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Big Tobacco Finally to Run "Corrective" Ads

Big tobacco is not running these ads because they have repented--they were ordered to run them.

Big tobacco will finally run the "corrective" ads a federal court ordered because they engage in massive wrongdoing that causes a staggering number of deaths--1200 deaths per day in the U.S. This advertising will highlight the deadly nature of their products starting on November 26 and will continue 5 times per week for one year in prime time on the major networks

PositiveTip: Take every opportunity to communicate the deception and dangers of using tobacco.

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New Hypertension Guidelines

New norms for hypertension released.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have defined three new categories of hypertension:

  1. Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 mm Hg systolic, <80 mm Hg diastolic
  2. Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139 mm Hg systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic
  3. Stage 2 hypertension: >140 mm Hg systolic or >90 mm Hg diastolic

Lifestyle modifications are recommended for all groups, in addition to appropriate medication for Stage 1 and 2 hypertension.

PositiveTip: Maintaining normal weight, physical exercise, and a healthy, balanced diet go a long way to preventing hypertension.

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Bravo! U.S. Sugar-sweetened Beverage Consumption Dropping

Americans are drinking more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Americans are making better beverage choices according to analysis of data (2003-2014) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Both adults and children are drinking significantly less sugar-sweetened beverages, which include soda, fruit drinks, fruit punches, and low-calorie drinks. Water intake increased significantly between 2005 and 2014 for ages 2 through 60. 

PositiveTip: Keep up this healthier trend: drink even more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages!

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Farm-worker's Study Finds No Cancer Link in Glyphosate Use

Glyphosate: No statistical risk found for any type of cancer at any site.

Glyphosate is the most commonly used--and most controversial--herbicide globally. Follow-up done between 1999-2015 in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators living in North Carolina and Iowa, found no association between glyphosate and any solid or lymphoid malignancies, including non-hodgkin lymphoma.  This data comes from the largest study of agricultural workers ever conducted.

PositiveTip: While one should always use due diligence in following exposure cautions, there does not appear to be any significant cancer risks to glyphosate use.

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Risks of a Gluten-free Diet

Popular dietary restrictions that have little evidence may have real harms.

Celiac disease is all-too real, but is there sufficient evidence to support non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)? For an insightful analysis of NCGS read this careful evaluation. When limiting gluten people tend to reduce the amount of whole grains they eat, thus missing out on important nutrients. There is also evidence that low-gluten diets may lead to higher risks of type 2 diabetes

PositiveTip: Beware of health gurus selling simplistic, appealing remedies with no evidence to support their nonsense.

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Popular Sports Supplements Contain More Than Meets the Eye

Banned and novel stimulants found in popular supplements.

Are you or someone you know using sports or weight-loss supplements? Harvard Medical School researchers analyzed six popular brands of these and found two banned stimulants and two novel formulations, some at surprisingly high levels. The authors encourage physicians to "remain alert to the possibility that patients may be inadvertently exposed to experimental stimulants" by using these products.

PositiveTip: It is best to avoid supplements which claim to enhance energy or stimulate weight loss.

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Being Younger than Classmates Increases ADHD Diagnoses

The youngest classmates before age 10 were more likely to have ADHD.

In a Finish population-level study, the youngest classmates in early elementary school were more likely to receive a diagnoses of ADHD until 10 years of age. Confounders such as learning disorders did not affect the finding. Ellen G White, an early health reformer wrote, "It is customary to send very young children to school.... This course is not wise. A nervous child should not be overtaxed in any direction." (Child Guidance, page 302)

PositiveTip: It is healthier for a child to start school a little older rather than "outgrow" an ADHD diagnoses.

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Black Licorice: More Trick than Treat

Too much black licorice can result in abnormal heart rhythms and hypertension.

Did you know you can overdose on black licorice? The U.S. FDA issued a warning encouraging moderation if you enjoy snacking on it: regardless of age, don't eat large amounts at one timeMost people should limit consumption to no more than 2 ounces per day. A naturally occurring compound in the licorice root called, glycyrrhizin, depletes potassium levels which can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, or lethargy.

PositiveTip: Use caution in eating too much of the leftover Halloween candy!

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Best Not to Rely on Gylcemic Index

Limitations on the value of glycemic index revealed.

Tufts University researchers found the glycemic index can vary by an average of 20% within an individual and 25% between individuals. This suggests the often promoted glycemic index probably has limited usefulness in predicting how a food affects blood sugar levels. Lead study author Nirupa Matthan says, "Glycemic index values appear to be an unreliable indicator even under highly standardized conditions."

PositiveTip: The best approach to diet is to choose primarily vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy (or equivalents) and legumes--consumed in an amount to maintain healthy weight.

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How Much Food is Squandered?

Only 4 percent of households discarded out-of-date food.

Ever wondered how much food is wasted per household? A team of investigators studied urban food waste in three cities: New York, Denver, and Nashville. Denverites trashed the most edible food--7.5 pounds per household per week. Food diaries from study participants indicated they preferred fruit without blemishes. Also, more food was wasted if households were participating in a composting program. Read more here.

PositiveTip: As the old adage says, prevention is worth a pound of cure. More intentional menu planning could reduce food wastage.