Health Points: Tuesday
- Get ready, here comes a big surprise—obesity is in the news again! Yup, you can pretty much bank on obesity always being in the headlines. Today The Chicago Tribune reports obesity has been linked to female infertility. Judy Peres has more:
"That association is pretty well established," said Dr. Roger Lobo, a reproductive endocrinologist at Columbia University. Heavy women often don't ovulate normally because their hormones are out of whack. If they lose just 5 percent of their body weight, he said, "some will ovulate and even get pregnant with no further intervention."
- Looks like CDC is trying to set a precedent. According to the Associated Press the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has completed a revamp of their employee fitness center and cafeteria. Mike Stobbe explains the organization is trying to become the optimal health model for government agencies:
The CDC also offers weight-management classes, healthy grocery shopping seminars, health assessments, walking programs and other activities.
The agency also has improved its cafeteria fare and expanded its salad bars. Three years ago, the CDC began bringing in produce vendors so employees could buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, the produce carts visit three CDC campuses and boast daily sales of $2,000 to $3,000.
- Now here’s some strange obesity news. A reports shows being overweight or obese can lower breast cancer risk in women prior to menopause. Will Dunham of Reuters reports on this unusual finding:
The researchers admitted they do not know why the extra pounds (kg) may protect premenopausal women from breast cancer, but noted obesity actually greatly boosts breast cancer risk after menopause, when the disease more often is diagnosed.
- Does spicy food increase metabolism? To be honest, I never assumed it does. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigated, and believe it or not spicy food can actually give your metabolism a kick—coming soon, the hot-pepper diet! Here’s more from O’Connor:
One study by Canadian researchers this year looked at a group of adult men and found that those who were served hot sauce with appetizers before a meal went on to consume on average about 200 fewer calories at lunch and in later meals than their peers who did not have anything with capsaicin. The researchers suggested that capsaicin may work as an appetite suppressant. But take heed: spicy foods can also worsen symptoms of ulcers and heartburn.
- More bad news for smoking, according Emily Bazar of The Detroit Free Press many anti-tobacco groups are calling for a ban on smoking around children, even in private places; such as foster homes and cars. Is it a good idea? Or bordering on totalitarian? You decide:
At least six states and some counties prohibit foster parents from smoking when foster children are present, says Kathleen Dachille, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy at the University of Maryland School of Law. "There are times when it's appropriate to regulate what people can do in their home," she says. "The state is responsible for that child."
- Vitamins, they’re certainly some strong medicine. Reuters is reporting that Vitamin E can people protect against cancer and heart disease. More reason to eat plenty of dark-leafy greens and nuts. More from the article:
Men with the highest levels of vitamin E in their blood were 18 percent less likely to die than those with the lowest levels, the researchers found. They also had a 21-percent lower risk of death from cancer, a 19-percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 30-percent lower risk of death from other causes.
- Dan Vierria of The San Diego Union-Tribune explains the color of your favorite fruits and veggies corresponds to their health promoting effects:
Blues and purples: Keep memory sharp and reduce risk of several kinds of cancer, including prostate. Plums, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes (and raisins).
Greens: Protect bones, teeth and eyesight. Kiwi, spinach, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, honeydews.
- This shouldn’t be too surprising, more bad news about smoking. A new study determined merely “cutting back” on the number of cigarettes smoked does not lower a smoker’s risk of dieing prematurely. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Reporting in the journal Tobacco Control, a team from the National Health Screening Service in Oslo found that limiting the daily amount of cigarettes may be useful as a temporary measure when a smoker is trying to quit, but kicking the habit is the only real way of reducing the risk of smoking-related health consequences and early death.
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