Archive for April 17th, 2012

Vegan diets can be tough to follow in U.S., say experts

 
High costs, hidden ingredients, a lack of social support and limited options can make it difficult to go vegan in a meat-based culture, even though the diet is growing in popularity, experts say. Hanna Schösler of Vrije University in Amsterdam says people who want to eat a vegetarian diet face physical and mental constraints, and find it is "not very accepted in our society not to eat meat."

NYT

 

Accidental death rates for children fell nearly 30% in decade, but drug related deaths rose

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Death rates from unintentional injuries among U.S. children and teens dropped 29% from 2000 to 2009. The total number of deaths dropped from about 12,400 to about 9,100, CDC researchers reported. However, the report found that the death rate for accidental poisonings rose 91% among those age 15 to 19 due to abuse of prescription drugs, and accidental infant suffocation deaths increased 54%.

LA Times
 

A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform

 
Retractions of published papers are on the rise, and some scientists fear the situation is out of control.

NYT

 

J&J unit faces lawsuit over Tylenol Infants’ Drops

 
Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil PPC unit are facing a lawsuit filed by parents of Markus Cherry, a 3-month-old baby who died three days after taking Tylenol Infants' Drops in 2010. According to the FDA, bacterial contamination prompted McNeil to withdraw the product from the market two weeks after the infant's death.

Chicago Tribune

 

Evolution has given humans a huge advantage over most other animals: middle age

 
As a 42-year-old man born in England, I can expect to live for about another 38 years. In other words, I can no longer claim to be young. I am, without doubt, middle-aged.

To some people that is a depressing realization. We are used to dismissing our fifth and sixth decades as a negative chapter in our lives, perhaps even a cause for crisis. But recent scientific findings have shown just how important middle age is for every one of us, and how crucial it has been to the success of our species. Middle age is not just about wrinkles and worry. It is not about getting old. It is an ancient, pivotal episode in the human life span, preprogrammed into us by natural selection, an exceptional characteristic of an exceptional species.

Compared with other animals, humans have a very unusual pattern to our lives. We take a very long time to grow up, we are long-lived, and most of us stop reproducing halfway through our life span. A few other species have some elements of this pattern, but only humans have distorted the course of their lives in such a dramatic way. Most of that distortion is caused by the evolution of middle age, which adds two decades that most other animals simply do not get.
 

Fast Food Salt Levels Vary Among Six Countries

 
High salt content in pizza, fried chicken, and other products served by multinational food chains varies substantially across six countries, and even incremental reductions of the seasoning could have a big impact on improving the health of the population, according to a study published online April 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Elizabeth Dunford, M.P.H., of the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, and associates collected and compared data on salt content of fast food from the Web sites of six companies operating in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The researchers found that mean salt content in food categories varied substantially among companies and between the same products served in different countries. Data showed that chicken products in the United Kingdom contained 1.1 g of salt per 100 g, compared to 1.8 g per 100 g in the United States.

 

Does Exercise Make You Overeat?

 
Exercise may change your desire to eat, two recent studies show, by altering how certain parts of your brain respond to the sight of food.

NYT

 

Fish Oil Flops in MS

 
Fish oil doesn’t appear to be of any help in treating multiple sclerosis, Norwegian researchers found …

Smaller trials have found a potential benefit for omega-3 fatty acids, which may be active in MS because of their anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. But controlled trials haven't been able to draw any definitive conclusions, the researchers said.

Still, fish oils are the most common form of complementary medicine used by MS patients, they noted.

 
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