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Big Money Spent to Fight Cigarette Tax Hikes

A 10% increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes drops kid's use by 7%.

Big Tobacco will spend almost $100 million on this election to defeat tax hike propositions in just three states: California, Colorado, and North Dakota. If approved, per-pack taxes will rise by $1.75 to $2.00. Proponents of these hikes say one of the most effective ways to encourage people to stop smoking is to raise taxes by $1.00 per pack. 

PositiveTip: Support all reasonable efforts to curb the tobacco habit, especially if tax funds are used to help cessation efforts.

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E-Cigarette Use Tempts Teens to Become Smokers

Flavored e-cigarette use by kids likely to become a gateway to real cigarettes.

More that 90% of teens agreed that tobacco use is dangerous in the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. While those who used candy flavored e-cigarettes were significantly more likely to perceive tobacco use as less harmful. The vapers had a significantly greater likelihood of becoming smokers compared to those who did not use e-cigarettes. 

PositiveTip: Encourage your teens to avoid e-cigarettes in any form to lower their risk of becoming tobacco users.

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Dad's Active Childcare Influences Kids Weight

Father's active involvement in physical childcare lowers risk of obesity.

Children of dads who participate in physical childcare tasks such as bathing and dressing them between 2-4 years old are less likely to be obese. The inverse was found to be true, also. These findings were reported at Obesity Week 2016This could be due to the fact that these activities are a marker for more stable homes, leading to better health behaviors.

PositiveTip: Fathers, be actively involved in the care of your children--it could have major impact on their health.

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Health-related Anxiety Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Disease is sometimes produced or aggravated by the imagination!

Researchers in Norway studied 7000 adults and found about 10% had health-related anxieties. Those anxious individuals were 70% more likely to develop heart disease in the next 12 years, even after adjusting for cardiovascular and other confounders, compared to those without health anxiety. Ellen G. White, an early health reformer wrote, "Many die from disease the cause of which is wholly imaginary." (Ministry of Healing).

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"Lose-Lose" Together!

Ripple Effect: weight loss by one spouse often spreads to the other!

In a poster session (T-OR-2014) at ObesityWeek 2016 Amy Gorin, PhD reported her team found when one spouse lost weight the other one frequently did, too! Participants were randomized to Weight Watchers or a self-guided program to lose weight. Both participants and untreated spouses experienced significant weight loss at the 3 and 6 month milestones. 

PositiveTip: Work together to lose weight, improve risks, and support your health--and spouse. 

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Kids, Smartphones and Sleep

Forty percent of kids have poor sleep quantity and quality when using smartphone before bed.

Two-thirds of high schoolers sleep next to a phone or tablet--and 47% awake at least once per night to respond to messages! A meta-analysis of 17 studies finds the use of smartphones and tablets at night are a significant problem for the amount and quality of sleep kids get. These studies were not randomized, so more research is needed.

PositiveTip: Phones are a part of life today--including kids. We need to find ways to keep phones out of their bedrooms, and maybe ours, too!

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Health Apps Not Carefully Vetted for Medical Accuracy

How can a health app which makes dubious claims reach the Top Charts?

One of the most popular free medical apps on the iTunes app store is "iCare Health Monitor--can measure blood pressure." Without any attachments it claims to measure blood pressure, heart rate, blood lipids, blood oxygen, vision, colorblind, hearing, lung capacity, breath rate, and psychological index! If you believe all that, I have great view land to sell you in Florida! If you are tempted to trust your health to this magical app, read this careful review first.

PositiveTip: Even if it is in the Top Chart, buyer beware!

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Are Water Births Safe and Effective?

Water births are not for all.

Water births are promoted as a more relaxing and pain-free way of giving birth. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommends the second stage of labor and delivery take place "on land, not in water." The organization says there is not sufficient data to assess the benefits and risks, and serious infections have been reported. Rigorous pool cleaning and infections\ control protocols must be followed when used, even for first stage labor.

PositiveTip: Considering a water birth? Consult carefully with your obstetrician about the risks and benefits.

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Diabetics Should Get Up and Move!

Walking for 10 minutes after meals lowers post-meal blood glucose spikes.

In a newly released position statement, the American Diabetes Association says everyone who has diabetes or is at risk of it should get up and move their body as vigorously as they can! In addition to regular, daily physical activity, diabetics should aim to move around every 30 minutes to improve their blood glucose management. This excellent statement includes categories of exercise with benefits and safety guidelines.

PositiveTip: Get up and get moving is wise advice for everyone--including diabetics.

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Women Reaching Equality with Men in Drinking

Women closing gap with men in alcohol use and related harms.

Researchers have found women have all but caught up with men in their alcohol drinking habits. During earlier decades men were far more likely to drink so much that it affected their health than women. That gap has closed. Women around the world are now nearly as likely as men to drink excessively and suffer harm from it.

PositiveTip: Choosing to live alcohol-free assures freedom from the health and social downsides of drinking.