August 4, 2012

Hardly News to Untold Millions

1 Chocolate and Pizza Can Be Addictive Foods

A study of the addictive properties of foods, conducted by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, found not only that the brains of persons testing high for food addiction responded to food references the same way the brains of drug or alcohol addicts responded to references to those substances, but that certain foods produce a stronger stimulative effect than others. According to the study, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the foods that generate the strongest addictive responses tend, not surprisingly, to be high in fats, sugars and salt. More specifically, the three "hardest drugs" in the food world, according to the study's author, are chocolate, ice cream and pizza. The findings support a world of empirical evidence.

More at Usatoday.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Tags: Addictive Foods, Food As Drug, Chocoholics, Pizza Addicts, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

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

Heat Boosts Flavor, Sweetness

2 Drought Means Fewer but Tastier Foods

The severe drought that has devastated a number of U.S. crops has one small silver lining: tastier fruits and vegetables. The extraordinary and prolonged high temperatures speed up the maturing process of those produce items that are able to ride out the drought, resulting in intensified flavors in items from asparagus to zucchini. Photosynthesis is accelerated, which increases sucrose and other sugar content, making for singularly sweet peaches, cantaloupes, beets and watermelons. Capsaicin levels are ginned up, resulting in hotter and spicier chili and other peppers. Increased sulfur gives garlic and onions added bite. Unfortunately, the cost of this flavor enhancement to the agriculture industry, and possibly taxpayers, may exceed $10 billion.

More at Time.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Previously: Healthful Effects of Fruits and Vegetables

Tags: Drought Effects, Drought and Flavor, U.S. Crops, Fruit and Vegetables

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

Merck’s Best Seller

3 FDA Approves Generic Singulair

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the generic form of Singulair, a $5 billion/year asthma and allergy drug and Merck & Co.’s best-selling product. Approval to manufacture the cheaper versions of the drug was granted to Apotex Inc., Aurobindo Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark Generics, Kudco Ireland Inc., Mylan Inc., Roxane Laboratories, Sandoz Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Torrent Pharmaceuticals. Singulair, while not meant to treat sudden onset of asthma symptoms, works to block leukotrienes, proteins that cause inflammation, unlike the majority of allergy drugs that block the protein histamine. Brand-name Singulair received FDA approval in 1998 and generic versions are expected to steal 2/3 of the branded-versions product sales.

More at MSNBC.com | Hat tip to USNews.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Asthma Pill As Effective As Inhalers

Tags: Allergies, Asthma, Merck, Singulair, US Food and Drug Administration, Histamine, Generic Singulair, Apotex Inc., Aurobindo Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark Generics, Kudco Ireland Inc., Mylan Inc., Roxane Laboratories, Sandoz Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., Torrent Pharmaceuticals

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

But Cigar Sales Are Up

4 Fewer Americans Are Smoking Cigarettes

Cigarette sales dropped in the US, but cigar sales more than doubled from 2008-2011, says the Centers for Disease Control. Smokers are also making cigarettes from loose tobacco labeled for pipe use, reports the agency. Last year, sales of loose pipe tobacco were enough to make 17.5 billion cigarettes, a 6x increase over 4 years ago, while loose tobacco sold specifically for cigarette-rolling dropped by 75%. “While consumption patterns of traditional cigarettes have continued to decline, when we take into account these alternative cigarette-like products, we’re seeing a lack of change in the overall consumption of burned tobacco that is being inhaled,” says CDC’s Terry Pechacek. Experts attribute the change in smoking habits to the lower prices of alternative tobacco products.

More at NYTimes.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: How US Smokers Dodge Cigarette Tax

Tags: Centers for Disease Control, Cigarette Alternatives, Cigarettes, Pipe Tobacco Sales, Smokers, Cigar, Rolling Tobacco, Cigar Sales, Terry Pechacek

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

Birth Control Pills Still Rule

5 IUD Use Is Up among American Women

While the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) is up in the US, the Pill and condoms are the most popular forms of birth control, says a study from the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health organization in NY. 8.5% of US women using birth control chose an IUD or implant in 2009, up from 4% in 2007. Researchers say that IUDs and implants are the most effective forms of reversible birth control. With IUD’s, it's estimated that between 0.2 and 0.8% of women will have an unplanned pregnancy within a year vs 9% per year for the Pill and condoms. The rise in IUD use may be due to the fact that they’ve been endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Also, concerns about pelvic infections, which arose when IUDs first came out, have been dispelled.

More at Reuters.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: IUDs Tied to Lower Cervical Cancer Risk

Tags: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Birth Control, Birth Control Pill, Condoms, Guttmacher Institute, Intrauterine Device, IUD, Pelvic Infections, Sexual Health

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

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