.

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What Foods Are Making People Sick?

Foods, while good for you, can be contaminated with pathogens.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared a short slideshow reviewing 10 of the most noteworthy multistate outbreaks during 2016. You can watch it by clicking here!

PositiveTip: Selecting good quality food, making sure it has been handled, stored, and cleaned properly can help you stay free of food borne diseases.