April 6, 2010

Pedal Vision

1 Jail Inmates Must Pedal Generators to Watch TV

Controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announced a new system dubbed "Pedal Vision" in which the often obese inmates at the Maricopa County Prison will have to pedal exercise bicycles while watching television. "If an inmate slows down and fails to pedal fast enough, an audible noise sounds off to warn inmates that the TV is shutting down." Apparently the system is working well, although inmates reportedly take rests during commercial breaks. Among Sheriff Arpaio's previous stunts have been the housing of excess prisoners in a tent city, making male inmates wear pink underwear to discourage theft of the garments, and feeding misbehaving inmates their meals in the form of "nutriloaf," in which all the meal's ingredients are baked into a single, solid loaf.

More at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (PDF) | Hat tip to ABC 15 | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Tags: Pedal Vision, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Nutriloaf, Maricopa County Prison, Television, Prison Food, Prison Inmates

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (57%) / No! (43%)

Got Mother's Milk?

2 More Breastfeeding Would Save Lives

If more mothers breastfed their babies for the first sixth months of life, it would save about 1,000 lives and billions of dollars a year, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers said 911 lives are lost each year for preventable reasons because of a lack of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health groups say breastfeeding exclusively is best for infants in the first six months of life. Seventy-seven percent of moms start out breastfeeding, but that number drops to 33 percent who are still breastfeeding exclusively at three months and just 14 percent at six months. The deaths associated with not breastfeeding were caused by SIDS, pneumonia and necrotizing enterocolitis, a death of the lining of the intestines.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Sarah E. White

Tags: Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Infant Death, Pediatrics

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Brown Burns Fat

3 Is Your Fat Brown or White?

Brown fat, or fat cells with the ability to burn calories and generate heat, is present in babies and other infant mammals to help them stay warm. It was thought to disappear in humans after infancy. But now, several groups of researchers report in The New England Journal of Medicine that adults have some brown fat that, when activated by cold temperatures, can burn enormous numbers of calories. Researchers found that thinner and younger people have higher levels of brown fat and women have more of it than men. With this discovery, scientists hope to be able to “turn on” brown fat to aid in the battle against weight gain. Researchers know brown fat is activated by cold temperatures and certain hormones. A drug that turns on brown fat would affect energy output as opposed to appetite.

More at the New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Babies, Fat, Losing Weight, New England Journal of Medicine, Weight Loss, Brown Fat, Burning Calories, Activated by Cold Temperatures, Brown vs White Fat

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Chemical of Concern

4 EPA and FDA to Intensify Study of Dangers of BPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will designate Bisphenol A (BPA) a “chemical of concern” and will join the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in stepping up its scrutiny of the effects of the chemical on human health. Earlier this year, the FDA declared concern for potential health impacts from the chemical, which is used in the lining of most food and beverage cans, and thus far, five states have banned BPA from being used in baby bottles. BPA is also used in the manufacture of CDs, DVDs, eyeglasses and thousands of household items. It is estimated that about six billion pounds of BPA are produced each year and more than one million pounds of it are released into the environment. 93 percent of Americans who’ve been tested show trace amounts of the chemical in their systems.

More at Journal Sentinel Online | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: FDA, Food and Drug Administration, EPA, BPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Bisphenol a, Chemical of Concern, Baby Bottles, Canned Food, Soda Cans, Health Hazard, BPA Banned in Baby Bottles

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

Wider Reach Than Drugs

5 Exercise, the Magic Drug for Depression

Researchers at Southern Methodist University analyzed numerous studies to determine that exercise is a magic drug for treating anxiety and depression. Exercise is inexpensive, easily achievable and may be better than drugs or behavior therapy. "Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors. For patients with anxiety disorders, exercise reduces their fears of fear and related bodily sensations such as a racing heart and rapid breathing," says Jasper Smits, director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at SMU. Researchers say that health care providers should tell patients of the immediate benefits of exercise and not focus on the long term for best success.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Massage No Better at Easing Anxiety Than Other Methods

Tags: Depression, Exercise, Anxiety, Magic Drug, Southern Methodist University, Jasper Smits, Anxiety Research and Treatment Program, Antidepressants, Neurotransmitters

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

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