January 11, 2011

More Effective Than the Sun?

1 Get Tan from a Diet of Fruits and Vegetables

Eating vegetables can give you a healthy tan, says new research led by Dr. Ian Stephan, U of Nottingham, who showed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables imparts a golden glow. Antioxidants called carotenoids are present in fruits and vegetables. They’re responsible for the red coloring in carrots and tomatoes and, are not only important for our immune and reproductive systems, they impart a golden glow to the skin. "We found that, given the choice between skin color caused by suntan and skin color caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin color, so if you want a healthier and more attractive skin color, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables than lying in the sun," says Stephan.

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

Tags: Antioxidants, Fruits, Tan, Vegetables, University of Nottingham, Dr. Ian Stephan

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Not Just a Fad

2 Mindfulness Therapy Eases Anxiety, Improves Mood

Mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with roots in yoga and Buddhism, is the new buzzword among some therapists who say it eases anxiety and improves mood, according to an article in the LA Times. The modality encourages practitioners to focus on their breathing and their body and to live in the moment. It may sound New Agey, but it works, says Stefan Hofmann, Boston U, who evaluated 39 previous studies on 1140 patients and found it to be particularly beneficial for people diagnosed with mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. While some experts recognize the benefits of mindfulness therapy, they say it’s not a cure for severe or ongoing depression although it may provide a valuable defense against future episodes once recovery from depression begins.

More at LATimes.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Anxiety, Depression, Meditation, Mindfulness Therapy, Boston University, Stefan Hofmann, Mood Disorders, New Age Treatments

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Naproxen Is Safer Choice

3 Ibuprofen Heart Risk Backed by New Study

Ibuprofen, sold as Advil, carries the highest risk of stroke of the prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) studied by Vanderbilt University researchers. The findings support previous research on the dangers of NSAIDs, reports CNN. The safest NSAID appears to be naproxen, sold as Aleve. While naproxen still carries cardiovascular risks, researchers believe it's a safer option than ibuprofen. The study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, also reveals that for certain drugs like Celebrex (celecoxib), cardiovascular risk may increase with dosage. According to the research, Vioxx (eofecoxib), now withdrawn in the U.S., carries the highest risk of cardiovascular death.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Ibuprofen Better for Hangover

Tags: Cardiovascular Risks, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Dangerous, Vanderbilt University Researchers, Safest NSAID, Naproxen Safer Than Advil, Aleve Safest Nsaid, Ibuprofen Dangers, British Journal of Medicine

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

Taking Breaks Great for Health

4 Stand Up and Lose Two Pants Sizes

Taking many short breaks from sitting can produce a smaller waistline and improve heart health, suggest researchers from University of Queensland in Australia. The research showed that people who took the most breaks from sitting were two pants sizes smaller than those who took the fewest number of breaks. The breaks don't have to be long to be effective. Even one-minute breaks from sitting can have an impact, say researchers. MSNBC explains that when we stand, the big muscles in our backs and legs are continually contracted in order to maintain posture. Yet, when we sit, those muscle groups are very inactive. Since a smaller waistline reduces risk for cardiovascular disease, taking standing breaks may also improve heart health. The findings are published in European Heart Journal.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: European Heart Journal, Getting Smaller Waist, How to Have a Smaller Waist, How to Lose Pants Sizes, Taking Breaks Good for Health, Stand Up for Weight Loss, Whittle Your Waistline, Improve Heart Health, University of Queensland in Australia

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

High Blood Pressure in Kids

5 Smoking Around Kids Could Raise Their BP

Children who are around smoking parents may suffer from high blood pressure as a result, say researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. The study is the first to reveal that breathing tobacco smoke elevates blood pressure in kids as young as 4 or 5 years old. "Parental smoking is not only negative for children's lung function, but poses a risk for their future cardiovascular health," says Giacomo D. Simonetti, M.D., first author of the study. The study included 4,236 kindergarten boys and girls undergoing standard school health exams. Researchers discovered that kids with a smoking parent were 21 percent more likely to have a systolic blood pressure reading in the highest 15 percent, even after adjusting for other heart disease risk factors in parents.

More at Eurekalert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Systolic Blood Pressure, University of Heidelberg, Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Giacomo D. Simonetti, Effects of Smoking Around Kids, Children with Smoking Parents Have High Blood Pressure

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

Paramedics at Risk of Injury

6 Boston Retrofits Ambulance for Obese Patients

Boston Emergency Medical Services transports around two to four patients weighing at least 450 pounds each week, and they've spend $12,000 to retrofit an ambulance to help obese patients without endangering the health of paramedics. The modified ambulance should be in use in Boston later this month. CBS News reports that the ambulance includes a stretcher capable of holding up to 850 pounds at a cost of $8,000. The ambulance also features a hydraulic lift. CBS News notes that experts say the increasing number of obese patients that need transportation by ambulance puts paramedics at risk of neck and back injuries from lifting the heavy patients.

More at CBS News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Boston Emergency Medical Services, Obese Patients, Paramedic Job Injuries, Obese Patients Injure Paramedics, Obese Difficult for Medical Workers to Lift, Challenges of Obese Patients, Ambulance for Obese, Hydraulic Lift on Ambulance

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

Mostly Vitamins and Minerals

7 Half of Americans Use Dietary Supplements

According to a recent survey by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, the use of dietary supplements in the United States has risen slightly, with about 50 percent of Americans reporting use. Multivitamin and mineral supplements are the most popular among the 20,000 people surveyed. Other popular products include single vitamin or mineral supplements such as vitamins A, B-6, B12, C, E, magnesium, and zinc. About 20 percent of adults report taking at least one botanical ingredient. More females use supplements than men – 53 percent versus 44 percent. Commenting on the findings, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, Cara Welch PhD of the Natural Products Association said they are “what we all expected…supplement use continues to go up.”

More at NutraIngredients USA | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Dietary Supplements May Not Be Safe or Effective

Tags: Dietary Supplements, Herbal Supplements, Multivitamins, Vitamins, Botanicals

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

Eat Less, Exercise More

8 Home Interventions Successful for Healthy Changes

Most weight loss programs focus only on the individual for making healthy lifestyle changes. However, obesity runs in families, so the thinking goes – can interventions that benefit one person work to benefit the entire household? Researchers worked with 90 households, with half receiving interventions such as television viewing limitations, increased physical activity, cutting back on sweetened drinks and high-calorie snacks, portion-control, and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables. The study lasted for one year, and while there was no significant weight loss noted in either the intervention or control group, those who adopted healthier behaviors ate less junk foods, spent less money on eating out, decreased screen time, and took part in more vigorous physical activity.

More at LA Times | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Diet and Exercise Needed for Significant Weight Loss

Tags: Diet, Exercise, Weight Loss, Healthy Lifestyle Habits

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

Protection under Disability Act

9 People Support Obesity Anti-Discrimination Laws

While there are laws to protect people against discrimination when it comes to race, gender, or disability, there is no such federal protection for persons who are obese. A survey of over 1000 adults by researchers at Yale University finds that most people support the inclusion of obesity as a disability so they will be protected under the Americans with Disability Act from weight discrimination. The participants also believe it should be illegal to refuse to hire or fire a qualified person because of his or her weight or deny a promotion or appropriate compensation because of obesity. Women and persons who were overweight themselves were more likely to support laws that protect obese persons than men or normal-weight survey-takers. The survey is published in the journal Obesity.

More at LA Times | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Nail Salon Charges More for Overweight

Tags: Discrimination Against Overweight, Obesity, Weight Policy, Americans with Disability Act

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

Edges Out NutriSystem

10 Consumer Reports Rates Jenny Craig As Best Diet

Consumer Reports has compared two of the top US commercial diet plans, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, and finds that when it comes to taste, Jenny Craig edges out its rival in a side-by-side test. Both companies offer packaged food items to dieters in either frozen or shelf-stable packaging. Two experienced sensory testers compared 59 items – 32 from Jenny Craig and 27 from NutriSystem Basic. The products were tested in random order within categories (for example, all breakfast items were tasted together) but tasters were blinded as to which company provided the food. Only five of the 59 items scored “Very Good” – all from Jenny Craig. Overall, the tasters liked lunch and dinner items best, with breakfast, snacks and dessert items more often ranking on the low end of the taste scale.

More at Consumer Reports | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: NutriSystem Changes in 2011, Structured Weight Loss Programs Successful but Costly

Tags: Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Help

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

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