Friday: Health Points
- Look out. Puffer fish! Fifteen people in Thailand have died after being served puffer fish disguised as salmon. The Associated Press reports:
Unscrupulous vendors in Thailand have been selling meat of the deadly puffer fish disguised as salmon, causing the deaths of more than 15 people over the past three years, a doctor said Thursday.
Although banned since 2002, puffer fish continues to be sold in large quantities at local markets and restaurants, said Narin Hiransuthikul of Bangkok's Chulalonkorn University Hospital.
- Researchers from Clemson University have discovered some interesting things about antioxidants. The Cancer Blog is on it:
A group of Clemson chemists have found a new mechanism for antioxidant activity according to a recent presentation at the 234th American Chemical Society national meeting. According to the researchers, antioxidant bind naturally to iron and copper in the body, preventing the formation of reactive compounds that can damage DNA.
- Well, this isn’t surprising. Here’s another story linking even a little exercise to improved health. More from Reuters:
A new study shows that even low levels of weekly exercise - below currently recommended levels -- has major health benefits. In the study, 30 minutes of brisk walking three days per week was enough to drive down blood pressure and improve overall fitness in a group of healthy sedentary adults.
For optimum health, adults are currently recommended to engage in 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise on at least five days of the week. But few people achieve this level of weekly activity, often citing lack of time as the reason.
- If you like going to the farmers market, you’ll like this article. Joyce Pellino Crane of The Boston Globe takes a look at how farmers markets are mingling into society. Read on:
But buying produce directly from local farms is only one aspect of this emerging trend. Another is the large number of farmers markets cropping up around the region, and so popular that Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed this week Farmers Market Week because, he said, they are "essential to the vitality of Massachusetts farms." The US Department of Agriculture had named Aug. 6 to 11 National Farmers Market Week, noting that such markets have increased by 18 percent across the country since 2004.
- The obesity epidemic, what’s your take on it? Not sure? Well Freakonomics Blog has compiled a whole bunch of different opinions on it. Check it out:
Similarly, the idea that obesity is itself a disease or causes disease is based largely on correlations in large epidemiological studies, not on any clear causal link between excess weight and disease. With the exception of a few minor conditions (like osteoarthritis), we don’t have any good evidence that adiposity causes any physical harm. By the same statistical criteria used to call obesity a disease, one could also claim that being male, being overly tall, or even being black is a disease (i.e., all correlate with early mortality and morbidity). The fact that we choose to demonize fatness rather than these other traits illustrates how concerns about obesity are rooted far more in political and cultural standards than scientific ones.
- Oh no, more toxic products from China. Julie’s Health Club is blogging about formaldehyde found in children’s clothing manufactured in China. Have a gander:
Little is known about how chemicals in clothing can affect people. But concern over pesticides and chemicals in fabric has sparked consumer interest in organic baby clothes that can be purchased everywhere from small boutiques to Target.
Formaldehyde is used to give clothes a "permanent press" look. Exposure to it in concentrations of 20 parts per million (ppm) can cause eye, skin and nasal irritations, respiratory problems, asthma and cancer.
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