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Hookah Use Leads to Cigarette Smoking

Forty percent of regular waterpipe tobacco smokers are at risk for later cigarette use.

A national cohort study found waterpipe tobacco (hookah) smokers were more than twice as likely to try cigarettes than nonsmokers. Yet only 16% of non-waterpipe users showed any susceptibility to cigarette smoking. A majority of the hookah users were men between the ages of 18-21, with only high school diplomas. This study did not determine a cause-and-effect relationship, but one is plausible.

PositiveTip: While often believed to be safer, young and old should be encouraged to stay away from waterpipe smoking.

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84 Million U.S. Adults Don't Get Enough Sleep

One third of U.S. population not sleeping enough!

One third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended 7 hours or more of sleep each day. The U.S. Centers for Disease control analyzed the sleep habits of almost 450,000 participants. Those aged 25-44 were the most likely to report inadequate sleep while those over 65 were most likely to be getting enough. Residents of South Dakota slept the most, and those living in Hawaii got the least.

PositiveTip: A regular schedule for sleep and wake times, and keeping screen devices out of the bedroom help improve sleep time.

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February is Cancer Prevention Month

Nearly half of all cancer can be prevented!

Do know that 1/3 of the most common cancers in the U.S. could be prevented by three simple practices:

  1. Move more.
  2. Weigh less.
  3. Eat more healthfully.

If you smoking into the equation, almost half of all cancers could be prevented.

PositiveTip: Take action against cancer today. Watch this 1-minute video to learn how you can get started!

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Physicians Asked to Help Get Powdered Alcohol Banned

Powdered alcohol poses serious risks.

Baltimore (Maryland) city health officials are urging physicians across the country to lend their support to ban the sale of Palachol--powdered alcohol. Although approved for sale in 2015 by the Federal Government, it has not yet been released due to vigorous opposition. Concerns include encouragement of underage drinking, illicit "spiking" of others' beverages, and making binge drinking easier. As of November 2015, 27 states have banned the sale of Palacohol. 

PositiveTip: Encourage your lawmakers to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol in any form. 

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Marijuana and Cognitive Function

Cumulative lifetime use of marijuana hurts cognitive function in middle age.

Today many portray marijuana use as harmless. With more and more states legalizing its use, many believe it has no long-term effects on memory or other areas of cognitive function. Researchers followed over 3000 individuals for 25 years. Current marijuana use was associated with worse verbal memory and processing speed along with lower executive function in middle age.

PositiveTip: It may seem relatively harmless, but the use of marijuana negatively impacts cognitive function years later.

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Are Valentine's Chocolates a Health Food?

Chocolate: should you take it like a medicine?

With Valentine's day approaching, the chocolate confectioners have a happy smile on their faces! Most people love chocolate. But is it really a health food? Some studies suggest it may have benefits due to the antioxidants and flavanoids it contains. However, milk chocolate and Dutch chocolate have none of these health-giving benefits. We must not forget the milk and sugar, either. You can learn more about chocolate and its fascinating history in this article.

PositiveTip: Small amounts might have some benefit, but moderation and balanced choices are vital.

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Kidney Failure and Obesity

Kidney failure seen more often in metabolically healthy obese.

Are "metabolically healthy obese" (MHO) individuals--those without risk factors like hypertension, poor lipid profiles or insulin resistance--free of health risks?  South Korean researchers found that compared with normal-weight individuals those with MHO consistently had higher rates of chronic kidney disease after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, and physical activity. These findings add to the growing evidence that MHO is not a harmless status.

PositiveTip: Evidence continues to support the value of maintaining a balanced, wholesome, healthy lifestyle to minimize disease risk.

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Zika Update

Another reason to avoid mosquito bites!

The WHO has declared a global public health emergency because of the Zika virus. While known for more than 50 years, its possible association with thousands of suspected cases of microcephaly (congenital brain damage) in babies has triggered current concerns. Symptoms are usually mild and self-limited.

PositiveTip: To minimize Zika risk (1) avoid unnecessary travel to infected areas; (2) adequate mosquito protection (repellant, nets, etc.); (3) pregnant women or those planning pregnancies should avoid travel to infected areas, and (4) use condoms or avoid sex with a partner who has been exposed.

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Video: If Soda Commercials Were Honest

If it is bad for our health, why do we drink so many sugary beverages?

Analysis of the Framingham Heart Study has found those drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) had more belly fat than those not drinking SSBs.  Yet the industry continues to supply the market with large quantities of this liquid candy because of a steady stream of customers who buy it! For a different perspective and a good laugh, watch If Soda Commercials Were Honest!

PositiveTip: If you don't buy and drink belly-fat inducing SSBs they will not have any impact on you!

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Early High-fiber Diets Reduce Breast Cancer Risk Later

Healthy eating early in life may protect against later breast cancer.

Adolescent girls and young women who consumed a healthier diet had less breast cancer as they aged. Researchers found those who ate the highest amounts of dietary fiber had a 25% lower risk when compared with those who ate the lowest amounts. Both insoluble and soluble fiber consumption were beneficial. For each 10 gram increase in daily fiber intake the risk fell by 13%!

PositiveTip: Young women should eat plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.