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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.

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Too Much TV Time Leads to Worse Cognition

High TV viewing and low physical activity leads to poor brain function in mid-life.

Middle-age adults who had 25+ years of high TV viewing (3+ hours per day) and low physical activity were 2X as likely to have poor cognitive performance (cognitive speed, memory, and executive functioning) compared to those with low TV viewing  and high physical activity. Each behavior was independently associated with worse cognition, also.

PositiveTip: Turn off the television and keep moving for superior brain health in later life!

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Marijuana and Your Brain

High-potency marijuana damages key brain structures.

Smoking high-potency cannabis (marijuana) may increase psychosis by five fold. Researchers have found frequent use of this 'skunk' cannabis may structurally interfere with communication between the two brain hemispheres, impacting creativity and cognitive performance. Their findings suggest the more cannabis smoked and the higher the potency, the greater the damage will be.

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Celebrate Thanksgiving!

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good!" 1 Chron. 16:34 wishes all our readers a joyful time with family and friends as you celebrate the blessings God brings into your life. We will see you again on Monday.

PositiveTip: A spirit of gratitude is one of the best tonics for good physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health!

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Video: What if You Didn't Sleep?

Are you getting sufficient sleep?

In spite of growing evidence that adequate sleep is essential to every aspect of healthful living, estimates suggest that in the U.S. 66 percent of teens and 30% of adults are sleep-deprived. This short video animation provides an excellent summary of the importance of sleep. (Take a moment to complete the quiz that follows to test you knowledge!)

PositiveTip: Sleep is not optional. It is essential to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

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Just One Night of Sleep Deprivation?

Adequate sleep could be the unsung hero of obesity treatment.

When thinking about treating obesity, most of us think of diet and exercise. However, sleep loss increasingly appears to be an important factor. Dogs deprived of sleep for one night suffered a 33% drop in insulin sensitivity. The same 8 dogs had a 21% drop when fed a high-fat diet for 6 months. These results cannot be applied to humans--but poor sleep may yet be linked with overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

PositiveTip: Remember, most adults need 8+ hours per night.