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More Support for Eating Tree Nuts

Nuts should be a part of a healthy diet!

In a meta-analysis of 61 intervention studies looking at the effects of a variety of tree nuts on heart health, researchers found significant improvements in the lipoproteins which increase the risk of atherosclerosis with just one serving each day. While this study focused on almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pistachios; peanuts, which are technically legumes may have similar benefits--and are much cheaper.

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Video: How Do You See the World?

How you see the world influences the way you perceive physical activity.

One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to get more physical activity. If that is on your list this year, how will you do? Why do some people struggle to keep moving on a regular basis, while others seem to have little difficulty? Social psychologist Emily Balcetis shares fascinating research along with some simple solutions that can help you become more fit!

PositiveTip: Keep your eyes on the prize! The results may pleasantly surprise you.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

May your holidays be filled with joy and happiness!

In keeping with the season, the team is spending time with their families and friends. We look forward to serving you with fresh and accurate health information beginning January 4, 2016.  

PositiveTip: May your choices this holiday season be healthful and safe!

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Treating Kids with Acute Appendicitis without Surgery?

Nonoperative treatment of acute appendicitis could be an option.

In a small group of kids (102,  ages ranging from 7-17) who presented with acute, uncomplicated appendicitis families chose whether the patient would immediately have laparoscopic surgery or begin antibiotic therapy. Of these cases 37 chose antibiotics, and 65 surgery. After one year, 76% of those taking antibiotics did not need surgery, experienced fewer disability days and lower medical costs than the surgery group

PositiveTip: Nonoperative management of acute appendicitis may be a good option in some cases, but more research is needed.

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Poor Kids More Likely to be Obese

Poor children are at higher risk of obesity.

A large British cohort study has found children living in poverty were two to three times more likely to be obese than the wealthiest. A poor diet, insufficient exercise, irregular bedtimes resulting in loss of sleep, the introduction of solid foods before 4 months old, and having a mother that smoked were all significant risk factors. Over time, obesity rates of the children increased in the families with the lowest incomes.

PositiveTip: Effective early interventions should be made available to children living in poverty.

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Will Big Tobacco be Victorious in the U.K.?

U.K. tobacco 'plain packaging' laws challenged by manufacturers.

Big Tobacco, representing companies like Phillip Morris, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, and Japan Tobacco have filed suit against the U.K.'s "plain packaging" laws which are due to take effect in May 2016. They claim the law seizes their property without compensation. Tobacco kills over 100,000 people each year in the U.K. This law aims to discourage children from smoking and to help smokers quit.

PositiveTip: Remember, it is best to never start smoking, and if you do smoke, now is the best time to quit!

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Abnormal Cholesterol Among the Future Generation

Twenty percent of U.S. children and adolescents have abnormal cholesterol values.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that between 2011-2014 one in five children and adolescents had at least one abnormal cholesterol measure. The prevalence of these measures was higher in adolescents than children, and in youth with obesity. Obesity may explain a significant number of these abnormal values, but sex differences and genetics must also be considered.

PositiveTip: Cardiovascular risk factors begin in childhood. Make sure you ask your physician to monitor your child's cholesterol levels.

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Should You Eat Dirt (Clay) for Your Health?

A current fad suggests the ingestion of bentonite clay is valuable.

In the quest for health, people follow all kinds of questionable dietary advice and fad health treatments. Often they do not have a kernel of scientific truth. Fallacy: Some celebrities claim that eating bentonite clay will remove toxins from the body. Fact: God, our Creator has already given us extremely complex biochemical pathways that efficiently eliminate toxins.

PositiveTip: God's creative genius provides us with a truly "self-cleaning" body. Trust Him for internal cleansing!

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Early Weight Gain May Pose Diabetes Risk

Weight increase during first year of life is associated with type 1 diabetes risk.

A large Scandinavian study of 100,000 children found weight gains above normal during the first 12 months correlated with a higher risk for type 1 diabetes. The authors of the study suggest early rapid growth may place increased demand on the beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin, thus making them more vulnerable to damage by cytokines. Much more research is needed.

PositiveTip: Preventing excessive weight gain in infants might reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes later in life.

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Moms Weight Influences Infant Mortality Risks

Stillbirths and neonatal deaths higher when mom gains weight between pregnancies.

A large population-based study in Sweden reports that women who gain 4 or more BMI points after their first pregnancy were more likely to experience infant mortality or stillbirth in the second pregnancy compared to those whose weight remained stable. Even women who experienced a smaller weight gain had a bigger risk. More research is needed, especially to understand better why some women gain no weight between pregnancies.

PositiveTip: Ladies should attain normal weight before and during pregnancy for best outcomes.