Skip navigation

PositiveTips

PositiveTip for

Safest to Skip the Raw Milk

The renaissance of raw milk is causing nasty, drug-resistant infections.

The Centers for Disease Control reports an outbreak of 17 cases of drug-resistent Campylobacter jejuni infections from raw milk in Colorado. These strains cause more severe disease and take longer to recover. Though selling raw milk is illegal in Colorado, herdsharing is not, and that is where this infection was spread. (For an indepth discussion about the risks of nonpasteurized dairy products see this article.)

PositiveTip for

Possible Link Between Prenatal Caffeine and ADHD

High maternal caffeine consumption is associated with ADHD-like behavior at 11 years old.

Danish researchers found a significant trend associating increasing levels of coffee consumption during pregnancy and the risk of having children with a behavioral profile that fits ADHD. The strongest correlation was between caffeine consumption at 15 weeks gestation, suggesting a developmental window when fetal brains may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. More research is needed before cause and effect can be determined.

PositiveTip: Pregnant women might want to avoid caffeine, especially during the early weeks of pregnancy!

PositiveTip for

The Five Healthy Habits that Lower Cancer Risk

Even small changes in lifestyle can change your cancer risk.

Evidence from over 340,000 adults in the U.K. Biobank found after 5 years that those who met all five of the healthy living factors were 32% less likely to get cancer than those who met only one or none. The five healthy lifestyle factors are:

  • healthy weight
  • physically active
  • healthy diet
  • non-smokers
  • limited alcohol

PositiveTip: Take one step at a time in adopting a healthy lifestyle. You can be successful.

PositiveTip for

The Five Healthy Habits that Lower Cancer Risk

Even small changes in lifestyle can change your cancer risk.

Evidence from over 340,000 adults in the U.K. Biobank found after 5 years that those who met all five of the healthy living factors were 32% less likely to get cancer than those who met only one or none. The five healthy lifestyle factors are:

  • healthy weight
  • physically active
  • healthy diet
  • non-smokers
  • limited alcohol

PositiveTip: Take one step at a time in adopting a healthy lifestyle. You can be successful.

PositiveTip for

No Safe Level for Smoking

Smoking a single cigarette a day is associated with significantly more risk than non-smokers.

Lighting up just one time per day poses a significantly increased risk for heart disease and stroke. This large meta-analysis of 141 studies in 21 countries found smoking one cigarette a day was associated with a 48-74% increased risk in men, and a 57-118% risk for women.

PositiveTip: Remember, light smoking, smoking fewer cigarettes, and occasion smoking brings a substantial risk of harm.

PositiveTip for

Soda Warning Labels

Warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages help lower obesity rates.

Computational simulation modeling has demonstrated in Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco, that warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) encouraged a significant drop in obesity prevalence following the adoption of the policies. This should give encouragement to other jurisdictions that are considering similar measures.

PositiveTip: Don't wait for regulations: just refuse to purchase or drink SSBs and you will reap the benefits!

PositiveTip for

Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

Parental provision of alcohol to teenagers is a risk for harmful behaviors.

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. Compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the risk of binge-drinking, alcohol-related harms and alcohol use disorder more than two times.

PositiveTip:  Parents should not supply their teens with alcohol--neither should anyone else.

PositiveTip for

Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

Parental provision of alcohol to teenagers is a risk for risky behaviors.

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. When compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the risk of binge-drinking, alcohol-related harms and alcohol use disorder more than two times.

PositiveTip:  Parents should not supply their teens with alcohol--neither should anyone else.

PositiveTip for

"Raw Water"--Really?

"Raw water" clearly poses risks from viruses, bacteria and parasites!

Technically, "raw water" is unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized water from a natural spring. Are there really benefits to drinking water in a "natural" state? A small, but growing group of advocates believe there are. "Living water" as it is called by some, is organically laden with minerals, bacteria, and other "healthy" compounds claimed to boost "energy" and "peacefulness"--all unproven benefits.

PositiveTip for

Supplements to Prevent Fractures?

Supplementation with calcium and/or vitamin D did not reduce fracture risk in older adults.

Contrary to current opinion, a systematic review of 33 randomized trials in about 50,000 community-living adults over 50 years old found no benefit for supplementation of vitamin D and/or calcium. This study strongly supports the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce in not recommending calcium or vitamin D supplementation in this population.

PositiveTip: Get your vitamin D from adequate sun exposure, exercise daily, and include plenty of calcium rich foods in your diet.