February 24, 2010

Would Fund Obesity Programs

1 California State Senator Proposes Soda Tax

California state Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez has introduced legislation to institute a soda tax of a penny per teaspoon of added sugar in a beverage, with the money going to childhood obesity prevention programs. It's estimated the tax would raise about $1.5 billion a year that could go to cities and schools to help kids be more active and healthier. A recent study in California found that adults who drank at least one sugary beverage daily were 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than those who didn't consume the beverages. The average adult in California drinks 50 gallons of soda a year, consuming 39 pounds of sugar in the process.

More at Public Health Advocacy | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Previously: Federal Soda Tax Abandoned

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Guidelines Limit Consumption

2 Aspirin a Day Might Not Be Such Great Advice

New recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task force have scaled back the number of people who it says should be taking an aspirin a day to limit their risk of heart attacks and strokes. The group says that in particular among older people taking the drug might be causing more problems with bleeding than it's preventing. They say that age, gender and health issues should be taken into consideration before someone begins taking aspirin. People who are already taking aspirin who've had a heart attack or stroke before should continue to take it, but most men under 45 and women under 55 shouldn't take it. The new guidelines also recommend against aspirin for people older than 80.

More at CBS News | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Previously: Aspirin May Help Beat Breast Cancer

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Restores Brain Power

3 Napping Can Make You Smarter

Napping for just an hour in the middle of the day helps refresh the body and restores brain power as well, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. Not surprisingly, the inverse is true - lack of sleep causes the brain to become sluggish and unable to store new information. Researchers found that sleep deprivation reduces the ability to learn new facts by about 40 percent. Said Matthew Walker, assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the study’s lead investigator, "Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap." Further research will study shorter sleep times among the aging and the possible link to neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Older, Healthy Adults May Need Less Sleep

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Meditation Thickens Brains

4 A Thicker Brain Helps People Tolerate Pain

People who have thickening in the central region of the brain that regulates pain, have a higher tolerance for discomfort, says a new study from the Université de Montréal. The findings, published in the American Psychological Association journal, Emotion, indicate that people can increase the thickness of their brains by practicing Zen meditation. "We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity, which supports our previous study on how Zen meditation regulates pain," said Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student at the Université de Montréal and lead author of the study. MRI results clearly show a significant thickening in the central brain regions of meditators as compared to those who don’t practice the art.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

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