Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Repeal of COOL Imminent?

How important is it for you to be able to read on a label where your meat, fish, and poultry come from? I know I look for it every single time. The World Trade Organization thinks our Country of Origin Labeling law (COOL) is unfair and is trying to sue the US to repeal it.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement also has a clause that demands the repeal of COOL for the agreement to be ratified. However, 92% of Americans want the labeling to stay in place. Who's going to win: the consumer or Big Meat? Let your politicians know how you feel at this link.

Do you need to wash new clothes before wearing them?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/do-you-need-to-wash-new-clothes-before-wearing-them-1431955513

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eating out may lead to high blood pressure

A recent study on university-going young adults is the first ever to show an association between meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure. These findings highlight lifestyle factors that can affect hypertension and emphasise the importance of being aware of the salt and calorie content in food, to facilitate better meal choices when eating out.

Pre-hypertension was found in 27.4% of the total subject population, and 38% ate more than 12 meals away from home per week; while the gender breakdown showed that pre-hypertension was more prevalent in men (49%) than in women (9%). Those who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were more likely to eat more meals away from home per week, have a higher mean body mass index, have lower mean physical activity levels, and be current smokers. What is also significant is that even eating one extra meal out, raised the odds of prehypertension by 6%. The study appeared in this month's American Journal of Hypertension.

Boomers Living Longer, Not Healthier

America's aging baby boomers are not exactly the picture of health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) 38th annual report on the nation's health, which this year includes a special section focusing on the health of Americans aged 55 to 64 years, the heart of the "baby boom" generation.

Nearly 1 in 5 baby boomers has diabetes, 40% are obese, more than half take prescription medication for hypertension, and most will be covered by Medicare within the next 10 years, which poses challenges to the country's healthcare system, the report notes.

However, the report also finds that the overall death rate in this age group has declined during the past decade.

"Health, United States, 2014" includes 123 tables on key health measures from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector. Topics covered include birth rates and reproductive health, life expectancy and leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, healthcare use and insurance coverage, and health expenditures.

Between 2003 and 2013, life expectancy at birth, a measure often used to gauge the overall health of a population, increased 1.2 years for white women, 1.6 years for white men, 2.7 years for black women, and 3.4 years for black men, the report says.

For the period 1980 and 2013, life expectancy rose from 70.0 to 76.4 years for men and from 77.4 to 81.2 years for women. Racial disparities in life expectancy at birth persisted for both sexes in 2013 but continue to narrow. By 2013, life expectancy at birth was 78.1 years for black non-Hispanic women, 81.2 years for white non-Hispanic women, and 83.8 years for Hispanic women. The corresponding figures for men were 71.8, 76.5, and 79.1 years.

Americans with chronic diseases are living longer, with the exception of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Between 2003 and 2013, the overall all-cause age-adjusted death rate fell 15% among men and 13% among women.

During this 10-year period, age-adjusted death rates in men declined 34% for stroke, 27% for heart disease, 17% for cancer, and 11% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, but increased 6% for Alzheimer's disease and held steady for unintentional injuries. Among women, the age-adjusted death rates declined 34% for stroke, 31% for heart disease, and 14% for cancer, but increased 8% for Alzheimer's disease and 10% for unintentional injuries.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sweetened Milk Drinks Under Fire

A new study in Diabetologia indicates, for the first time, a link between the consumption of sweetened milk drinks and type 2 diabetes, indicating that efforts to reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages should be extended to include milkshakes and flavored milk, say the researchers.

As well as the association between type 2 diabetes and sweetened milk drinks, the study also calculated that, for each 5% increase of a person's total energy intake provided by sweet drinks, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may increase by 18%.

And replacing the daily consumption of one serving of a sugary drink with either water or unsweetened tea or coffee can lower the risk of developing diabetes by between 14% and 25%, the scientists stress.